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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Vern Buchanan's credibility take a hit from FEC



vern_203833a.jpgEarlier this year, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan claimed the Federal Election Commission had "completely exonerated'' him of accusations that employees of his car dealerships were illegally reimbursed for campaign contributions.

In a just-released report, however, FEC attorneys said evidence suggests "it is more likely than not'' that the millionaire Sarasota Republican and his campaign committee broke federal election laws.

The report also said that there were "legitimate questions'' about Buchanan's credibility and that an affidavit in which he and former business partner Sam Kazran said they knew nothing about reimbursements could indicate Buchanan was trying to hide his involvement.

But the FEC's Office of General Counsel had "significant concerns'' about Kazran's credibility, too. Faced with conflicting testimony and a shaky witness in Kazran, the commission closed its case against Buchanan last winter.

More here

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 11:00pm]


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