Rep. Vern Buchanan, Republican U.S. Congressman from Florida, is sending lying, anti-gay mailers to his constituents and he’s making you pay for them with your tax dollars. The mailer claims that the “Obama Administration recently announced it will no longer enforce the Defense of Marriage Act,” which is false. Yes, you, as a U.S. taxpayer, are now officially funding anti-gay hatred. The mailer also brags about stripping Planned Parenthood of funding, and states, “No taxpayer money should be used to destroy innocent lives,” which, ironically, is exactly what DOMA does. The Congressman’s office did return our phone call but was unable to offer a response.
“The mailer deceptively alleges that President Obama and his Administration will no longer enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which is inaccurate,” HRC’s Backstory blog notes today. “While President Obama announced last year that his Administration believed the law to be unconstitutional and could not continue to defend it in court, he also made clear that the law would continue to be enforced unless struck down or repealed. Speaker John Boehner and the House Republicans then hired and have subsequently paid over $1 million in tax dollars to a private attorney to defend the discriminatory law.”
The mailer also calls Obama’s position on DOMA an “abrupt reversal,” and “unfortunate,” which it is not. Obama campaigned on not supporting DOMA, so again we have another falsehood.
Aside from the fact that the mailers are factually incorrect, the real question is, why is Congressman Buchanan sending these mailers out now, when President Obama made this announcement more than a year ago? You and I both know the answer to that question — drumming up support for himself in the polls, perhaps?
Apparently, Buchanan will need all the help he can get. The three-term Congressman who has an estimated net worth of over $40 million, has had a string of legal issues surrounding him and his finances going back to 1992.
In 2008 and 2009 Buchanan was named one of the “Most Corrupt Members of Congress” by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. CREW’s 5-page report on Buchanan cited evidence of pressuring and paying employees to make donations to his congressional campaign. On June 20, 2009, the St. Petersburg Times published an article alleging that Terry Keith Howell, a former business partner of Buchanan’s, had been likewise pressured into donating the maximum allowable contribution of $8800 to Buchanan, despite being a registered Democrat, and in bankruptcy proceedings at the time.
In August 2011, CREW asked the FBI and the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Buchanan on charges of witness tampering, obstruction of justice and bribery, based mostly upon a deposition of one of his former business partners, Sam Kazran. “I need to raise $1 million by end of quarter, it’s not going to have the same impact if it came from me,” Buchanan told the group, according to Kazran’s court filing.
In October 2011, it was reported that Buchanan was under investigation by the Department of Justice for campaign finance violations.
See CREW’s reports on Congressman Buchanan here.
“Witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and bribery are all in a day’s work for the ethically challenged Rep. Vern Buchanan,” CREW writes.
And today’s Huffington Post reports:
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) traveled to Florida recently to help raise money for embattled Representative Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.). “Two Bentleys, an Aston Martin and a Maserati” sat parked outside,according to a report from the Bradenton Herald.
Two Bentleys, an Aston Martin, and a Maserati.
How many people back in John Boehner’s western Ohio district own cars like that? It perfectly illustrates our broken political system, one in which members of Congress are begging for cash from people whose cars are worth more than the underwater mortgages of their constituents.
Apparently, lying about President Obama and DOMA is the least of Congressman Buchanan’s worries.
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