Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

What Matters

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stop Him Before He Runs Again

Jeremy Wallace reports, hilariously, that Vern Buchanan has his eye on "higher office."
"I don't know where my public service will take me," he said. "This is my starting point. I don't know where it evolves to."
Um. Wow.


Because I think it might evolve A.) to you cleaning out your office when Christine Jennings beats you, and then B.) the dustbin of history. Say hi to Kitty Harris for us, won't you?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh Noes! Panicked Buchanan Begs McSame to Visit Former GOP-Stronghold of Sarasota

John McCain is having to come to Sarasota -- an area he should be winning handily -- at the behest of soon-to-be defeated Congressman and thug Vern Buchanan.

Said soon-to-be re-elected state representative Keith Fitzgerald: "When McCain is having to spend time shoring up Sarasota, they have a problem on their hands and they know it."


Here's the analysis of failed Sarasota Republican chairman Eric Robinson. Watch for him to be posting his resume around town very, very soon. Maybe he and Vern can go into some sort of corrupt business together that will eventually fail.
Robinson discounted the chances that Sarasota County could fall to Obama. Instead, Robinson said that McCain was coming to Sarasota because the county posted record voter turnout in 2004 and has historically been a Republican stronghold. That year 82 percent of registered voters turned out, 54 percent of them for Bush.

"It's not that we're in play, it's that they need us to balance out the east coast of Florida," Robinson said.

Hey, you can either take the word of the guy that won an election in Sarasota -- and part of Manatee -- in 2006, or you can believe that they need to "balance out" the rest of the state. Yes, that old famous political tactic, "balancing out."

According to Real Clear Politics, Obama is up +2.

FiveThirtyEight has Florida looking mighty blue.

Sure, Eric. Just going for "balance." Whatever you say.

Boy, can you imagine that panicky phone call from thug Vern to McCain?

SOME CHIPPER McCAIN CAMPAIGN WORKER: Good morning, McCain Campaign! Country First!

THUG VERN: Yeah, give me John McCain.

SCMCW: Who may I say is calling?

V: It's Congressman Vern Buchanan. It's urgent.

SCMCW: And may I tell him what's it's regarding, Congr...

V: Goddamit! Get him on the goddam phone! It's a fucking emergency!

SCMCS [startled]: Ye... Yes, sir (sob)... have a blessed day... and remember! Countr...

V: Get him on the goddam phone right now!

SCMCS: (sob!) (transfer's call)

JOHN McCAIN: McCain here.

V: Jesus, John. Thank God. I just talked to Eric at the Sarasota Republican Party H-Q. It's a disaster. A fucking disaster!

JM: Calm down, my friend. What's going on?

V: Jesus, John -- don't Davis and Schmidt show you any polls? We're losing Florida!

JM: My friend, what did you say, my friend?

V: Goddamit. John. Listen to me. We're losing Florida. And it's starting in Sarasota. You've got to get down here.

JM: My friend, I will be down there, my friend, immediately, my friend. People need to hear the truth about Barack Obama, my friend. For example, my friend, did you know, my friend, that he, my friend, is, my friend, a Muslim, my friend? Also, my friend, a, my friend, communist? Also, my friend, a terrorist? And, finally, my friend, he will, my friend, raise your taxes.

V: Senator, you may want to lay off the 'my friend' stuff just a bit. Jesus.

JM: I'm on my way, Vern, my friend. We'll do what we can to shore up Sarasota. But tell Eric, my friend, when he talks to the press that we're doing something like balancing out the rest of the state, my friend.

V: Okay, Senator, will do.

JM: Thank you my friend.

V: [sigh] Thanks, Senator. We'll see you soon. [away from phone] Hey, are those bundled checks still coming in? [hangup]


We can take Florida. And it will, in fact, start in Sarasota. Two more weeks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fla. Dems Good on Environment, Reps Not So Much

The League of Conservation Voters released their scorecards for Congress. Can you guess what the pattern is? Of Florida Republicans, only Ileana Ros-Lehtinen does as good as any Democrat and that's only one person. Beyond that, all Democrats do way better than all Republicans. No shocker there.

