Monday, August 18, 2008

Calling Judge Wapner: Vern in Court

Christine Jennings is letting loose on thug Congressman Vern Buchanan. Check out the new website: Our Congressman in Court.
Vern Buchanan just can't seem to stay out of court. Florida voters need to know
about this longstanding pattern of Vern and the way he has done business.

Check out their fact references as well.

The people of the 13th Congressional District deserve better than Vern.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thug Vern and Empty Chair Chair Charlie Have a Very Bad Rally

When it rains it pours.

First, the Democratic Party of Florida is asking the FBI to investigate Vern's criminal misdeeds.

And now Empty Chair Charlie was supposed to come down for a Vern Rally -- and he was a no show! Boy, when Charlie Crist abandons Floridians, he really abandons Floridians.

They blamed it on the weather.

From Jeremy Wallace's blog:
Because of bad weather conditions in both Tallahassee and Sarasota, Crist never made it to the nearly two-hour-long rally to help Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, raise money for his re-election campaign.

Instead, when it came time to introduce Crist around 6:30 p.m., Sarasota County Republican Party chairman Eric Robinson held up a cell phone to a microphone in which Crist tried to speak to the hot, sweating crowd that had gathered in the un-air conditioned hanger at Dolphin Aviation.


For most of the about 300-person crowd, whatever the governor said was inaudible as Robinson struggled to position the phone at the microphone so everyone could hear the governor.


After about 2 minutes of the cell phone being held to the microphone, Buchanan realized most of the crowd still wasn’t hearing the speech. With people heading of the exits, Buchanan stepped in and pushed the phone aside while it sounded like Crist was still trying to say something.

“How’s everyone doing tonight,” Buchanan said yelled into the mike.

Not good, Vern. Not good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Democrats Call on Feds to Investigate Vern's Crimes

The Florida Democratic Party is asking for the FBI to investigate the crimes alleged against Congressional thug Vern Buchanan.


From the Buzz:
The Florida Democratic Party today called on the FBI to investigate the allegations that Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, violated campaign finance law by pressuring employees to donate to his campaign and allowing his campaign to reimburse those who did.
The GOP said the Democrats' attack was simply timed to coincide with this week's visits by Gov. Charlie Crist and Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer on Buchanan's behalf. RPOF spokeswoman Erin VanSickle also mentioned Jennings' tax troubles:
Her campaign failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes during her 2004 and 2006 races for Congress.
Nice try, Erin. I don't think it's going to work, though.

This is a story that is going to get away from Erin -- and Vern -- very quickly. ABC has picked it up. So has CBS (via Politico). These allegations are the real deal. If proven true, Vern will be one more Republican in a long line of Republicans who have foresaken their duty to the people they represent. And don't think the FBI won't investigate allegations like this.

From the Democrat's statement:
"Over the past several weeks, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and other media outlets have uncovered very serious allegations of fraud and violations of election laws by Congressman Vern Buchanan. Based on the seriousness of the charges being made, it is only appropriate that the FBI and other authorities begin investigating these allegations. While Congressman Buchanan deserves the benefit of the doubt until these allegations are proven true or false, it is a sad day when a Member of Congress does not live up the laws he took an oath to defend."
After Katherine Harris, and now thug Congressman Vern Buchanan, the people of the 13th Congressional District of Florida deserve better.

Vern Buchanan Hates His Constituents

It is fairly well established on this blog and in the Florida media generally, that Congressman Vern Buchanan hates his employees so much he bullied them into forking over campaign donations.

Now it turns out Vern Buchanan apparently hates his constituents as well.

Why else avoid debates and public events where his opponent might be?

Vern's people -- those that haven't been shaken down, we assume -- chalk this issue up to scheduling conflicts.

Sally Tibbetts, Buchanan's spokeswoman, said "we look very much forward to debating all of the candidates" but that scheduling conflicts have prevented it thus far.

Democrat Christine Jenning's crew has a different -- and imminently reasonable -- point of view:
“The voters of the 13th Congressional District deserve every possible opportunity to hear the substantial differences between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan from the candidates themselves,” said Jennings spokesperson Melissa Smith. “Candidate debates are one of the cornerstones of our democratic system, but so far during this campaign Vern Buchanan has tried to hide from any real debate on the issues and his record.”
Marj Baldwin is the founder and head honcho of the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club. She is also a powerful presence in Sarasota politics and a force to be reckoned with. She is the one who showed Katherine Harris the door because she didn't have an invite to the event.

So she's tough.

And she seems fairly perturbed by the actions of Vern on his avoiding the, you know, people he represents.

"It appears that he's made up his mind that he's not going to appear on any platform with Chris Jennings," Baldwin said. "For whatever reason, he will not get on the platform with the other candidates for the 13th District race."


Baldwin said that was because the club wanted to hear from all the candidates. Unless all can attend, the forum might not happen, she said.

"I cannot have Vern come by himself," Baldwin said. "It would imply that Tiger Bay would be endorsing him, just as I could not have Chris Jennings come by herself because that would imply Tiger Bay Club was endorsing her. That's the quandary I'm in."

A quandary indeed.

If you want someone in Congress who will be accessible to her constituents, support EMILY's List featured candidate Christine Jennings.

If you wonder why Vern Buchanan is tucked away in a hidey-hole and won't come out, email his campaign and ask when he'll debate Christine.

Better yet, go pay a visit to Vern and Empty Chair Charlie at Dolphin Aviation in Sarasota.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More Bad News in the Vern-iverse

When last we posted here, Vern Buchanan was having a very bad day. There were allegations that he illegally strong-armed employees at his car dealership into donating to his campaign.

The news just keeps getting worse for old Vern.

According to the Stacey Eidson at the Bradenton Herald, another complaint has been filed against Vern. Are we starting to see a pattern, here?

Another former executive of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan's car dealerships has filed a lawsuit claiming he witnessed fraudulent practices at the automotive store and was pressured to contribute to the congressman's 2006 campaign.

Carlo Bell, a former finance director at Venice Nissan Dodge, alleges in a lawsuit filed in Sarasota County Circuit Court that he repeatedly objected to the "falsification of documents" during the sale and financing of cars at the dealership.

This isn't the guy who mops the floor at night, gang -- it's the finance director. And yes, we're starting to see a pattern. From the lawsuit:
"In order to avoid campaign laws, various employees were approached and instructed to make a $1,000 contribution to defendant Buchanan's campaign fund and were then reimbursed in cash for those contributions as a means of avoiding campaign finance law restrictions," the lawsuit states. "The plaintiff (Bell) wrote a check and the same day was given $1,000 cash."
The Venice dealership is going to countersue, I guess, for "false and outrageous claims."

Yeah, good luck with that. You're going to need it.

And the reason they'll need it, as Wayne Garcia points out today, is because EMILY's List has targeted this race and is supporting Christine Jennings.

Vern is going to need all the help he can get against an EMILY's List-backed candidate. It's made all the more true by virtue of the fact that the ethical and legal troubles are piling up, too.

With Florida in play for Obama, and the level of organization we're seeing statewide, you may want to put Vern Buchanan on your watchlist for incumbents in trouble. I know I will.