The father of a controversial Democratic staffer known for referring to herself and her friend as “Jewbags” has found his nomination as the next U.S. ambassador to New Zealand stalled in the Senate.
Mark Gilbert, a South Florida Democratic donor and activist, was nominated last year by President Barack Obama to assume the ambassadorship.
However, the appointment stalled in the Senate along with some 200 other nominations after lawmakers failed to take a vote. Gilbert’s nomination was sent back to the Senate this week, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Gilbert has long circulated in Florida’s Democratic donor community and emerged as a top financial supporter of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He also raised some $500,000 for Obama.
Gilbert’s daughter Dani formerly served as a staffer for Wasserman Schultz. She was appointed during the 2012 presidential election as a Jewish outreach liaison at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where Wasserman Schultz serves as the chair.
The younger Gilbert stirred controversy for Wasserman Schultz and the DNC during the height of the campaign when the Washington Free Beacon reported that she was pictured on Facebook in a series of provocative photos with friends in which they were holding dollar bills and referring to themselves as “Jewbags” and the “Jew cash money team.”
Gilbert could be seen in one of the pictures kissing paper currency. The caption at the bottom of the since deleted photo read, “JEWBAGS.” A comment that had been left on the posting referred to Gilbert and her friends as the “Jew cash money team.”
The scandal reportedly caused a firestorm within team Obama and drove a wedge between the president and Wasserman Schultz, who refused to distance herself from Gilbert.
Gilbert is currently a PhD student at the George Washington University, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Mark Gilbert has long worked as the director of investment firm Barclays’ Palm Beach office and acted as a top financial backer for Obama during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
Gilbert has visited the White House numerous times.