Alcee Hastings (D), 92%
Ron Klein (D), 92%
Timothy Mahoney (D), 92%
Kendrick Meek (D), 92%
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), 92%
Bill Nelson (D), 91%
F. Allen Boyd (D), 85%
Corrine Brown (D), 85%
Kathy Castor (D), 85%
Robert Wexler (D), 69%
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), 69%
Vern Buchanan (R), 62%
Gus Bilirakis (R), 38%
Ginny Brown-Waite (R), 38%
Mario Diaz-Balart (R), 38%
C.W. Bill Young (R), 38%
Mel Martinez (R), 36%
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R), 31%
Ander Crenshaw (R), 15%
Ric Keller (R), 15%
Connie Mack (R), 8%
John Mica (R), 8%
Adam Putnam (R), 8%
Dave Weldon (R), 8%
Tom Feeney (R), 0%
Jeff Miller (R), 0%
Cliff Stearns (R), 0%

Esquire Endorsement

Esquire endorsed Christine Jennings over Buchanan:

This one was close in 2006--Buchanan edged our pick, Jennings, by just 369 votes--and it will likely be close again. But not if word gets out about the seven lawsuits--from hiring illegal immigrants to sexual harrassment--now filed against Buchanan by employees at his car dealerships.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

AD WATCH: Buchanan Continues False Attacks Against Jennings

Continuing a campaign strategy built on misrepresenting the record of Christine Jennings, Vern Buchanan’s latest ad, released late last week, makes several false claims about Jennings’ record on taxes, while avoiding answering serious questions raised about his own record.

“Not surprisingly, Buchanan continues to run away from his own record by lying about Christine Jennings,” said Jennings spokesperson Melissa Smith. “Buchanan willfully misrepresents Christine Jennings’ record on taxes in this ad, once again breaking his pledge for positive campaigning, while failing to mention serious issues he’s personally faced with the IRS.

“This is another attempt to distract from the serious questions that have been raised by the more than 180 lawsuits filed against Buchanan and his businesses over the past 20 years, including nine since May of this year. Instead of directly answering the legitimate questions about allegations of consumer fraud, bank fraud and illegal campaign contributions raised by these lawsuits, Buchanan’s campaign has yet again lashed out with an ad made up entirely of false claims.”


Buchanan Claim: “Markets are in turmoil…jobs lost…pensions in jeopardy. The last thing we need is a tax increase, but Christine Jennings is for higher taxes on Social Security, on families, seniors, small business…”

FACT: Christine Jennings will provide real tax relief.

* Jennings supports a range of policies to provide middle class tax relief, include raising the estate tax exemption, making higher education more affordable and providing relief from skyrocketing homeowners' insurance rates. Jennings supports ending the marriage penalty, extending child tax credits and providing tax credits and simplifying the tax code for small businesses.

FACT: Christine Jennings will protect Social Security for our seniors.

* Jennings is the only candidate in the race to be endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. She has consistently and unequivocally opposed risky privatization schemes for Social Security, and has been clear about her commitment to ensuring Social Security remains solvent for current retirees and future generations.

FACT: Vern Buchanan supports President Bush’s Social Security plan, putting seniors’ retirement at risk.

* Buchanan says he's against privatizing Social Security, but told the AARP that he does support creating personal retirement accounts, like those advocated by President Bush. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/26/06]

Buchanan Claim: “What’s worse, she wants to raise your taxes, but admitted she didn’t pay her own for three years.”

FACT: The article cited by Buchanan was about how Jennings found and corrected the tax mistake, which was related to her campaign, not her personal taxes.

* Federal Election Commission records show that on May 23, Jennings made the final payment to the IRS to square the [campaign] tax bill…She said the mistake was found by her staff, and not by the IRS, which does not comment on private tax disputes. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 8/01/07]

FACT: Buchanan has had tax problems – after an eight-year-long tax dispute with IRS, Buchanan had to pay $1.3 in penalties and interest.

* “It took eight years of court battles, but by 2002 the parties had settled and Buchanan paid the $1.2 million he always insisted was the real amount he owed. But during the time he fought the tax, penalties and interest piled up and the IRS charged him another $1.3 million.” [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 6/14/08]

FACT: Buchanan has allegedly practiced tax avoidance strategies, including structuring real estate deals to evade taxes.

