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VERN BUCHANAN (FL-13) Headlines

Ethics: The Hill - Rep. Buchanan hit with FEC fine for faulty paperwork [The Hill, 1/16/12] Sarasota Tribune Herald- Vern Buchanan campaign fined $1,500 [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 1/13/12] Sarasota Tribune Herald - Lyons: Buchanan camp must define 'exonerated' differently [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 12/24/11] The Ledger Loser of Week: Vern Buchanan [The Ledger, 12/25/11] Wall Street Journal - House Ethics Investigators Extend Buchanan Probe [Wall Street Journal, 12/22/11] Sarasota Tribune Herald - House Ethics Committee investigating Buchanan [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 12/22/11] Washington Post - House ethics panel extends probe of Fla. GOP Congressman Vern Buchanan [Washington Post, 12/22/11] Roll Call - Ethics Extends Vern Buchanan Investigation [Roll Call, 12/22/11] Bloomberg - House Ethics Panel Confirms Investigation of Vern Buchanan [Bloomberg, 12/22/11] The Hill - Ethics panel extends look into allegations against Rep. Buchanan [The Hill, 12/22/11] Sarasota Tribune Herald - Lyons: Buchanan camp must define 'exonerated' differently [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 12/24/11] After NASCAR fundraiser, Vern Buchanan pushes tax break [Herald Tribune, 10/23/11] Office of Congressional Ethics investigating Florida Rep. Buchanan [American Independent, 10/25/11] Buchanan manages leak of investigation [Herald Tribune, 10/24/11] Political challenges in Buchanan inquiry [Herald Tribune, 10/20/11] Federal inquiry focuses on Buchanan [Herald Tribune, 10/19/11] U.S. Department of Justice opens campaign finance probe of Vern Buchanan [Bradenton Herald, 10/19/11] Feds investigate Fla rep's campaign contributions [AP, 10/18/11] Report: Vern Buchanan under investigation by Department of Justice [Politico, 10/18/11] Feds investigate Fla rep's campaign contributions [Bradenton Herald, 10/18/11] Feds open campaign finance investigation of Rep. Vern Buchanan [Bradenton Herald, 10/18/11] Fine approved for dealership once linked to Buchanan [Bradenton Herald, 10/15/11] Car dealership fined for Buchanan contributions [Bradenton Herald, 10/14/11] Buchanan Donation Penalty [Herald Tribune, 10/14/11] Dealership Fined for Scheme to Reimburse Employees for Political Contributions [The Ledger, 10/14/11] Buchanan's former dealership fined for illegal contributions [Herald Tribune, 10/13/11] More former Buchanan employees speak out about pressure to donate, reimbursement scheme [Florida Independent, 8/5/11] Source: U.S. Representative Buchanan Violated Federal Election Laws [The Ledger, 6/21/11] Note: DCCC has art of headline Soruce: Buchanan Violated Federal Election Laws.

Ex-business partner claims Buchanan ordered plan to violate election laws [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 7/20/11] Note: DCCC has art of headline Buchanan Faces New Allegations: Ex-partner says he ordered a scheme to sidestep federal election law. Jacksonville car dealer: I'll prove Congressman Buchanan set up campaign finance scheme [Florida Times Union, 7/22/11] House Republican claims campaign finance exoneration [The Hill, 6/13/11] Buchanan was target of federal investigation [Sarasota Herald Tribune,6/13/11] Note: DCCC has art of headline Donation Inquiry is Closed by FEC: Records Show He was targeted in federal elections investigation. Buchanan dogged by allegations in FEC contributions case [Washington Post, 6/8/11] Buchanan slow to reveal refund of disputed contributions [Tampa Bay Times, 6/6/11] Buchanan refunds include former employee who complained [Sarasota Herald Tribune, 6/2/11] FEC recommends fine for Fla. auto dealership [Associated Press, 6/1/11] Feds recommend fine against former Jacksonville auto dealer [Florida Times-Union, 6/1/11] FEC: Congressman Buchanans Hyundai dealership broke election law [Bradenton Herald, 6/1/11] Note: DCCC has art of headline FEC: Buchanans Hyundai firm violated law: Ex Business Partner Says Buchanan told them this is what you need to do Buchanans former dealership violated the law in an extensive and ongoing scheme [Florida Independent, 6/1/11] FEC Goes After Dealership With Buchanan Ties for Campaign Finance Infractions [Roll Call, 6/1/11] FEC Seeks $68K fine against former Buchanan car dealership [Politico, 6/1/11] FEC Seeks $67,900 From Rep. Buchanans Former Business [Wall Street Journal, 6/1/11]

Other: Vern Buchanan tops House in use of taxpayer-funded mailers [St. Petersburg Times, 7/18/11] Rep. Vern Buchanan is No. 1 spender on mass mailings in House [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 6/6/11] Note: DCCC has art of headline Top Spender on Communications: He Lays Out More in Three Month Span Than Anyone Else in House.

Editorials

Big Spender Vern Buchanan [St. Petersburg Times, editorial, 7/19/11] Buchanan among those self-professed fiscal conservatives in Washington who want the country to do as I say, not as I do. In the first three months of this year, the Sarasota Republican led the U.S. House by spending $142,198 of taxpayers' money on slick, full-color mailings and other communications to his constituents. So much for frugalityBut here's another comparison for Buchanan: In just three months, he spent three times as much government money on selfpromotional propaganda as the average Florida public schoolteacher makes in a year. And he did it as a member of the new House majority that refuses to raise the debt ceiling without significant cuts in federal spending. [St. Petersburg Times 7/19/11] Lyons: Buchanan Exonerated? Not so much [Sarasota Herald Tribune, editorial, 6/15/11] Buchanan Out of Balance [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10/26/11] Bipartisanship on Debt Reduction [Sarasota Trbibune Herald, 11/7/11] Political courage and bipartisanship are rare commodities in Congress these days, but both qualities were evident in a letter that 100 House members sent last week to the debt-reduction

supercommittee []While many of the signers are moderates from both parties, the letter also represented a mix of conservatives and liberals [ ] Unfortunately, two others from Southwest Florida, Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, and Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral, did not join the bipartisan call. [Sarasota Trbibune Herald, 11/7/11]

Budget Issues
Buchanan Admitted Congress Lacks Fiscal Discipline In June 2011, On his campaign website, Buchanan admitted that Congress clearly lacks the fiscal discipline needed to balance the budget. [Vern Buchanan for Congress, accessed 6/7/11] Buchanan Ran For Congress Opposed to Earmarks On the campaign trail, Tim Mahoney and Vern Buchanan decried the billions of dollars slipped into federal spending annually through earmarking. But more than half a year into their first terms in Congress and facing pressure to show they can bring home money to their local districts, Mahoney and Buchanan have embraced the controversial funding practice, seeking millions of dollars for special local projects and sending out news releases to tout their success [ ] We must end the process of earmarks, Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, declared in campaign mail sent to voters in five counties last year. [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 7/19/07] Buchanan Claimed to Secure the Funding for Wares Creek But President Already Included Spending in Budget The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved an agreement with Manatee County to dredge Wares Creek, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan announced in a press release Tuesday [ ] The project will cost about $42.6 million, and Buchanan secured $8.5 million of the $13.8 million in federal commitment. From 2008-2010, Buchanans earmarks were also requested by the President. In 2008, Vern Buchanan, Senator Mel Martinez and President Bush requested $4.6 million for Ware Creek. In 2009, Vern Buchanan, Senator Mel Martinez and President Bush requested $3.8 million for Ware Creek. In 2010, Vern Buchanan and President Obama requested $5.5 million for Ware Creek. [Legistorm with information provided by Taxpayers for Common Sense, accessed 11/15/11; Bradenton Herald, 7/28/11] Buchanan Previously Questioned for Railing on Spending but Adding Earmarks. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan strongly objected to unnecessary spending he saw in the $410 billion emergency budget bill he voted against this week. But his objection was not enough to stop him from adding $17 million in pork barrel spending projects into the bill that will benefit his own district. Buchanan said he would prefer there were no earmarks, but if other members of Congress continue seeking them, he has little choice but to look out for the 13th Congressional District. That meant securing another $3.8 million for reconstructing Wares Creek in Bradenton. [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 2/27/09] Sponsored Balanced Budget Amendment for Third Time

