Monday, June 18, 2018
Politics

House ethics panel finds no wrongdoing by GOP Rep. Buchanan

WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee on Friday ended a four-year investigation into Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida, finding no evidence that the lawmaker violated House rules.

The ethics panel said in a report that there is not enough evidence to conclude that Buchanan himself was aware of unlawful payments made by companies affiliated with him to reimburse campaign contributors. Still, the committee cautioned Buchanan to "exercise more diligence over affairs related to his campaign."

Buchanan, in his fifth term representing the Sarasota area, said in a statement that he was pleased the ethics committee had dismissed a campaign finance complaint dating back to 2008.

"The committee conducted a thorough review of the facts and reached a unanimous and bipartisan conclusion that I did nothing wrong," he said.

Buchanan had been under scrutiny for several years after a former business partner alleged that Buchanan used straw donors to funnel thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to his campaigns via employees at two car dealerships Buchanan owned.

Buchanan denied the allegations by Sam Kazran, as well as Kazran's claim that Buchanan pressured him into signing a false affidavit regarding illegal campaign contributions.

The independent Office of Congressional Ethics asked the ethics panel to investigate Buchanan in January 2012 after finding there was "substantial reason to believe" that Buchanan attempted to influence Kazran's testimony in a proceeding before the Federal Election Commission.

The ethics panel said in its report that there was insufficient evidence "to show precisely what role … if any" Buchanan had in drafting an affidavit used in the FEC proceeding.

The committee said in its 26-page report that Buchanan "could not explain the unusual pattern of reimbursed contributions from multiple corporate entities with which he was affiliated." The committee said it does not believe that such violations are "bound to occur" in any campaign, as Buchanan asserted in testimony before the ethics panel.

The committee's report was issued by Reps. Charles Dent, R-Pa., and Linda Sanchez, D-Calif. Dent chairs the ethics panel while Sanchez is its senior Democrat.

Comments
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administrationís move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.Itís also...
Published: 06/17/18
GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

WASHINGTON ó Congressional Republicans distanced themselves Thursday from the Trump administrationís aggressive policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its "zero tol...
Published: 06/14/18
Sarah Sanders and  Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are considering stepping down, according to a CBS report. Sanders promptly responded in a Tweet saying, "I love my job and am honored to work for @POTUS." Does @CBSNews k...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

WASHINGTON ó The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year and signaled that it may step up its pace of rate increases because of solid economic growth and rising inflation. The Fed now foresees four rate hi...
Published: 06/13/18
Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

TAMPA ó Law enforcement officers never want to be outgunned. Neither do political candidates.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister need not worry.The Republican candidate has amassed what appears to be a record-sized war chest of just more than $1 mil...
Published: 06/12/18
Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on Monday is a devious plot ...
Published: 06/12/18
Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on Monday is a devious plot ...
Published: 06/12/18
Trumpís tougher Cuba policy having little impact on Tampa area

Trumpís tougher Cuba policy having little impact on Tampa area

TAMPA ó June 16 will mark a year since President Trump announced a tougher Cuba travel policy, but unlike in much of the nation, the changes donít seem to have hurt local bookings to the island.The number of people traveling between Tampa and Havana ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Trump, Kim Jong Un arrive in Singapore for historic summit

Trump, Kim Jong Un arrive in Singapore for historic summit

SINGAPORE - President Donald Trump arrived here Sunday night ahead of a potentially historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the first meeting between the leaders of two countries that have been sworn enemies for almost seven decades.Air...
Published: 06/11/18