The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bankrupt man says he was pressured to contribute to Rep. Vern Buchanan

20

June

Swamped by debt from divorce and a struggling business, Terry Keith Howell of Pasco County had just emerged from one bankruptcy case in March 2008 and was about to file another.

Yet Howell, a registered Democrat who has never voted in Florida, made the maximum $8,800 in contributions that month to a Republican — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota.

And last September, while in bankruptcy, Howell made the maximum $10,000 contribution to the Republican Party of Florida.

How could a man in financial straits afford such big contributions?

According to his deposition in a lawsuit, Howell was reimbursed by his partners in a short-lived trucking company. One of the partners was Timothy Mobley, a Tampa developer whose relatives and employees were the single largest group of contributors to Buchanan, a member of the House transportation committee. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:48pm]

    

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