He has now taken it upon himself to sue a former colleague for allegedly defaulting on a loan.
Given the rather lengthy expose from the St. Petersburg Times a few days ago, I'd think this would be something Vern would want to avoid. At least for the sake of politics.
"Shame" is evidently not in Vern's vocabulary:
...Buchanan left Michigan just as American Speedy [the company he founded] verged on a spectacular collapse. Angry franchise owners accused him of mismanagement, deceit and outright fraud. Michigan's attorney general was threatening to shut down the company. In 1992, American Speedy landed in bankruptcy court, followed by dozens of store owners, some of whom lost their life savings.
In eight lawsuits filed since May, former employees accuse Buchanan of bilking customers of his auto dealerships, employing illegal immigrants to help build his house and violating federal campaign finance laws by reimbursing donors for campaign contributions.
Buchanan denies the allegations and says they are politically motivated. They surfaced so close to the election that he has virtually no time to disprove them in court.
But the court record is settled in Michigan, where Buchanan left a trail of lawsuits, judgments and settlements.
"Whatever he's involved in, at best he's being opportunistic," says Ben C. Maibach III, among the American Speedy franchisees who sued Buchanan. "You won't find many people in Michigan who have any respect for Vern or anything good to say about him."
Buchanan liked the franchising concept so much that in 1976 he and James W. McDonald started American Speedy Printing Centers and began selling franchises.
In fact, they had a bitter falling out. It led to extensive litigation, including a lawsuit in which 10 Business Card store owners claimed Buchanan and American Speedy had wrongfully transferred assets between the two companies, sold "antique" equipment to stores and vastly overstated the earnings potential of franchise
Hm, a corrupt businessman who bilked a lot of good and honest people out of their money and the cut and run before anyone caught on, at the expense of the little guy. Sounds an awful lot like a certain financial situation our nation collectively finds itself in today...
Vern Buchanan: not the kind of guy you want in Washington. Especially these days.