Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Keith Fitzgerald launches website on probes of Vern Buchanan; congressman's campaign calls Fitzgerald a 'hypocrite'

A screen shot of "The Buchanan Files," as sent out by the Buchanan campaign.

Keith Fitzgerald has made a hallmark of his campaign to unseat Rep. Vern Buchanan, the several investigations of the congressman's campaign finances and business practices that Fitzgerald suggests make Buchanan ethically unqualified to be re-elected.

To help make his case, Fitzgerald's campaign has launched a new website, "The Buchanan Files," which includes links to print and television news accounts of the various probes.

In response, the Buchanan campaign has gone on the offensive, on Tuesday accusing Fitzgerald of  hypocrisy for what it says are the same negative tactics he denounced in 2008 when he was running for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives,

"Fitzgerald's decision to make character assassination the central theme of his campaign is sad, disappointing and symbolic of everything that's wrong with politics today," said Buchanan spokeswoman Sally Tibbetts in a news release. "These types of sleazy attacks insult the intelligence of Florida voters and are why people hate Washington."

The Fitzgerald campaign did not officially launch the website until Tuesday, when the Bradenton Herald inquired about it after the Buchanan campaign sent out the news release denouncing it.

Offering itself as a place "to learn more about the real Vern Buchanan," the site is free of attacks on Buchanan. Instead, it has links to media accounts, including in the Bradenton Herald, of the various investigations of Buchanan. It also asks visitors to e-mail Buchanan "to come clean. Cooperate with federal investigators. Sit for your court-ordered deposition. And release your tax returns."

"Congressman Buchanan has refused to come clean with voters on his investigations and is clearly worried that more Suncoast families are hearing the truth about his ongoing corruption and ethical scandals," said Fitzgerald spokesman Adam Scott, in a statement."

"It is also very strange that Congressman Buchanan would react so defensively to a factual, by the book presentation of the current investigations being conducted by the FBI, IRS, Justice Department, a federal grand jury, and the House Ethics Committee."

Some previous investigations of Buchanan by the Federal Elections Commission and the Ethics Committee have been closed with no action taken against Buchanan. Others remain pending.

During his 2008 re-election campaign for a Florida House seat, Fitzgerald accused his Republican opponent Laura Benson of "negative" and "dishonest" attacks -- a history that Buchanan's spokeswoman now says make Fitzgerald a hypocrite. Fitzgerald won the race.

They also are reminiscent of similar, and eventually unsuccessful attacks against Buchanan, by Democratic nominee Christine Jennings in the 2008 race, Buchanan's campaign said.

"Ten months after announcing his candidacy, Fitzgerald has failed to address the issues people care most about -- creating jobs, growing the economy and tackling the enormous debt facing our nation," Tibbets said.

"Instead of explaining his support for Nancy Pelosi's failed agenda in support of tax hikes on small businesses, Medicare cuts and wasteful stimulus bills, Fitzgerald decided to launch a false and sleazy website. Is this what he's teaching our kids?"


  1. What do we actually expect from Fitzgerald other than Chicago style attacks. Just as Obama is now doing both can not talk about the economy, jobs and home foreclosures because they have no answers. So they divert attention away from the real issues. I thought Fitzgerald was above the sleaziness but he is now desperate!

  2. What an embarrassment. Fitzgerald’s campaign of hate and despair is following in the same failed footsteps as Christine Jennings. The only difference is Jennings was better known with more money. The smear campaign didn’t work for her and it won’t work for Fitzgerald.

  3. What a hypocrite. Fitzgerald squeals like a pig when he is attacked and then turns around and does the same against Buchanan – only worse.

  4. Unfortunately, the legions of uneducated idiots around here have no idea what a corrupt hack represents them in Congress. So again in this election they'll happily line up to vote for a guy who makes as much in one year as they'll make in their whole lifetime. If it were a democrat with that many open investigations of his behavior they'd be screaming from the rooftops. But Vern is a republican, so unless he gets caught with his pants down around a underage boy - he walks to re-election. Sad state of affairs in FL-13.

    p.s. - although to be honest, I'm not even sure the underage boy thing would keep him from winning. He's a republican, that's all that matters to these sheep.

  5. so are you saying the charges are false or should they just remain covered up ?

    the people have a right to know what Vern has been up to it its embarrassing to have him representing us