In 2011, Buchanan sponsored a balanced budget amendment for the United States Constitution. This is the third time Buchanan has filed the bill and he has never been able to secure a committee hearing or a vote on it. [Herald Tribune, 2/13/11] Buchanan A No Vote on Debt Ceiling In May 2011, Vern Buchanan voted against raising the debt ceiling saying that The time to act is now. Doing nothing and repeating the mistakes of the past defies common sense if we're ever to remove the burden of debt that weighs so heavily upon us and future generations. [Vern Buchanan Press Release,
06/01/2011]

Voted In Favor of the Boehner Budget Control Act In July 2011, Buchanan voted in favor of the Boehner Budget Control Act, explaining that"We need to cut spending, reduce the deficit, and avoid the dangerous prospect of plunging America into defaultThe bill before us today will accomplish that without raising taxes on the American people." [Buchanan Press Release,
7/29/2011]

Called for Transparency in Cutting Government In August 2011, Buchanan called for the activities of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to be kept wide open to public scrutiny -- and said he intends to propose legislation to ensure all of that bicameral bodys meetings will stay in the sunshine. [Sunshine State News, 8/5/2011] Wrote Op-Ed in Herald Tribune on Budget In July 2011, Buchanan wrote an op-ed in the Herald Tribune chastising Congress for not looking over the budget. He wrote that For too long, Republicans and Democrats have turned a blind eye to our government's budgetary mess. The 111th Congress added more to the national debt than the first 100 Congresses combined. This reckless pattern of borrowing and spending has put our country on a road to bankruptcy. [Herald Tribune, 7/28/2011]

Business and Consumer Issues


Business Owners Attended Rep. Buchanans Small Business Conference In March 2011, local entrepreneurs attended Buchanans small business conference, where they addressed issues of micro financing and getting loans from their banks. [Bradenton Herald, 3/15/11] Buchanan on Free Trade Pacts In August 2011, Rep. Buchanan discussed free trade pacts in an Op-Ed. The Bradenton Herald reported One important action Congress should take when it returns in September is to pass a package of free-trade agreements that will generate thousands of jobs in Florida and
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elsewhere. In fact, the Obama administration estimates that as many as 250,000 new American jobs could be created if we adopt pending agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Unfortunately, these trade deals have been languishing in Congress for years, frozen by gridlock and partisan squabblingPort Manatee adds more than $2.3 billion dollars annually in regional economic impact and supports more than 24,000 jobs. Expanding trade is an opportunity for jobs in our part of Southwest Florida. It is imperative that we enact these three FTAs immediately as these countries are entering in trade agreements with other countries. [The Bradenton Herald, 8/28/11] Buchanan: Received 62% from Heritage Action for America Based on 30 key votes from January-August 2011, Buchanan received a 62% score from the Heritage Action for America. [Heritage Action for America, accessed 9/6/11]

Campaign Finance Issues


Buchanan Held at least 14 Fundraisers in 2011 In October 2011, it was reported that Buchanan was planning at least his 14th fundraiser for his own campaign or on behalf of other Republicans. The event was held at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV at $2,000 per person. [Herald Tribune, 10/28/11] Buchanan Was Head of the Finance Team for the NRCC Buchanan had extensive fundraising duties in 2011 because he was the head of the finance team for the National Republican Congressional Committee. The role requires Buchanan to raise money for the party in preparation for the 2012 election cycle. Buchanan held at least 14 fundraisers in 2011 alone. [Herald
Tribune, 10/28/11]

Boehner Attended a Fundraiser in Florida for Buchanan In February 2011, Speaker Boehner headlined a fundraiser for Buchanan in Sarasota, Florida. 200 people attended paying as much as $5,000 per person. During Boehners 15-minute speech he vowed to push for bigger spending cuts. [Herald Tribune, 2/22/11] Buchanan Got A Boost From PACs in 1Q of 2011 According to the Herald Tribune, Buchanans fundraising got a big boost from political action committees, which accounted for about $130,000 of his donations in the first quarter of the year. That list of donations including money from PACs run by some of Americas biggest corporations, like Microsoft, Comcast, CSX, Exxon, General Motors and Boeing. PACs are allowed to give a maximum of $5,000 per election to a candidate. Health Insurance, medical groups and pharmaceutical companies were other big donors to Buchanan, accounting for about $17,000 to his campaign. [Herald Tribune, 4/24/11] Buchanans Fundraising Gets Boost from PACs In May 2011, the Herald Tribune reported that Buchanan is building a massive campaign account. During the first three months of 2011, Buchanan raised more than $266,000 and now has more than $1.3
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million in his re-election fund, according to campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. According to the Tribune Herald, Buchanan's fundraising got a big boost from political action committees, which accounted for about $130,000 of his donations in the first quarter of the year. Those donations include money from PACs run by some of America's biggest corporations, such as Microsoft, Comcast, CSX, Exxon, General Motors and Boeing. [Herald Tribune, 5/1/11] Buchanan: DCCC Highlights Sale of Yacht In August 2011, DCCC highlighted Rep. Buchanans sale of his $4.49 million dollar yacht. According to the Florida Independent, The DCCC recently penned a faux ad for the luxury boat on Craigslist: IN WAKE OF MOUNTING ETHICS INVESTIGATION MUST SELL LUXURY YACHT # 2004 110 FOOT LUXURY YACHT ONLY $4,490,000 (Loophole Protected) Asking Price of $4,500,000 But Can Be Reimbursed by Employer and Friends VIP Stateroom Used for Wining and Dining Guests Such as Speaker John Boehner Previous Bankruptcy Does Not Disqualify You Takes No Responsibility for Condition. The Business Partner Did It. [Floridan Independent 8/25/11] Buchanan Filed October 2011 Quarterly FEC Report In October 2011, Buchanan Congress filed its October 2011 Quarterly FEC Report. Buchanan raised $ 188343.48in the 3rd quarter of 2011, has $904432.67cash on hand and spent $85844.31 Buchanan received $ 69500.00 from PACs and $24641.66 from his fundraising committee, the American Victory Fund. Both VERN PAC and American Victory Fund only file reports twice a year. [Vern Buchanan for Congress, filed 10/15/11] Contributions of Note: Received $12,500 in Contributions from Company That Violated Labor Laws. In September 2011, Buchanan received $12,500 from executives employed by CC1 Limited Partnership. In 2006, The Department of Labor found that workers from CC1 Limited Partnership were not correctly compensated for the hours that they worked and was required to pay 88 workers $200,000 in back pay. [Miami Herald, 5/2/06; Department of Labor Press Release, 5/1/06] Expenditures of Note: Spent 24,540 on Finance Consulting. From July-September, Buchanan paid Morgan, Meredith and Associates located at Dulles, VA for fundraising consulting. Paid $4633 in Rent to a Company He Owns. In his July Quarterly FEC Report, Buchanan reported paying $4633 in rent and sign storage to Jamatt Properties, LLC. In his 2011 financial disclosure, Buchanan reported that he is currently President of Jamatt Properties, LLC. [Vern
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Buchanan for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11; 2011 Personal Financial Disclosure, filed 5/13/11] Paid to $9302 to Yvonne Buchanan. In his July 2011 Quarterly FEC report, Buchanan reported paying $9302 to Yvonne Buchanan. As reported by the St. Petersburg Times, Yvonne Buchanan is Vern Buchanans sister in law. [Vern Buchanan for Congress Committee 2011 July Quarterly Report, filed 7/15/11; St. Petersburg Times, 1/11/10] Spent Over $19,000 on Direct Mail. From July-September 2011, Buchanan spent over $19,000 on direct mail with a vendor, Direct Mail Marketing Group located at 22780 Indian Creek Drive Ste. 100 in Dulles, VA

