Though Rep. Vern Buchanan has yet to publicly comment on a watchdog group’s efforts to launch an FBI investigation into his past congressional campaigns, he has found time to sell his $4.49 million yacht, The Entrepreneur. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is now using that yacht sale to highlight the allegations surrounding the Florida congressman.
On Wednesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (aka CREW) sent a letter to the FBI, asking that the Bureau launch a thorough investigation into Buchanan, R-Sarasota. Buchanan has long been dogged by rumors of campaign fraud and the release of a sworn deposition by one of his former business partners, Sam Kazran, further highlights the alleged improprieties.
Buchanan has yet to comment on CREW’s FBI complaint (a spokesperson has continued pointing the finger at Kazran), but he has been busy trying to sell his $4.49 million yacht. (According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Buchanan sold the boat Wednesday, thanks to all of the attention.) The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is now using the yacht sale to highlight Buchanan’s ethics issues.
The DCCC recently penned a faux ad for the luxury boat on Craigslist:
IN WAKE OF MOUNTING ETHICS INVESTIGATION
MUST SELL LUXURY YACHT
2004 110 FOOT LUXURY YACHT
ONLY $4,490,000 (Loophole Protected)
• Asking Price of $4,500,000 But Can Be Reimbursed by Employer and Friends
• VIP Stateroom Used for Wining and Dining Guests Such as Speaker John Boehner
• Previous Bankruptcy Does Not Disqualify You
• Takes No Responsibility for Condition. The Business Partner Did It.
Please Contact Congressman Vern Buchanan at (941) 951-6643 (Serious Inquiries Only)
With estimated assets of $77 million, Buchanan is the 10th richest member of Congress. And though over a dozen people have accused Buchanan of campaign schemes (which involved pressuring employees to donate to his campaigns, then reimbursing them with funds from his various car dealerships), the Federal Election Commission fined his former business partner (Kazran) nearly $68,000. Kazran has long maintained that, while he was aware that reimbursements were being made, he had no idea they were illegal and he was operating under the direction of Buchanan who, at the time, was a majority owner in their dealership.