Thursday, October 29, 2009

Buchanan: U.S. doesn't need 'partisan' health reform

Not surprising to anyone who has been following his public statements on health care reform, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, this afternoon blasted the health care bill released today by House Democrats.

Here is his statement:
“We need reform to provide more affordable, accessible, quality health care for all Americans,” said Buchanan. “Unfortunately, instead of a bipartisan effort to reduce costs without jeopardizing care, House Democrat leaders have emerged from behind closed doors with a partisan bill that creates a government-run insurance plan, increases the deficit, cuts Medicare and threatens to kill jobs by taxing small businesses.
“My constituents have spoken loud and clear,” continued Buchanan. “They are opposed to Washington bureaucrats making health care decisions best left to doctors and patients. I will continue to oppose a Washington takeover of health care and work for common sense reforms to reduce costs, increase portability, and provide coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions.”
Buchanan has introduced a bipartisan resolution, with 136 co-sponsors, to end closed-door, secret negations on health care reform. The resolution, H. Res. 847, demands that all conference committee meetings on the health care bill be conducted in the open under the watchful eye of the American people.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buchanan: Republicans, Democrats want open debate on health care

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan says that in less than 24 hours, more than 100 House members, Republicans and Democrats, have co-sponsored his resolution to open health care talks to the public. Buchanan’s resolution, H. Res. 847 would put the House on record against secret, closed-door deals on health care reform legislation.

“Democracy thrives best when the people are fully involved and engaged,” said Buchanan, R-Sarasota, on the floor of the House. “I have introduced a resolution demanding that the critical decisions made on the sweeping health care reform bill now before Congress be conducted under the watchful eye of the American people.”

Buchanan noted, “In the past, massive legislative measures have been written in the middle-of-the-night by a handful of members and staff, and then quickly passed into law before the American people have a chance to even see what the final version looks like, let alone determine how they feel about it.”

You can read Buchanan's resolution here.

Watch Buchanan's speech here:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Buchanan: Sunshine needed in health care debate

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Bradenton, this week will ask his House colleagues to promise that upcoming debates on a final health care bill be conducted out in the open so Americans will know what is going on, and where their representatives stand.

Buchanan said he will introduce a resolution demanding that all conference committee meetings on a health care reform bill be conducted in the open "under the watchful eye of the American people."

“In Florida, we put a high priority on the public’s access to government meetings,” Buchanan said in a news release. “The Florida Sunshine Law helps ensure an open government. It is time to shine some Florida Sunshine on the Halls of Congress.”

The entire resolution reads:
“Whereas, House rules allow conference committees to hold closed-door meetings that exclude the public and press;

“Whereas, full transparency is critical to a healthy democracy, such openness has not always been the case among conferees who have met privately behind closed doors;
“Whereas, in previous years, conferees have met in small rooms or private meetings and circumvented full transparency;

“Whereas, the New York Times has reported on a disturbing pattern of House leadership skirting open access by allowing small groups of conference committee members to meet privately;

“Whereas, ABC News reported earlier this year that the $1 Trillion Stimulus bill was passed after “closed-door negotiations”;

“Whereas, health care reform is one of the largest public policy reforms taken up by Congress in generations;

“Whereas, health care reform will impact the lives of all Americans;

“Whereas, health care constitutes 1/6 of our nation’s economy;

“Whereas, the Congress is elected by the people to serve the people: Now, therefore, be it

“Resolved, that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that any conference committee or meetings held to determine the content of sweeping national health care legislation be held in full public view, not behind closed doors.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Buchanan's campaign chest tops $1 million

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, has topped the $1 million mark in his bid for a third term, far outpacing his challengers, according to campaign finance disclosure reports filed today.

The Sarasota Republican raised more than $166,000 in July, August and September to push his campaign fund-raising total to nearly $1.07 million, his campaign said in a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Most of Buchanan’s third-quarter contributors were individuals, primarily from the real estate, construction and business communities in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Political action committees representing bankers, utilities, automakers and other businesses gave Buchanan $43,500 during the three-month period.

Buchanan’s campaign spent more than $139,000 during the reporting period, primarily for various campaign consultants, payroll, office rent and other operating expenses. The campaign had $731,823 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

James T. Golden, a Bradenton city councilman who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat, raised $15,340 during the quarter. His campaign has raised slightly more than $42,000 so far.

All of Golden’s contributions came from individuals throughout Florida, including Bradenton, Sarasota, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. His campaign spent $26,548 from July through September, primarily for consultants, travel and office equipment.

He had $14,561 cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

No report was available for John G. Gish of Englewood, who filed paperwork with state elections officials on Sept. 24 to mount a non-party affiliated bid for the seat. A phone number for Gish could not be located.

-- Duane Marsteller

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Marco Rubio plans several visits to area

Marco Rubio, the former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives from West Miami, who is seeking the same U.S. Senate seat coveted by Gov. Charlie Crist, plans some local grassroots politicking.

The seat became open after Mel Martinez announced he would not complete his term.

Rubio is set to visit the Sarasota Republican Club 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Sarasota Yacht Club.

Rubio is also scheduled to visit the East Manatee Republican Club 11:30 a.m. Nov. 12 at the Peridia Golf and Country Club; 4950 Peridia Blvd., Bradenton. Cost is $15.

For more information, visit

-- Posted by Jim Jones

Friday, October 2, 2009

Former county planner running for Manatee commission

Norm Luppino

Norm Luppino
, a former Manatee County planner for 23 years, is running for a seat on the Manatee County Commission.

Luppino, a Republican, is seeking the District 4 seat now held by Ron Getman, who last month announced he would not be running for re-election next year. Luppino is a neighbor of Getman's in the Whitfield neighborhood of southern Manatee.

In a news release, Luppino, 50, said he "understands the issues that affect the economic vitality of our community, the preservation of older neighborhoods and the importance of requiring new development that is sustainable and compatible."

Luppino is the second Republican to enter the race. The first was Robin DiSabatino, a local Realtor. The sole Democrat so far is Roger C. Galle.

The party primaries are set for Aug. 24.

Luppino holds a master's degree in urban planning and has 25 years of work experience, giving him the "knowledge and insight to address the special needs of our district," the release states.

As a county planner, Luppino worked on several major development projects, including University Park Country Club, Creekwood, Lakewood Ranch, Tara, The Concession and Heritage Harbour.

He also has been active with several non-profit groups, including the American Heart Association, Keep Manatee Beautiful and Crosley Estate Foundation.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gulf Coast Builders Exchange endorses G. Steube

The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange has endorsed Greg Steube's campaign for the District 67 seat in the Florida House of Representatives.

"I am particularly pleased," Steube said in a news release, "in that not only have all the homebuilders in the district, Manatee, Hillsborough and Sarasota, endorsed my candidacy, but also the commercial builders, the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange."

"They endorsed my message of rebuilding Florida's economy. We still have 6 workers unemployed for every job opening. Simply put, we need new good paying jobs and that will be my focus. We must make our economy work again," Steube said.

Steube and three other Republicans - Jeremiah Guccione, Robert McCann and Marie Nisco - are so far vying for the GOP nomination for the seat now held by Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, who is barred by term limits from running for re-election. The primary is next August.

Read all of Steube's release here.