Camapign 2012
FEC Fined Buchanan $1,500 In January 2012, the Bradenton Herald reported that the FEC fined Buchanan $1,500. Buchanan campaign has agreed to pay the FEC a $1,500 civil penalty to settle a complaint about paperwork violations in a previous report. Buchanan had reported receiving $27,900 in contributions to retire 2010 primary campaign debt. However, his campaign was not carrying any debt, and it did not refund or redesignate the funds within the time required. [Bradenton Herald, 1/16/12] The Sarasota Tribune Herald noted that Buchanans campaign eventually refunded the donations, but not until after repeated notices from the Federal Election Commission went unanswered. Buchanans campaign treasurer Joe Gruters, who is also the Sarasota County Republican Party chairman, was also cited by the FEC for violations because of his role with the campaign. [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 1/13/12] Buchanan Claimed It Was Miscommunication According to the Bradenton Herald, Buchanan claimed the contributions were due to miscommunication between staff and a compliance vendor. Respondents contend that the acceptance of the contributions to retire primary election debt resulted from a miscommunication between campaign staff and a compliance vendor which resulted in a miscalculation of net debt leading the respondents to believe there was sufficient primary election debt to offset the contributions. [Bradenton Herald, 1/16/12] Buchanans Attorney Claimed Error was Minor Bookkeeping Error In January 2012, the Hill reported that the Buchanans attorney called the $27,000 mistake a minor bookkeeping error. An attorney for Buchanan called it a minor bookkeeping error. [The Hill, 1/16/12] The Hill Noted that Fine is Part of Long string of campaign finance-related headaches

In January 2012, the Hill reported that Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) has been fined $1,500 by the Federal Election Commission for paperwork errors, the latest in a long string of campaign financerelated headaches for Buchanan as he works to secure another term in the House. [The Hill, 1/16/12] Eaton First in to Take on Buchanan in 2012 In August 2011l, Rick Eaton announced he will challenge Vern Buchanan for the District 13 Congressional seat. According to the Bradenton Times, Eaton announced that he will again seek the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Vern Buchanan for the District 13 Congressional seat, representing Sarasota County, as well as most of Manatee and part of Charlotte. Eaton, a staunch conservationist and environmental activist, lost to long-time local Dem James Golden in the 2010 primary. A Sarasota native and Venice High graduate, Eaton is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. [Bradenton Times, 8/24/2011] Buchanan received warm reception back in district In August 2011, Buchanan held his first public event back in Florida since his debt ceiling vote. According to the Heard Tribune, a generally friendly audience greeted U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan Wednesday at his first public event in his congressional district since voting for a controversial plan to increase the nations debt ceiling.Speaking to about 90 people in his new congressional office in the Manatee County Judicial Center, Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, said he voted for the debt ceiling compromise but was quick to criticize the deal for its shortcomings. [Herald Tribune 8/24/2011]

Congressional Issues
Received Earful from Constituent at Town Hall Meeting In January 2012, Buchanan received an earful from a constituent at a town hall meeting who said, I am just so sick of all this. My husband and I figure we have lost 50 percent of our life savings in the economic collapse. I think nothing will change until the election. [Bradenton.com, 1/13/12] Buchanan Missed Payroll Tax Extension Vote In December 2011, Buchanan missed the payroll extension vote. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan was one of five Republicans in Congress to miss a vote on a proposal to extend the payroll tax cut for another two years [] Buchanan spokesman Max Goodman said Buchanans plane from Colorado had not landed in time for the vote, but expected the two-term Congressman at the Capitol for votes later today. If Buchanan had made it, Goodman confirmed Buchanan would have joined most other Republicans in voting against the Senate proposal. Buchanan has supported a bill to extend the payroll tax cut for a year [] Buchanan arrived in Washington in time to vote for a resolution (H. Res. 501) affirming the Republican Partys position that the payroll tax extension should be for one full year. [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 12/20/11]

Buchanan Turned Down Offers to be in Leadership Buchanan said in his first week in Congress he turned down offers to secure a foothold in leadership and he has distanced himself from the nitty-gritty policy work that helps members climb the ranks in committees. "I wanted to put my head down and go to work," Buchanan said. "Hillary Clinton is a bit of a model. She didn't go in trying to wow the other senators with what she knew -- instead she focused on constituent service and learning the ways of the Senate." [Herald Tribune, 10/19/08] Spent $142,198.25 on Mass Mailings From January 1, 2011- March 31, 2011, Buchanan spent $142,198.25 on mass mailings distributed via USPS or mass communications. He distributed a total of 3,695,273 pieces which is on average over 8 pieces per household in his district. [112th Congress, 1st Session Statement of Disbursements 1Q 2011, 5/23/11] According to Politico, One veterans update Buchanan sent out asked, in the aftermath of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona which left Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with severe injuries and six others dead should Congress approve new gun control measures? On another mailing targeted to seniors, he asked whether Social Security and Medicare should be exempted from spending cuts aimed at reducing the deficit. [Politico, 06/08/2011] Buchanan Traveled to China, South Korea, and Egypt on House-Sponsored Trip From April 21 to April 27, Buchanan traveled to China and South Korea on a trip sponsored by the House. Though transportation costs were undisclosed, Buchanan spent $2,210 in per diem expenditures. From April 1 to April 4, Buchanan traveled to Egypt. The transportation costs were $6,925 and Buchanan spent $410 in per diem expenditures. [Clerk of the House Travel Disclosure, 8/16/11] Buchanan Went On CODEL To Budapest In June 2011, Buchanan went on a codel headed by Cliff Stearns to Budapest. According to the Washington Post, Meanwhile, another House codel, this one headed by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), will be gliding into Budapest after two days of meetings in Brussels for the Transatlantic Legislators Dialogue gathering with European counterparts. The eight-member codel includes Republican Reps. Ed Whitfield (Ky.), Vern Buchanan (Fla.), Brian Bilbray (Calif.) and John J. Duncan Jr. (Tenn.) and Democratic Reps. Loretta Sanchez (Calif.), Jim Costa (Calif.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (Tex.). [Washington Post, 06/28/2011] Spent $142,198 on Mass Mailings In July 2011, it was reported that Buchanan spent more than $140,000 on mass communication.

That was more than any other representative, and about 19 times the average representatives expenditure of $7,500. Among his colleagues, 209 representatives got by without spending any money at all in that quarter, according to House records. Buchanans staff said the money was spent, among other things, on a full-color mailing that went out across his district. One side was emblazoned with Buchanans picture, against a backdrop of the Capitol dome and the Constitution. The other showed Buchanan shaking hands with veterans. It also included a survey on political issues and a simulated handwritten note from Buchanan: Please share your thoughts with me, because I work for you! Vern. [Washington Post, 7/15/2011] Topped House in Use of Taxpayer-Funded Mailers In July 2011, St. Petersburg Times reported that In the first quarter of 2011, House records show, Buchanan spent $142,198 on mailings and other means of mass communication. That was more than any other representative, and about 19 times the average expenditure of $7,500. Among his colleagues, 209 representatives got by without spending any money in that quarter, according to House records. [St. Petersburg Times, 7/18/2011] Criticized Senate Leadership In June 2011, Buchanan issued a strongly worded press release that complained about the roadblock that the Senate has posed to Republican legislation passed by the House. The press release stated that The stakes are enormous, and the Senate is missing in action. For too long, Leader Reid and others in his chamber have sat on the sidelines, turning a blind eye to our countrys financial woes. Whether its keeping Medicare solvent, cutting reckless spending, or ending the spiral of joblessness in America, the Senate has failed to lead. We need less talk and more action if were ever to remove the burden of debt that weighs so heavily upon us and future generations. [Vern Buchanan Press
Release, 06/07/2011]

Buchanan Spent An Additional $21,000 on Mass Mailers Bringing His Year to Date Total To $163,448 . From April June 2011, Buchanan spent an additional $21,250.61 on mass mailers by sending over 37,768 pieces of mail. Additionally, Buchanan reported paying 34,339.00 to The Franking Group for printing and reproduction costs for the mailings. From January 1, 2011- March 31, 2011, Buchanan spent $142,198.25 on mass mailings distributed via USPS or mass communications. He distributed a total of 3,695,273 pieces which is on average over 8 pieces per household in his district. This brings his total spending on mass mailers to $163,448. [2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11; 112th Congress, 1st Session Statement of Disbursements 1Q 2011, 5/23/11] Buchanan: Topped House in use Taxpayer-Funded Mailers In July 2011, Rep. Buchanan topped the House in tax-payer funded mailers.