* “A multimillionaire with vast business holdings, Buchanan cut his own taxes on two real estate deals that experts say were structured to avoid paying more than $300,000 to the federal and state governments…Even if such transactions are common, [real estate expert Robert] Stern said, state revenue officials ‘could very well have determined that this violated the doc stamp laws. This was a complicated transaction with lots of layers and lots of details elaborately put together,’ [Stern] said, ‘and one of those benefits may have been to avoid the transfer taxes.’” [St. Petersburg Times, 9/21/08]

FACT: Buchanan also uses “controversial” “offshore tax havens” for the “wealthy” that the IRS Commissioner wanted to eliminate.

* “Congressional candidate Vern Buchanan uses offshore reinsurance companies in Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands to reduce taxes on extended warranties sold by his auto dealerships…These tax avoidance strategies are controversial. The Internal Revenue Service has stepped up efforts in recent years to investigate offshore reinsurance companies, and IRS Commissioner Mark Everson has urged lawmakers to change laws that help the wealthy benefit from these offshore tax havens.” [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/31/06]

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Republicans Don't Support Troops As Well As Dems

Check out the latest scorecards from Disabled American Veterans and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America...


Bill Nelson, 100
Allen Boyd, 100
Corrine Brown, 100
Kendrick Meek, 100
Robert Wexler, 100
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 100
Alcee Hastings, 100

Mel Martinez, 60
Jeff Miller, 66
Ander Crenshaw, 66
Ginny Brown-Waite, 66
Cliff Stearns, 66
John Mica, 66
Ric Keller, 50
C.W. Bill Young, 66
Adam Putnam, 66
Connie Mack, 66
David Weldon, 66
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, 66
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, 66
Tom Feeney, 66
Mario Diaz-Balart, 66

Notice a pattern here? All of the Dems have 100%, while none of the Republicans has anything better than a mid-range "D." So much for supporting disabled troops.


Bill Nelson, A+
Allen Boyd, A
Corrine Brown, A
Kathy Castor, A
Timothy Mahoney, A
Kendrick Meek, B
Robert Wexler, A
D. Wasserman Schultz, A+
Ron Klein, A+
Alcee Hastings, A

Mel Martinez, B
Jeff Miller, B
Ander Crenshaw, B
G. Brown-Waite, B
Cliff Stearns, B
John Mica, B
Ric Keller, A
Gus Bilirakis, A
C.W. Bill Young, B
Adam Putnam, C
Vern Buchanan, B
Connie Mack, B
Dave Weldon, C
I. Ros-Lehtinen, A
L. Diaz-Balart, B
Tom Feeney, B
M. Diaz-Balart, B

Republicans do a little better on this one, with Keller, Bilirakis and Ros-Lehtinen all getting an "A." Dems still do better, Meek has the lowest grade on our side of the aisle, and he still has a "B." The only "A+" grades amongst Florida's delegation are Dems and the only grades below "B" are all Republicans. Again, which party actually supports the troops?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Crazy Florida Republican Quote of the Day

Ladies and gentlemen, your Repubican Party:

The independent survey shows Buchanan leads Jennings 49% to 33%, confirming previous polls that have shown Buchanan with a large double-digit lead over Jennings.

Independent Jan Schneider is winning 9 percent of the total vote, much of it from Democrats and Independents. A fourth candidate on the ballot, unaffiliated Dan Baldauf, is getting 3 percent of the total vote, and like Schneider, is pulling more votes from Democrats than from Republicans. .

“This poll confirms that Vern’s positive message of change is resonating with the voters while Christine Jennings’ negative and dishonest campaign has backfired,” said campaign spokeswoman Sally Tibbetts. “We take nothing for granted and will continue to campaign hard right up until the election and continue talking about the issues that matter to people – economic growth, jobs, energy and national security.”

By definition, an incumbent can't have a "positive message of change," unless he's retiring. Sally Tibbetts' statement confirms that the use of logic and the English language is not resonating with Sally's own mind.