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Character Counts

Local voters should take character into account. On this score, Fitzgerald for Congress is a clear choice over Buchanan, the subject of multiple investigations and allegations.

I can’t believe we have become so cynical here in Florida. While talking about Congressman Vern Buchanan's latest ethics problems, someone said, “well, aren’t all politicians corrupt?” 

No, they are not all corrupt. Instead of being resigned, we should be outraged! And we should vote for people of integrity to represent us. 

By ignoring the character of our candidates, Florida shot itself in the foot in 2010 when Rick Scott was elected governor – a man whose prior claim to fame was being CEO of a health care corporation that paid more than $1.7 billion in fines, penalties, and other charges to settle the largest Medicare fraud case in history. He’s gone on to become one of the least-liked governors in the nation. 

And now in 2012, voters in Sarasota and Manatee counties are faced with Vern Buchanan. In just the past two years, Buchanan has been the subject of:

  • An investigation by the FBI and a federal grand jury;
  • Allegations of tax evasion and an investigation by the IRS;
  • Investigations by the Federal Elections Commission regarding potential federal elections violations;
  • Allegations of witness tampering being investigated by the House Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Committee on Ethics;
  • And allegations of widespread fraud at car dealerships he owned.  

We must make a wiser choice, and avoid repeating past mistakes. 

There are people of integrity running for office – people like Keith Fitzgerald, who is challenging Vern Buchanan for his seat in Congress. We don’t need to “settle.” We can have honest politicians who will do the right thing for the people of Florida. 