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According to the Washington Post In the first quarter of 2011, House records show, Buchanan spent $142,198 on mailings and other means of mass communication. That was more than any other representative, and about 19 times the average expenditure of $7,500. Among his colleagues, 209 representatives got by without spending any money in [Washington Post 7/14/11] Buchanan Admitted Congress Lacks Fiscal Discipline In June 2011, On his campaign website, Buchanan admitted that Congress clearly lacks the fiscal discipline needed to balance the budget. [Vern Buchanan for Congress, accessed 6/7/11] Buchanan: Back Room Deal Legislation In July 2011, Rep. Buchanan sent an e-mail to his colleagues asking them to support a bill he Cosponsored which would end back room deals. Buchanan wrote, I have introduced legislation to repeal the back-room deals that were added to Obamacare. I hope you will join me and cosponsor this important legislation. The American people strongly object to these offensive and outrageous budget-busters. []This kind of backroom deal-making is why the American people have lost confidence in Washington. [Buchanan E-mail, 7/21/11] Buchanan Announced He Will not Run for Senate In September 2011, Buchanan announced he would not run to contest U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. As his main reason, Buchanan stated that his position as Floridas only member of the influential House Ways and Means Committee, which will be deciding major issues such as tax reform, health care and international trade, was too alluring. [HT Politics, 9/27/11] Buchanan to host open house In August 2011, Vern Buchanan announced he would be holding an open house. According to Bradenton.com, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is scheduled to host an open house for constituents from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at his new Bradenton District Office, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 305. [Bradenton.com, 8/22/2011] Investigation to Enormous Congressional Staff Salary Increases In May 2011, NBC 2 looked into Congressional staff salary increases while nearly all government workers have not seen a raise in years. NBC reported: While nearly every local government worker in Southwest Florida faces similar issues, that's not the case if you work for U.S. Congressmen Vern Buchanan, Connie Mack or Tom Rooney. An NBC2 analysis found Congressman Buchanan paid out more than $40,000 in raises to his staff the third quarter of last year - a 17-percent increase. [NBC 2, 5/2/11]

Crime & Public Safety Issues


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Took Credit for DNA Backlog Reduction In July 2011, Buchanan took credit for pushing the Bureau of Prisons to catch up with its DNA Backlog. According to Bradenton News, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, who helped get the ball rolling with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and pushed the FBI to catch up with its backlog of more than 295,000 federal prisoners, applauded the news in a media release. Buchanan said that DNA is an extremely important and effective tool for law enforcementI will continue to work with the Bureau of Prisons to ensure that DNA evidence is available in a timely manner to help prevent violent crimes in the future. [Bradenton News, 07/07/2011] Held Forum on Prescription Drug Abuse In 2011, Buchanon, along with local law enforcement officials, held a forum discussing the affects of prescription drug abuse on Florida. Buchanon also noted that Floridas drug abuse problem is affecting other states with its prevalence. [Bradenton Herald, 03/01/11] Proposed Legislation to Crack Down on Pill Mills In 2011, Buchanan proposed legislation that would crack down on pill mills, which are those doctors who provide prescription pain killer to addicts and dealers. [Herald Tribune, 03/04/11]

Economic and Financial Issues


Op-Ed: Washingtons Spending Addiction In January 2012, Buchanan wrote an op-ed in The Hill titled Washingtons Spending Addiction where he touted his jobs plan. Buchanan touted pro-growth policies to expand the private sector. [The Hill, 1/12/12] Wanted to Restructure Corporate Tax System In January 2012, Buchanan supported restructuring the tax system as a part of his jobs plan and proposed the following provision: Broadly restructure our corporate tax system in order to encourage businesses to keep their jobs in America, and bring new facilities and jobs here by making larger U.S. companies more globally competitive. [The Hill, 1/12/12] Wanted to Repeal Requirement for Businesses to Buy Health Insurance for Employees In January 2012, Buchanan proposed the following provision as a part of his jobs plan: Repeal the new, heavy-handed requirement that all businesses buy health insurance for their workers. Government-mandated health insurance coverage is a job-killer. [The Hill, 1/12/12] Supported Passing Far-Reaching Legal Reform

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In January 2012, Buchanan supported legal reform as a part of his jobs plan and proposed the following provision: Pass far-reaching legal reform that removes frivolous lawsuits from our court system. They slow down the justice system tremendously and also prevent legitimate claims from getting the attention they deserve. [The Hill, 1/12/12] Wanted to Abolish Paperwork Requirements In January 2012, Buchanan supported abolishing paperwork requirements as a part of his jobs plan and proposed the following provision: Abolish overly burdensome paperwork requirements on employers that drive up costs while keeping job growth down. We dont need to make it any harder than it already is for a business to grow and expand. [The Hill, 1/12/12] Received B Grade From Americans for Prosperity In January 2011, Americans for Prosperity scored the most important economic votes of the first session of the 112th Congress. Representative Buchanan received a grade of B from Americans for Prosperity.
[Americans for Prosperity 112th Congress Mid Term Scorecard,1/2012]

AFP Founded In 2003 By David H. Koch. The New York Times wrote about David H. Koch, noting that in 2003 he helped establish the nonprofit Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which supports free-market policies and promotes government spending limits. It split off from an earlier Koch-backed enterprise, now called FreedomWorks, which promotes similar goals. [New York
Times, 7/10/08]

Americans for Prosperity Funded, Run by Koch Industries Executives. Americans for Prosperity was founded by David H. Koch, one of the wealthiest men in America and the executive vice president and board member of Koch Industries, which was founded by his father. Recently, Koch gave $5 million to Americans for Prosperity. In 2009, AFP President Tim Phillips said Koch launched our organization. The executive Vice President of Koch Industries said, What we have done is support the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which has been active in various forms for nearly 30 years. [New York Times, 7/10/08; MSNBC, 3/31/10; Politico, 10/14/08,
Washington Examiner, 7/18/10; Washington Independent, 10/5/09]

Buchanan Opposed to American Dollars Bailing Out European Debt In December 2011, Buchanan introduced legislation that would prevent American taxpayer dollars going to European bailed out countries. "America should not be bailing out foreign countries when it has its own debt crisis," said Buchanan. "Europe's failure to address their own financial problems should not be rewarded with an American bailout," Buchanan said Wednesday. "We're drowning in a sea of debt. Washington must focus on policies that grow the U.S. economy, create jobs, and reduce the massive federal deficit. We need to take care of America first." [Sunshine State News, 12/7/11] Buchanan Criticized Plan to Give Bonuses to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Executives

