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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Misleading ad from Vern Buchanan challenger Keith Fitzgerald seeks to play up 'corruption' angle



A new ad from Keith Fitzgerald, the Sarasota Democrat facing Rep. Vern Buchanan, is a hard hitting indictment of Buchanan's messy background. One glaring problem: Buchanan has been cleared in the very investigations cited in the ad. This month, the Justice Department closed an investigation into Buchanan's campaign finances and over the summer, the House ethics committee decided not to pursue a case against him.

Fitzgerald seems to be hoping voters in the district aren't paying as much attention.

Buchanan spokesman Max Goodman writes, "The ad is dishonest, outrageous and should be taken down immediately. Fitzgerald knows Vern has been cleared by the Justice Department after a thorough review of the facts and is NOT under any federal investigation."

Fitzgerald's campaign points to a TV report saying that the IRS is probing -- that report has not been verified -- and Buchanan does face an ongoing probe by the Office of Congressional Ethics into witness tampering allegations.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 5:02pm]


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