TALLAHASSEE, FL — On the heels of explosive reports this morning by the Sarasota Herald Tribune and Tampa Bay Times detailing that a longtime friend and donor of Congressman Vern Buchanan pled guilty to funneling thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to Buchanan’s campaign and the Republican Party of Florida, the Florida Democratic Party issued the following statement calling on the RPOF to immediately return the illegally obtained funds.
Buchanan’s long time friend Tim Mobley illegally contributed money to Buchanan’s campaign by funneling donations through employees at his business — a pattern and MO that is shockingly identical to Buchanan’s own attempt to funnel donations to his campaign through employees at his used car dealerships, and “three Buchanan-owned businesses have been cited since 2008 [for] illegally reimbursing employees for making donations to his campaigns.” Mobley could face up to 10 years in prison and $882,000 in fines while a second individual, Timothy Hohl who has also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting illegal contributions to Buchanan’s campaign, could face up to 3 years in prison and 300,000 in fines. [Herald Tribune, 9/28/12]
STATEMENT FROM SCOTT ARCENEAUX, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY:
“Given Vern Buchanan’s sordid history of financial manipulations and potentially illegal campaign finance schemes, this latest development is hardly a surprise — but it is concerning. It has become abundantly clear that Congressman Buchanan is more concerned with defending his own political career than looking out for the middle class families of Sarasota, and it is sad that Florida families have effectively been robbed of their representation while Buchanan deals with the legal ramifications of his schemes. The Republican Party of Florida should apologize for accepting these tainted funds, immediately refund the donations, and cooperate with federal authorities so that law enforcement can do it’s work as they investigate the connection between the RPOF, Buchanan and these guilty individuals.”