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In November 2011, Buchanan criticized the Federal Housing Finance Agencys decisions to give almost $13 million in bonuses to 10 executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "As someone who has been in business for 30 years, I can tell you that you don't pay bonuses to people who have failed to do their job," said Buchanan. "In this instance their failure cost the taxpayers millions and led to a massive government bailout. They have failed us. They have failed the American people." [Sunshine State News, 11/3/11] Buchanan Called Unemployment Numbers Unacceptable In November 2011, Buchanan said the nations unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and that Congress and the President need to work together to enact pro-growth policies. Todays job numbers are simply unacceptable. [] As we fight to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the American people want to see the President and Congress work together and enact policies that grow the economy and create jobs. [] As a businessman before coming to Congress, I know what it means to hire new workers, balance budgets, and exercise fiscal discipline. [The State Column, 11/8/11] Buchanan Lauds Panama Trade Deal According to the State Column, Buchanan, a member of the Trade Subcommittee of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, lauded todays announcement that a long-stalled trade deal with Panama is ready to be considered by Congress. Buchanan, the Chairman of the Panama Caucus said, A trade agreement with Panama is a win for Florida. [The State Column, 4/19/11] Signed Letter for Stand Alone Vote on Debt Ceiling In November 2009, Buchanan signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi calling for a stand alone roll call vote on raising the debt ceiling. [Letter to Pelosi, 11/6/2009] Buchanan Said Republicans Are On A Mission To Fix the Country Financially In June 2011, on Fox News, Buchanan said he that he thinks the House was clearly on a mission to try to fix the country financially going forward. [Fox News, 6/6/11] Buchanan Ran for Congress To Reduce Spending In December 2010, on MSNBC, Buchanan said, Everyone has a reason why they ran. [] My number one reason was spending. It was completely out of control. [MSNBC Morning Joe, 12/14/10] Postal Workers Rallied Outside Buchanans Office to Urge Overhaul Bill

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In September 2011, Postal workers in Buchanans district were soliciting him to support a bill that would relieve some of the stress on the US Post Office by allowing the department to forego funding for pensions now to pay for them later. Buchanan was not at his office for the rally but his spokesperson stated that he is hopeful a solution will be reached to help ensure that Americans continue to receive quality mail delivery. [Bradenton Herald,
9/23/11]

Buchanan Voted Against Debt Ceiling Disapproval In September 2011 Rep. Buchanan voted against the debt ceiling disapproval. The Hill reported, House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) was just one of four House Republicans to vote Wednesday against a resolution disapproving of a pending $500 billion increase in the debt ceiling.(Buchanan was one of the four). [The Hill, 9/14/11] Buchanan Focused on Balanced Budget Amendment In September 2011, Rep. Buchanan discussed taxes, energy and entitlements during a town hall. The Islander reported, Buchanan said he would work to have Social Security removed from the budget revenue stream for general funds and to reinstate the lock-box on spending for other expenses. He clearly stated he will work for compromise in D.C., and acknowledged his efforts will continue on jobs, spending, limiting tax cuts for big business and, with the help of the Caweins, Medicare fraud. In closing, Buchanan said, My focus is, for the next 18 months, Im going to push a constitutional balanced budget amendment. Im going to focus on jobs and the economy. And Im going to do everything I can to work together on a bipartisan basis for Americans and America. [The Islander, 9/10/11] Buchanan Supported International Trade Deals In October 2011, Buchanan voted for free trade deals with Panama, Columbia, and South Korea. The bills, he said, would add 20,000 to 25,000 jobs in his region, and especially the improved relations with Panama would help Floridas 14 deepwater ports. [Herald Tribune, 10/9/11]

Education Issues
Parents Protested Head Start Cuts Outside Buchanans Office In February 2011, two dozen parents and their babies protested cuts to Head Start outside of Buchanans Sarasota office. According to the Herald Tribune, in Sarasota County, the cuts would likely mean 140 fewer children receiving federally-funded day care and 32 workers losing their jobs. Later that day, staffers from Buchanans office issued a statement defending the cuts as necessary to curb deficit spending and create jobs. [Herald Tribune, 2/23/11]

Energy Issues
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Environmental Issues
Sponsored Bill to Deny Oil Leases to Companies Involved with Cuba Drilling In February 2011, Buchanan introduced legislation that would allow the U.S. Interior Department to deny U.S. oil and gas leases to companies involved in Cubas oil drilling operations. [Miami Herald, 2/04/11]

Ethics Issues
Sessions Defended Finance Chairman Under Federal Investigation. In December 2011, Sessions also defended Representative Vern Buchanan of Florida, his own finance chairman, against ethics allegations. The Federal Election Commission, in a May report, said a Florida car dealership formerly owned by Buchanan illegally reimbursed employees donations to his congressional campaigns. The FEC asked the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida to fine the company $67,900. News organizations, including Politico, have reported that Buchanan is the subject of a Justice Department investigation into the matter, and that the House Office of Congressional Ethics is also looking into the allegations. Vern Buchanan has been forthright and brought the information to the committee and to the Department of Justice himself, Sessions said, adding that he has confidence in Buchanan. [Bloomberg, 12/16/11] CREW Criticized FEC for Failing to File Suit Against Buchanan In January 2011, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) Executive Director Melanie Sloan called the Federal Election Commission a useless agency for its failure to file a complaint against Buchanan who has been accused of making conduit contributions to his campaign and for improperly using cars from his dealership in his campaign. In December 2010, the Federal Election Commission filed suit against one of Buchanans former business partners, alleging that he reimbursed at least $67,900 in contributions to Vern Buchanan for Congress during Buchanans 2006 and 2008 congressional campaigns, using funds from a Buchanan-owned Hyundai dealership. However, even with its latest suit, the Federal Election Commission has still failed to hold Buchanan accountable for his alleged actions. [The Florida Independent, 1/19/11] FEC: Buchanan Had Money Illegally Funneled to His Campaign According to a lawsuit filed by the Federal Election Commission, Sam Kazran of Jacksonville, a former business partner of Rep. Buchanan, illegally funneled money to Buchanans campaign in 2006 and 2008. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Jacksonville, alleged that Kazran arranged for $67,900 in contributions from family members and employees at Hyundai of North Jacksonville to be given to Buchanans campaign. Kazran then reimbursed the donors through the car dealership that at the time was principally owned by Buchanan. [Herald Tribune, 12/21/10]

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Note: It was Buchanans campaign that alleges that they filed the initial complaint with the FEC over Kazrans activity. FEC Requested Details on Buchanan Campaign Contributions In February 2011, the Federal Election Commission released three letters it sent to the Buchanan campaign asking for more details on allegations of questionable contributions made to his 2006 and 2008 campaigns. [Florida Independent, 2/24/11] New Developments in Buchanan Campaign Violations In April 2011, American Independent reported that Buchanans business partner, Sam Kazran, admitted to reimbursements to its employees who contributed to the Buchanan campaign in 2006 and 2008. According to the American Independent, Kazran filed a pleading as his answer to the allegations put forth in the complaint, admitting that, while the dealership did reimburse its employees for contributions made to Vern Buchanans campaign, it did so without knowledge of Federal Election Commission rules. Kazran also expressly denied that he had refused to respond to requests by the FEC, but admitted that he did not submit a formal response to general counsel. [American Independent, 4/29/11] Kazran Admitted to Reimbursements In April 2011, American Independent reported that Buchanans business partner, Sam Kazran, admitted to reimbursements to its employees who contributed to the Buchanan campaign in 2006 and 2008. According to the American Independent, Kazran filed a pleading as his answer to the allegations put forth in the complaint, admitting that, while the dealership did reimburse its employees for contributions made to Vern Buchanans campaign, it did so without knowledge of Federal Election Commission rules. Kazran also expressly denied that he had refused to respond to requests by the FEC, but admitted that he did not submit a formal response to general counsel. [American Independent, 4/29/11] FEC Says Buchanans Dealership Violated the Law In May 2011, The Herald Tribune reported that The Federal Election Commission asked federal courts to impose a fine on the company formerly owned by Vern Buchanan. The FEC claimed that the company formerly co-owned by Rep. Vern Buchanan that it says engaged in an extensive and ongoing scheme to reimburse employees who made contributions to the Sarasota Republicans congressional campaign. [Bradenton Herald, 6/1/11] Owner of Company Reimbursements Were a directive of Buchanan In May 2011, Herald Tribune reported that Sam Kazran, the owner of Hyundai of North Jacksonville acknowledged the company reimbursed employees, but said it was a directive issued by Buchanan. [Bradenton Herald, 6/1/11] Hyundai of North Jacksonville Illegal Contributions

