News · Press Release

The Case Against Rep. Vern Buchanan

“In sharp contrast to his opponent, who has consistently shown he will use his office in Washington to further enrich himself, David Shapiro is a fighter for working Floridians. David’s decades of standing up for his clients against the abuses of insurance companies and big corporations show that he will be the advocate Southwestern Florida needs. David is running an aggressive, grassroots campaign, and with his deep roots in the community, he is ready to compete and win this November,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján.


To: Interested Parties

From: Cole Leiter, DCCC Regional Press Secretary

Date: August 28th, 2018

RE: The Case Against Rep. Vern Buchanan



Congressman Buchanan is the posterchild for self-interested Washington politicians who have abused their position in Washington to line their own pockets. Congressman Buchanan’s current scandal, connecting his personal wealth, Washington’s tax bill, a $3.5 million luxury yacht, and a foreign bank isn’t even the first time he’s gotten himself in hot water for putting his own political and financial gain ahead of the needs of the district he is meant to represent.


It would be one thing if Congressman Buchanan were simply a Washington grifter, but on top of that, his record in Congress will harm the people in Florida he was elected to represent. At the same time Buchanan’s tax bill will line his own pockets, it will also blow a $1.9 trillion hole in the deficit that Washington Republicans have already signaled they intend to patch by cutting Social Security and Medicare. As the representative for one of the oldest districts in the country, that decision to serve and enrich himself over his constituents is a fire-able offense.


In sharp contrast to Congressman Buchanan, who in Washington has routinely put himself ahead of the community he’s meant to serve, David Shapiro has spent 30 years standing on the side of working people in Florida against negligent insurance companies, government incompetence, and big corporations. David will take that fight to Washington to stand up for his community, cut through the recklessness, and bring both parties together to get results.




HEADLINE: “Rep. Vern Buchanan stands to gain bigly from tax bill” [Tampa Bay Times, 4/3/18]


HEADLINE: “Buchanan bought his yacht with loan from bank that lobbied for tax reform” [Bradenton Herald, 8/22/18]


HEADLINE: “Formidable Democrat to Challenge Buchanan in 2018” [Bradenton Herald, 10/22/17]


HEADLINE: “Congressional races heats up as Shapiro demands Buchanan disclose terms of yacht loan” [Bradenton Herald, 8/23/2017]


HEADLINE: “Vern Buchanan draws his largest crowd yet at town hall, where tensions flared over health care, new administration” [Bradenton Herald, 3/18/2017]


Vern Buchanan: Parody Of A Self-Serving Washington Politician




#Yachtgate is a boatload of a scandal whose wake grows every passing day. It started with the news that the tax bill Buchanan helped write as a powerful member of the Ways and Means Committee included a controversial tax carve-out for car dealers, an industry where Buchanan made the bulk of his up to $269 million fortune. But it didn’t end there.


Since then, the public has  learned that the same day Buchanan voted to pass his own multi-million tax cut, he bought himself a $3.5 million yacht that he, without a hint of irony, named “Entrepreneur.” It didn’t end there, either. The latest development in this scandal is that, while he was writing the tax bill, Buchanan received a $5 million loan from a foreign bank that was a leading lobbying force for that same bill- and, instead of proving that he didn’t receive favorable terms in the loan, Buchanan has refused to disclose anything to his constituents.


Congressman Buchanan may think that he’s headed for smooth seas when it comes to using Washington to pad his own wallet, but David Shapiro, a lifelong advocate for working people against powerful interests, has made it clear that he’s running to end abuses like Congressman Buchanan’s, and make Washington work for everyday people.


This Bill’s For Him


Buchanan’s tax bill isn’t just a handout to himself and a boon for his luxury yachting needs, it blew a $1.9 trillion hole in the deficit that Washington Republicans plan to cover with cuts to Medicare and Social Security. In addition to Buchanan’s personalgift costing Floridians their retirement security, his tax bill will raise insurance premiums on Florida families- all while giving pharma companies, who’ve rewarded him with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, a $42.7 billion handout


In stark contrast to Buchanan’s willingness to put his own self-interest ahead of Floridians’ retirement security, Dave Shapiro will continue to do what he’s been doing his entire career: fighting for everyday people for what they’ve earned. He’ll stand up to protect Medicare and Social Security, and his constituents will never have to ask who he’s working for.


Not For Your Healthcare


Congressman Buchanan has been a lockstep vote for Washington Republican leaders when it comes to making healthcare more expensive for Florida’s families. In addition to his vote to gut protections for people living with pre-existing conditions, Buchanan voted for an age tax that allows insurance companies to charge older Floridians five times more for their healthcare than younger Floridians. That measure alone could raise healthcare costs for older folks by thousands of dollars.

In sharp contrast, David Shapiro will stand on the side of Florida families, protect people living with pre-existing conditions, and bring down the cost of healthcare.



Despite Vern Buchanan’s long tenure in Congress, no public poll shows him above 50-percent. In addition to Buchanan’s soft poll-numbers, DCCC poll results on the impact of Buchanan’s purchase of a yacht the same day he voted to cut his own taxes show that voters, when presented with this information will move 14-points away from him, which puts  David Shapiro into the lead.


David is primed for success thanks to his work to connect with voters in Sarasota County and Hillsborough County, bolstering against the more conservative Manatee County. In February 2018, Democrat Margaret Goode won HD72, 96% of which is located in Sarasota County, with 52.2% of the vote, a 13-point swing from 2016 where Congressman Vern Buchanan won 57.6% of HD72.


Goode’s victory, in a slice of the district that is highly representative of the district as a whole, indicates a stark shift in the district since 2016. With a Democratic candidate like David Shapiro, who can engage with moderate Republican voters who are fed up with Buchanan’s scandal-ridden tenure in office, as well as drum up enthusiasm among the Democratic base in the district, there is a clear path to victory.

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