See below for update.
U.S. Vern Buchanan's campaign has hammered away at Democratic challenger Keith Fitzgerald about his former communications director for longer than the few days between when Ana Maria Rosato was hired and fired, relentlessly raising questions about what the hiring of a woman who had written viciously about Republicans and other groups on a private blog says about Fitzgerald's judgement and character.
On Wednesday, Fitzgerald fired back with his own assault on Buchanan's character with a video of him speaking directly to voters in the 16th Congressional District."He’s too scared to discuss the issues," Fitzgerald says of Buchanan on the video. "But this election isn’t about staffer’s personal blog, it’s about backbone. And Vern has shown he lacks backbone completely."
WatchFitzgerald's video here:
UPDATED, 1:30 p.m. -- In a new salvo against Buchanan, Fitzgerald is accusing the congressman of possibly breaking federal law:
Sarasota, FL - Vern Buchanan is desperate to distribute his dishonest, misleading ads — even if it means invading voters’ privacy and possibly breaking the law.
Voters across Sarasota and Manatee counties have spotted men tampering with their mailboxes and are reporting finding DVDs of a disingenuous attack ad produced by the Buchanan Campaign without postage.
Not only is this a serious invasion of privacy for the constituents of the 16th district, but it is also a violation of federal law. “There’s no telling how low my opponent will go to protect his job.” Fitzgerald said. “Vern Buchanan can’t go a week without validating he is just too corrupt for Congress.”
Several of the voters who have received the DVD have contacted the United States Postal Service Inspector General to file complaints. The complaints could lead to investigations by the Postal Service or United States Attorney’s Office. Corrupt Congressman Buchanan is no stranger to federal investigations — he’s already been in hot water with the U.S. Justice Department, F.B.I., I.R.S. and is currently under investigation by the House Committee on Ethics.UPDATED, 2:30 p.m. -- In response, Buchanan's campaign has launched a new website, ShameOnFitzgerald.com, which features the video.
"Professor Fitzgerald's ludicrous and hysterical reaction convinced us to launch a new website featuring the video and broaden it for television," said spokesman Max Goodman, in an e-mail. "It's the video Fitzgerald doesn't want you to see, but the voters deserve to know that Fitzgerald refused to condemn these hateful, bigoted remarks that insult half the people in our district."