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In May 2011, the Herald Tribune detailed the FEC claim. The FEC complaint says employees at the dealership -- which was partially owned by Buchanan from 2004 to 2008 -- contributed to his campaign between 2005 and 2007. But the contributions, it states in the court documents, were made by HNJ which reimbursed each individual for the funds she/he provided to the campaign. Federal law prohibits undisclosed conduit contributions, in which a donor conceals a contribution by funneling it through someone else. The FEC says in 2005 and 2006, employees gave 24 contributions totaling $49,500 to Buchanan, and that in 2007 it made eight contributions totaling $18,400. Buchanan was first elected to Congress in 2006 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2010. The FEC noted that in addition to being illegal reimbursements, the contributions also exceeded the companys contribution limit, which would have been $4,200 in 2006 and $4,600 in 2008. HNJ illegally spent $67,900 in an attempt to influence an election for Congress, presumably believing this to be a worthwhile investment, the FEC said. [Bradenton Herald, 6/1/11] Buchanan Made Refunds to Former Employees Including One Who Alleged an Illegal Reimbursement In Buchanans April 2011 1st Quarter FEC Report, Buchanan included refunds to five former employees. According to the Herald Tribune, On Oct. 17, federal records show, Buchanan refunded $5,000 that had been donated in 2005 by five men all former employees at Buchanan's Venice Nissan Dodge dealership. They included Carlo Bell, the former finance director, who in 2008 joined a federal complaint alleging Buchanan pressured employees to donate $1,000 to his campaign in exchange for $1,000 in cash. [Herald Tribune, 6/2/11] Buchanan Paid Patton Boggs $50,000 for Legal Services In May 2011, the Herald Tribune revealed on Jan. 1, shortly after the FEC filed its suit against Kazran, Buchanan's campaign paid Patton Boggs, a high powered Washington D.C. law firm, $50,000 for legal services. [Herald Tribune, 6/2/11] Slow to Reveal Refunds of Disputed Contributions In June 2011, the St. Petersburg Times reported that On Oct. 17, two weeks before the November election, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan refunded $5,000 in contributions made by five former employees one of whom had claimed that he and others were pressured to donate to Buchanan in violation of federal law. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Voters never knew about the refunds. It was not until March four months after the Sarasota Republican won a third term that the ex-employees' names finally showed up on a report that Buchanan's campaign filed with the Federal Elections Commission. Ties to Nissan Dodge in Venice According to the Times, Three years ago, Carlo Bell, former finance director for Buchanan's Nissan Dodge in Venice, filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the firm's general manager told him and other employees in 2005 that they needed to contribute to Buchanan's campaign.

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The Nissan Dodge employees each wrote a check for $1,000 and received $1,000 back in cash. Federal law bans undisclosed conduit reimbursements in which a donor makes a contribution by funneling it through someone else. Brett Kappel, a lawyer with the Washington law firm Arent Fox, said that the Buchanan campaign "went to extraordinary lengths to cover up the settlement, including violating the (law) again by not properly reporting the refunds." [The St. Petersburg Times, 06/06/2011] NRCC Declined to Comment on Buchanan Investigation In June 2011, the Washington Post reported that Rep. Vern Buchanan (Fla.), a rising third-term House member who helps lead fundraising efforts for congressional Republicans, is facing new public scrutiny over his past ownership of a car dealership accused of making illegal donations to his campaign. The Post said that The Federal Election Commission has filed court documents in Orlando seeking a $67,900 penalty from the now-defunct dealership, Hyundai of North Jacksonville, which Buchanan partly owned until 2008, and that The NRCC declined to comment on the Florida contributions case.
[Washington Post, 06/08/2011]

Buchanan Exonerated by FEC Claim Deemed Barely True by Politifact In June 2011, Politifact said that Buchanans claim that he had been completely exonerated by the FEC was only barely true. According to Politifact, Tibbetts said the FEC has vindicated the congressman, taunting Democrats as she declared he had been "completely exonerated." But a review of FEC procedure and discussion with an attorney who was general counsel to the FEC for more than a decade shows that's not exactly the case It's true that the FEC has said it won't take any further action against Buchanan. And there may indeed be strong evidence in his favor in the confidential FEC case file but that's not yet available. All we know now is that the FEC declined to make its strongest finding, that there was no probable cause to believe Buchanan violated the law. In other words, Tibbetts' statement contained an element of truth, but ignored critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Barely True. [Politifact, 06/13/2011] FEC Moving Closer to Fine For Buchanan Business Associate In June 2011, the Herald Tribune reported that a federal judge issue a $68,000 fine against a former business associate of Buchanan, Sam Kazran, for violating campaign finance laws. According to the Tribune, Kazran and Buchanan were partners in Hyundai of North Jacksonville from 2004 to 2008 when the donations were made, according to the FEC. Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican first elected in 2006, was not named as a defendant in the suit, which the FEC first filed in December.

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Kazran has admitted to reimbursing employees, but said he did so at Buchanan's direction, an allegation Buchanan's campaign has denied. [Herald Tribune, 06/28/2011] Politifact Rated DCCC Claims About Buchanan As Mostly True In June 2011, the DCCC released a radio ad that claimed that Buchanan had illegally funneled money from his business to influence the election. According to Politifact, funneling money from a business and reimbursing contribution violates federal election law, which says "(n)o person shall make a contribution in the name of another person." The Federal Election Campaign Act also limits how much a single contributor may give to candidates' campaign committees. Funneling cash through employees would have made it possible for the dealership to bust through that limit. Politifact concluded that While we think the DCCC could have done a better job noting it was Buchanan who turned in the illegal contributions, we rate this ad Mostly True. [Politifact, 06/24/2011] Campaign Finance Issues Continue In July 2011, Jacksonville News reported that In her statement, Tibbetts said the FEC acted after the Buchanan campaign brought Kazran's misconduct to its attention nearly three years ago. Documents filed by Kazran, however, claim that he was the one who initiated contact to inform FEC. In an interview Thursday, he said he contacted the FEC in 2008 because Buchanan started threatening the employees who had given the contributions. He told them it was illegal, and that they could get in trouble, Kazran said. I reached out and told [the FEC] I would turn over my information only if they did not go after my employees." [Jacksonville News,
7/22/2011]

