Monday, April 9, 2012

Memo: Buchanan ends quarter with almost $1.5 million in the bank (UPDATED x 2)

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan raised more than $484,000 in political contributions in the first three months of this year, and as of March 31 had $1.47 million in cash on hand for his re-election campaign.

Celena Thibodeaux, finance director for Buchanan's campaign, updated donors on the candidate's fundraising in a memo obtained by the Bradenton Herald.

"As you know, this is an election of historic importance to the future of our nation," Thibodeaux wrote. "Your contribution will allow us to spread Vern's positive message of economic growth, job creation and fiscal restraint."

Official campaign finance reports for the first quarter of 2012 are due to the Federal Elections Commission by April 15, and as of Monday Buchanan's campaign had not filed an update.

Keith Fitzgerald, the likely Democratic nominee in the 13th Congressional District, had almost $195,000 in the bank at the end of last year, according to his latest FEC filing.

Fitzgerald's fund-raising totals for the first quarter of 2012 were not available, but in a Facebook posting last week Fitzgerald said "we just finished our second successful fundraising quarter. The enthusiasm and generosity you have shown has been overwhelming."

In part because of his fund-raising success, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has identified the likely Buchanan-Fitzgerald contest as key to the national party's effort to re-take control of the House of Representatives.

A DCCC spokeswoman responded to the news of Buchanan's with a blistering reminder of continuing investigations related to Buchanan's fund-raising and other practices as he tries for a fourth term in Congress.

“It’s no surprise that Vern Buchanan who is under investigation for an ‘extensive and ongoing’ illegal campaign finance scheme to reimburse employees can raise campaign funds," said Stephanie Formas, in a statement. "While Congressman Buchanan is desperately raising money for his tough re-election bid, taxpayers are continuing to foot the bill for at least five investigations into Congressman Vern Buchanan’s unethical behavior."

The FEC closed an investigation of the alleged "scheme" described by Formas without taking action against the congressman. However, Buchanan's lawyers have acknowledged that a Justice Department investigation is continuing.

The House Ethics Committee also is reviewing allegations that Buchanan omitted certain positions and income from his financial disclosure reports.

Buchanan's Republican colleagues -- for whom Buchanan is a key fundraiser -- remain on his side.

“The negative attack and smear campaign by Keith Fitzgerald and his Washington, D.C. handlers is a desperate attempt to deflect attention from President Obama’s failed economic policies," said Nat Sillin, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. " Voters in Florida will hold Fitzgerald accountable for being a cheerleader for ObamaCare and the failed trillion dollar stimulus bill, and no amount of mudslinging by Fitzgerald will change that.”

No comments:

Post a Comment