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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Buchanan's biggest benefactors



Maureen Mobley is such big supporter of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota , that she has contributed $17,6000 to his reelection campaign - far above the individual donor limit of $4,600 per election cycle. Or at least that's how it looks from Federal Elections Commission records.

The FEC recently notified Buchanan's campaign treasurer that it appeared Mobley had exceeded the limit and that failure to take "corrective action" by Oct. 6 could result in an audit or penalty. It seemed another black mark against Buchanan, who faces allegations that employees of his auto dealerships were pressured into contributing to his 2006 race in violation of campaign finance laws. But it turns out that there are two Maureen Mobleys, one a sales manager for Mobley Homes of Tampa, the other her niece. Each contributed the maximum $4,600 for this year's race plus another $4,200 each to help pay off Buchanan's debts from 2006 as allowed by law. With a total of at least $46,400, the two Maureens, other relatives and Mobley employees make up the single largest group of contributors to Buchanan, a millionaire and former partner in the company's development of the K-Bar Ranch in New Tampa.

---Susan Taylor Martin

< Buchanan got another $4,600 from the company's lawyer, Leonard Johnson of Dade City. (Buchanan's 2007 financial disclosure statement shows he is also collecting interest on a loan he made to Johnson for an unspecified amount.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:51am]


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