Two More Employees Allege That Buchanan Pressured Campaign Contributions. In response to more press on the Karan case, two more employees allege that Buchanan pressured employees into contributions. According to the Florida Independent, Two former employees of a car dealership once owned by Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, allege that he pressured coworkers into donating to his campaign and then offered reimbursements with dealership funds. [] Josh Farid, who worked alongside Kazran and Buchanan from 2005 to 2008, overseeing the construction of a new car dealership, says he witnessed several of Buchanans wrongdoings firsthand, and isnt surprised that Buchanan is now attacking Kazran. Vern Buchanan is using his power as a person in office to try and destroy Sam, says Farid. What Sam is alleging and what he is saying is very damaging to Vern Buchanan but I can tell you as a person who has been witness to these events, that of those I witnessed these things, these conversations, happened. A lot of times, when Sam was on the phone with him, it was on speaker or he would grab me so I could listen to the conversation. I was privy to those conversations. Farid says many of those conversations revolved around campaign contributions. Every time that there was a transaction or business dealing, it ended up being a quid pro quo type of deal, says Farid. Vern
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would call Sam (I heard him on the phone a couple of times) and say, I need for you to send me this much or that much. [Florida Independent, 8/5/11] FEC Closed File on Buchanan in Kazran Investigation In June 2011, it was reported that the FEC closed the filed on the investigation related to Buchanan and Sam Kazran. According to the Sarasota Tribune Herald, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan was the target of a 10-month federal investigation into illegal contributions that helped his first two congressional campaigns, records released Monday show. Letters from the Federal Elections Commission notified Buchanan in April 2010 that it "found reason to believe" that he had violated election laws by knowingly taking illegal donations for his 2006 and 2008 campaigns from employees at a car dealership he once owned in Jacksonville.The FEC sent Buchanan's attorneys a letter in February saying it decided to "take no further action and close the file" regarding Buchanan's role []FEC spokeswoman Mary Brandenberger confirmed that FEC attorneys sent a letter to Buchanan's campaign acknowledging that the congressman faced no further action in the case involving former Buchanan associate Sam Kazran. Because the matter against Kazran is ongoing, Brandenberger would not comment about why Buchanan had been cleared. [Tribune Herald, 6/13/11] Buchanan: 10th Richest Member in Congress is Shrouded in Controversy In August 2011, Buchanan was ranked as the 10th richest member of Congress. According to the Florida Independent, Buchanan has estimated assets of $77 million (and liabilities around $26 million), Buchanan lands at No. 10 on the list. Buchanans millions could serve him well in the upcoming Senate race which he hasnt ruled out running in. The congressman has been shrouded in controversy lately due to allegations stemming from his 2006 and 2008 campaigns. A former business partner told The Florida Independent that Buchanan knowingly reimbursed those who donated to his campaigns with money from his car dealership a violation of FEC rules. Buchanan maintains his innocence. Recently, two former employees also came forward, claiming that he pressured them to donate to his campaigns and later reimbursed them with dealership funds. [Florida Independent, 8/19/11] Buchanan: Yacht Investigation In August 2011, Rep. Buchanan sold his yacht but has not addressed controversies in his past congressional campaigns. The Florida Independent reported, Though Rep. Vern Buchanan has yet to publicly comment on a watchdog groups efforts to launch an FBI investigation into his past congressional campaigns, he has found time to sell his $4.49 million yacht, The Entrepreneur. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is now using that yacht sale to highlight the allegations surrounding the Florida congressman.
[Florida Independent 8/25/11]

CREW Investigates Vern Buchanan

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In August 2011, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) in Washington asked the FBI to investigate Rep. Buchanan. According to the Florida Independent, On Wednesday, CREW sent a letter to the FBI, asking that the Bureau launch a thorough investigation into Buchanan, R-Sarasota. Buchanan has long been dogged by rumors of campaign fraud and the release of a sworn deposition by one of his former business partners, Sam Kazran, further highlights the alleged improprieties Buchanan has yet to comment on CREWs FBI complaint (a spokesperson has continued pointing the finger at Kazran), but he has been busy trying to sell his $4.49 million yacht. [Florida Independent 8/25/11] Buchanan Accused of Accepting Illegal Campaign Donations from Co-owned Dealership In September 2011, Buchanan was accused of orchestrat[ing] an elaborate scheme [Florida Independent] by forcing his employees at his car dealership to contribute to his campaign, promising to reimburse them from the car dealership in order to disguise the contributions. [Florida Independent, 9/20/11;
Politico, 10/18/11]

Buchanan Accepted Unlawful Campaign Donations In October 2011, it was reported that a car dealership, once partially owned by Buchanan had made campaign contributions beyond the legal limit. The contributions were veiled by the fact that employees of the dealership were directed to make contributions but were then reimbursed by the company. The FEC is pursuing fines of $67,900 from the dealership and Sam Kazran, the owner, but as of October 2011 Buchanan has not been charged with fines. Buchanan called his former business partner desperate and disgruntled after being sued by Buchanan for failing to repay a business loan. [Bradenton, 10/15/11; AP,
10/14/11]

Presiding Judge Worked for Buchanan Confidante In October 2011, it was reported that Judge Roy Dalton once worked as legal counsel for Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, a Buchanan confidante. [Florida Independent, 10/14/11] Buchanan Named One of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress In September 2011, the Bradenton Herald named Buchanan one of the most corrupt members of Congress. [Bradenton Herald, 9/20/11] In September 2011, CREW listed Buchanan in its report of the most corrupt politicians. [The
Hill, 9/20/11; Broward Palm Beach New Times, 9/20/11]

Buchanan Accused of Witness Tampering, Obstruction of Justice, and Bribery In September 2011, in CREWs newest list of the most corrupt politicians, the report said, Witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and bribery are all in a days work for the ethically challenged Rep. Vern Buchanan. [Florida Independent; 9/20/11] Buchanan Accused of Ethics Violations

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In October 2011, it was reported that the watchdog group, CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), said that Buchanans incumbency was marred by tampering, obstruction of justice, and bribery. In June of 2011, the FEC decided not to pursue charges against Buchanan for knowingly accepting illegal campaign donations from people working under assumed names. [Daily Loaf, 10/5/11] Buchanan Tipped Off Reporters to FEC Investigation About Himself In October 2011, Buchanan tipped off reporters to an on-going federal investigation into allegations that he forced employees at his car dealership to donate to his campaign, then refunded the money from the car dealership. Buchanan told select members of the press about the investigation during the tough reelection cycle, raising questions about his motives. [Herald Tribune, 10/23/11] Buchanan Election Determined to have been Unfair Due to Ballot Problems In October 2011, it was reported that statistical analyses of the election and reports of "pervasive malfunctioning" of touch-screen voting machines found that 18,000 votes were not accounted for, which shifted the outcome of the 2006 race from Democratic candidate Christine Jennings to Buchanan. [Daily
Loaf, 10/5/11]

Foreign Policy Issues Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea


Believed We Should Cut Pakistan Aid In May 2011, Buchanan announced that he supported cutting off all foreign aid to Pakistan until Pakistan officials can prove that they had no knowledge of bin Ladens location. According to the Herald Tribune, Buchanan said, While the death of bin Laden represents a historic victory in our fight against terrorism, it also raises serious concerns about Pakistans commitment and reliability as an ally in our fight against terrorism. We should freeze all aid to Pakistan until we have assurances that the Pakistani government is not in the business of harboring terrorists. The Herald Tribune noted that, cutting off aid puts him up against U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, RMiami, who told the Miami Herald that would be a bad decision. Ros-Lehtinen is the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. [Herald Tribune, 5/4/11] Against Continued Aid to Pakistan In May of 2011, during an interview with Neil Cavuto on FOX, Buchanan declared that it was absolutely wrong to continue supplying Pakistan with another $3 billion in aid after Osama Bin Laden was found to be hiding there. Additionally, Buchanan told Cavuto that all U.S. foreign aid should be re-assessed, especially to both Pakistan and Egypt, saying that We cant continue to buy our friends around the world. [Herald Tribune,
05/14/2011]

Supported Military Tribunals for All Captured Terrorists

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In May 2011, Buchanan attached the Military Tribunals for Terrorists Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. According to the Sunshine State News, Buchanans measure would have captured terrorists tried by military tribunals instead of civilian courts. Buchanan said that Foreign terrorists who attack our country should be treated as enemy combatants, not common criminals. Using military tribunals to prosecute and sentence foreign terrorists who conspire or attack the United States is the right policy. Sunshine State News reports that Buchanans amendment passed Thursday on a 246-174 vote. The Defense Authorization Act also passed on Thursday on a much wider 322-96 vote. [Sunshine State News,
05/28/2011]

Urged Obama to Support Free Trade Agreements In June 2011, Buchanan urged the passing of free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. According to Buchanan, Passage of these long-stalled FTAs would be a major win for Florida.
[Sunshine State News, 06/18/2011]

Gay and Lesbian Issues Gun Issues Health Care Issues


60 Plus Association Begin Airing Ads in District In April 21, the 60 Plus Association launched a new campaign in the district thanking the Member for protecting Medicare during the recent budget debates. [60 Plus Association Press Release, 4/27/11] 60 Plus is a controversial and conservative special interest group that has long fought to privatize Medicare and Social Security. [DCCC Press Release, 4/21/11] Herald Tribune Notes Ryan Budget Includes Voucher Program In May 2011, Buchanan defends his budget vote to the Herald Tribune. According to the Herald Tribune, While Medicare would remain the entitlement program it is today for seniors 55 years of age and older, people under that age would begin transitioning into a voucher program that would allow them to buy private insurance instead of have Medicare cover their health care costs. The paper also notes that the district Buchanan's 13th Congressional District has one of the highest concentrations of senior citizens on Medicare in the nation. [Herald Tribune, 5/1/11] Buchanan Authored Legislation Preventing Pill Mills

