Republican Ozzie dFaria Explains Dog Collar Around Rival's Neck

Republican Ozzie deFaria is running for congress in District 20, which is currently held by Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A South Florida congresswoman pictured in a dog collar is getting attention from both political parties. Republican Ozzie deFaria is running for congress in District 20, which is currently held by Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz. DeFaria manipulated a picture on his campaign website showing Wasserman Schultz sporting a dog collar. (Published Tuesday, May 15, 2012)

    A South Florida congresswoman pictured in a dog collar is getting attention from both political parties.

    Republican Ozzie deFaria is running for congress in District 20, which is currently held by Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    DeFaria manipulated a picture on his campaign website showing Wasserman Schultz sporting a dog collar.

    "She's Obama's attack dog," deFaria told NBC 6.

    When asked if the picture crossed the line into poor taste deFaria said: "Well, I mean, what do you mean, when she's calling Tea Party racists, people that she doesn't know."

    Previous campaigns have featured graphics using rifle crosshairs and bulls eyes by both parties, showing how candidates are "targeting" certain congressional districts. But strapping a dog collar around the neck of a sitting congresswoman is a deFaria original.

    Barry University political science professor Sean Foreman said it doesn't do much for the Republican effort to woo women voters.

    "There's this so-called war on women. It's probably made up in the media, and both parties want to exploit it. Little things like this don't help," he said.

    Conservative political website shark tank.net first reported the dog collar story.

    DeFaria still needs to win his Republican primary in August before facing Wasserman Schultz in the general election.

    He'll go up against fellow Republican Karen Harrington in that primary, who thinks the dog collar around Wasserman Schultz's neck is out of line.

    "This adds to Obama's narrative that there is a phony war on women. There is no place for this in the Republican party, and there's no place for this in politics. America deserves better," she said.