That’s one reason I am supporting Keith Fitzgerald for Congress, and why I believe you should, too. Integrity is important, and Floridians must not settle for less.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Asher King May 15, 2012 at 12:44 PM
The world is full of evil right now. Unfortunately most all politicians are corrupt including Keith Fitzgerald. Any person who Caucasus with a party that supports abortion is corrupt. We all should unite against corrupt politicians and elect staunch conservatives to office. If we did that every time we wouldn't even need term limits. I do agree we should throw out Vern Buchanan. Didn't he vote for the Bank Bailouts? He's too liberal for me. May the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob bless you all.
metro May 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Where's Fitzderald from originally? Florida Dems are really nervy to disparage a fine man like Vern Buchanan. Alleged means not found guilty. These allegations are probably the result of underhanded "progressive" Dems. You haven't found a way to impeach Scott so you'll take your revenge on a great legislator. I have no use for Florida Dems. And I am a lifelong Democrat.
Pat Liebert May 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM
We may not all agree on some issues but we should all demand integrity and respect from one another including our elected representatives. Keith Fitzgerald represents these values and encourages others to do the same. I support Keith for these reasons and because he has demonstrated that he can work with representatives from "across the aisle".
Barry Zack May 15, 2012 at 01:05 PM
"Alleged" does not mean "not guilty ". Instead, it means that allegations are yet to be proven. How many allegations are needed for at least suspicion to be aroused? Your claim to be a lifelong Democrat is one allegation I don't buy.
Ogalley May 15, 2012 at 01:16 PM
It is a novel idea to argue that you are corrupt because you don't agree with me. And no one that I know of, including the Democratic Party, "supports abortion". Most Democrats, but not all by any means, support freedom of choice for women, and support the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court on this issue. Real corruption is condoning the murders of physicians who are performing professional (and legal) services to women who would otherwise resort to dangerous and illegal alternatives. Keith Fitzgerald is an outstanding candidate, a rare example of a principled and extremely knowledgable person who demonstrated his integrity during his terms in the State House. Buchanan is at the other end of the spectrum.
Brad Hardin May 15, 2012 at 02:19 PM
A couple of weeks ago I went to a meeting in Venice to hear what Keith Fitzgerald believes in and what he is committed to doing for Floridians. I was surprised to learn that he is not going to accept any donations from private companies, and still he has received more support from people like me than Vern Buchanan received from a bunch of Super PACs, added to donations from private corporations, added to donations from people like me! Amazing, so Fitzgerald will not owe anybody any “favors.” How unique in a politician, either Democrat or Republican. Fizgerald also promises to help us middle class folks and to never accept a job as a company lobbyist after he finishes his congressional job. (So...my wife and I sure liked what we heard from Keith Fitzgerald and from others speaking about him. We have chosen to support him as well as we are able.) Also, in addition to the issue of integrity, Buchanan's voting record is terrible! Right down the line in favor of corporations hurting me and people like my wife and I. (We ain't rich.)
Len Roessler May 15, 2012 at 03:29 PM
All i've ever seen from Vern Buchanan is is simple solutions for the simple minded. He wants a balanced budget amendment but belongs to the Grover Norquist no tax increase clique that means you'll get a healthcare voucher that will be worth less each year while your healthcare needs increase. But, don't worry he voted to increase military spending to defend your way of life which won't be worth defending.
Asher King May 15, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Sure. How's this? Keith Fitzgerald is corrupt because he caucasus with a party that supports a woman's right to choose to murder her unborn child especially because since it has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Even though the Constitution says nothing about abortion or murder being a right and common sense tells us life begins at conception regardless of your pay grade.
Len Roessler May 15, 2012 at 06:25 PM
If only those who are so concerned with the unborn could spare a little compassion for the born. Buchanan votes to increase military spending that the Pentagon doesn't want and votes to pay for it by, among other things, reducing aid to dependent children. Didn't jesus say something about the least among us? Methinks that the term conservative Christian is an oxymoron
Susan Brinckerhoff May 15, 2012 at 06:34 PM
How about if the anti-abortion people get out and support Planned Parenthood and sex education in schools so that young people will know the facts about how to prevent pregnancy and also why they shouldn't get pregnant. Then we can make abortion a thing of the past - only needed to save a life. Let's get on to solving real problems such as creating jobs and insuring health care for all. My very conservative 'Taft' republican mother said that abortion needed to be safe and legal...otherwise it would be unsafe and illegal at a huge cost to society. Let's talk about things that are important - such as the holding elected officials to the highest standards of conduct. Susan Brinckerhoff
Donna Cubit-Swoyer May 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Not only that, but he voted AGAINST programs that help women and children who are subjeacted to abusive behavior. He supports the War ON Women! NO woman should vote for Buchanan.
Donna Cubit-Swoyer May 15, 2012 at 11:21 PM
The jury is still out on Buchanan. It is very easy to disparage a politician who votes against giving our children and grandchildren adequate medical insurance (Medicare) when they are retired. Not to mention his support of the war on women--funding for programs to help women and children.
Vizsla May 16, 2012 at 01:01 AM
You keep saying "caucasus", I'm not really sure you know what that means. It's a land mass between the Black and Caspian Seas.
Asher King May 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM
Root word Caucus. [KAW-Kuhs] Any group or meeting organized to further a special interest or cause. I will use it in a sentence for you. The Democrats held a caucus to discuss ways of promoting the killing of unborn children using mid-wives as abortionist.
Vizsla May 16, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Granted, that is the definition of caucus, but that isn't the word you are using.
Brad Hardin May 16, 2012 at 11:38 AM
We should at least all agree that Vern Buchanan has a “checkered past.” It has not been difficult to check on Ms. Ferrandino’s comments about him on the internet. They are certainly true, and Buchanan should be replaced for his lack of honesty. There is another reason why he must go. Looking at Vern Buchanan’s voting record. In spite of his claims to be working to help "us," he has not voted in congress for programs helping anyone other than corporations and the wealthy. You will see that he even voted against improving benefits for our veterans. Just because it would be done by the government. It is truly astounding how little courage he and other Republicans have shown to stand up for decency and go against the wishes of sick people like Grover Norquist and Karl Rove.
Henry Bright May 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I just received a campaign flyer from Buchanan, masquerading as a public document and paid for by the taxpayers. It is totally deceptive, i.e., lying. Just one example: the flyer says that the plan he supports means that people under 55 will "remain in traditional, current Medicare". But Buchanan supported the Ryan plan which changes Medicare to a voucher system. And in a recent speech to the Kiwanis club, he is quoted as saying " for younger people, changes need to be made to keep the programs viable".

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