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In August 2011, Rep. Buchanan e-mailed his colleagues asking for their support on a legislation which combats pill mills. Buchanan wrote, Every day across the country, phony pain management clinics dispense powerful narcotics inappropriately, making it easy for individuals to obtain medically unnecessary painkillers either for themselves or to resell on the streets. Known as pill mill clinics, these operations are disguised as independent pain-management centers and they tend to open and shut down quickly in order to evade law enforcement. [Buchanan E-mail, 8/4/11]

Immigration and Border Issues


Supported English-As-Official-Language Bill In March 2011, Bucahanan, along with several other Florida Representatives, expressed support for a bill sponsored by Rep. King of Iowa that would declare English the official language of the United States. This came as no surprise as Buchanana has expressed support for a bill of this nature before. [Florida
Independent, 3/17/11]

Buchanan Cosponsored Bill to Force Deportation of Undocumented Domestic Violence Victims In September 2011, Buchanan cosponsored legislation that would undermine existing immigration law by removing prosecutorial discretion and deferred action, two components that protect undocumented victims of domestic violence. The bills sponsor, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, has said the HALT (Hinder the Administration Legalization Temptation) Act is necessary because President Obama is seeking backdoor amnesty for millions of undocumented immigrants. [Florida independent, 9/26/11]

Israel Labor and Working Family Issues


Said Buchanans Agenda Has Led to Tremendous Outpouring of Support For Buchanans ReElection In January 2012, Buchanan spokeswoman said that Buchanans jobs agenda has led to tremendous outpouring of support for his re-election. Verns agenda to create jobs, restrain spending and reduce the national debt has resonated with the people of the 13th District, Buchanan campaign spokeswoman Sally Tibbetts said in a statement. We are humbled and grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support for Verns re-election. [Bradenton
Herald, 1/16/12]

Buchanan Responded to Postal Rally In September 2011, Buchanan responded to postal workers concerns about closures and cutbacks after a crowd of 125 postal workers and their supporters lined up outside the downtown Federal Building in

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Sarasota. It was reported that Buchanan had supported postal workers in the past, but the only comment to this event was that he was "closely monitoring" the situation. [Herald Tribune, 9/27/11]

Other Social Issues Personal Finance


Buchanan Put Luxury Yacht Up for Sale In August 2011, Congressman Vern Buchanan placed his luxury yacht on the market. According to the Herald, Earlier this month, a yacht sales company listed the Entrepreneur for sale at $4.49 million [] Buchanan has used the Entrepreneur for fundraisers, twice hosting events on the vessel this year, according to Federal Election Commission records. The boat, which features a jacuzzi and surround sound theater, is owned by one of Buchanans companies, VB Motor Yachts LLC. Buchanan lists himself as the companys president in his latest financial disclosure report filed with the U.S. House of Representatives. Asked about the sale of the boat, Buchanan campaign officials referred to it as a business holding and refused further comment. The Herald Tribune also noted, In a 2005 article published in Sarasota Magazine, Buchanan said he bought his first 16-foot boat at age 18. Ive been going upwards ever since. Had a 54-footer, then a 70footer and now the 110-footer,Buchanan told the magazine. Im happy with it for the foreseeable future. But will I get an even bigger one? Never say never. [Herald Tribune, 8/23/2011] Vern Buchanan Lost $268,000 on Penthouse Sale In July 2011, Congressman Vern Buchanan lost money on the sale of his penthouse. According to the Miami Herald, Buchanan has sold his 4,127-square-foot penthouse condo at the Plaza at Five Points building in downtown Sarasota to Anthony and Kathy Sanzo for $2.167 million, or $268,000 less than he paid five years ago. Buchanan paid $2.435 million in March 2006 through his company Five Points Residential Investments LLC. [Miami Herald, 7/7/2011] Buchanan Said He was a Successful Businessman In September 2011, Rep. Buchanan offered his jobs plan. The Herald Tribune reported that Buchanan said, Before serving in Congress, I was a successful businessman in Southwest Florida who founded and grew almost 30 businesses. I hired new workers, managed payrolls and balanced budgets. I have offered my own jobs plan. Its elements are all based upon the experience I have accumulated competing for business in the private sector. [Herald Tribune, 9/7/11] May Have to Defend Rich Lifestyle

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In July 2011, the Democrats announced that they want to cut tax loopholes that include benefits for owners of boats, racehorses, and corporate jets. According to Roll Call, The list of Democratic targets appears tailored to force Republicans, reluctant to accept any kind of tax increase as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, to defend the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Furthermore, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) owes $1 million to $5 million for the purchase of a Broward Yacht, according to financial disclosure forms made public last month. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) owns 13 racehorses, his form showed. [Roll Call, 07/06/2011] Buchanan: Spent $2,500 on Aspen Retreat During the recess from Congress in August 2011, Rep. Buchanan spent $2,500 for a vacation in Aspen. Roll Call reported, This month, some lawmakers will go hunting and fly-fishing, stay at five-star mountain resorts, play tennis in the Hamptons, watch baseball at Wrigley Field and, well, hang out in Fresno, Calif. But its not cheap. According to a list of fundraiser invitations compiled by the Sunlight Foundation, guests will pay from $250 to $10,000 to attend [] Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) is doing the same, ditching his states muggy August weather for the cool air of an Aspen retreat ($2,500). [Roll
Call, 8/11/11]

Stem Cells Tax Issues


Buchanan Constituents Want Some Tax Increases [St. Petersburg Times] In July 2011, the St. Petersburg Times reported that Politicians are increasingly fond of online surveys and few use them as much as Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota. In the latest he asks, President Obama and Congressional Republicans are trying to negotiate a debt reduction agreement. How should such a plan be structured? The results, as of this blog post, show overwhelming support for the balanced approach Obama is seeking. Nearly 62 percent of the people who voted in his unscientific poll said they want half spending cuts and half tax increases. Buchanan, however, has stood with the rest of his party in opposing any new taxes. [St. Petersburg Times, blog, 7/27/11] Buchanan Pushed for Tax Break for NASCAR After Perks In October 2011, Buchanan proposed HR 3087, the Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act of 2011, which would cut tax bills for the racing industry by at least $400 million and allow racetrack owners to write off depreciation costs faster than most businesses. [Herald Tribune, 10/23/11] Three months earlier, he was scheduled to attend a fund-raising event at Daytona International Speedway during the Coke Zero 400. Perks advertised in the invitation included allowing Buchanan and his campaign donors on pit road at the start of the race, seats in victory lane for a post-race party, an exclusive
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race tour off-limits to most NASCAR fans and tickets to see country music star Martina McBride in concert. The event was to include NASCARs chief executive officer. [Herald Tribune, 10/23/11] Collected at least $11,500 in racing-related campaign donations According to Buchanans current campaign finance disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission, he collected at least $11,500 in racing-related campaign donations in the last quarter. [] Proceeds from the event were also sent to the two political funds Buchanan has created, a political action committee called Vote to Elect Republicans Now PAC, whose acronym is VERN PAC, and the American Victory Fund. [Herald Tribune, 10/23/11] Buchanans office made no official mention of the tax break, despite Buchanans posturing as a deficit-cutting hawk. The office only said the legislation is important to Floridas economy and the motorsports industry. [Herald Tribune, 10/23/11]

Tea Party Transportation Issues


Offered Reserved Reaction to Gov. Scotts Rejection of High Speed Rail In February 2011, Buchanan offered a reserved reaction to Florida Governor Rick Scotts refusal of $2.4 Billion allocated by the Federal Government for high speed rail between Orlando and Tampa. Buchanan said, The governor is making the tough decisions to reduce state spending and balance the budget without raising taxes. [Bradenton Herald, 2/17/11]

Womens Issues

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