You may not be familiar with Vern, but you’ll recognize his way of doing things right away.

Vern is the Gopper who took over the Congressional seat of Jeb’s squeeze and Chimpy’s fixer, Katherine Harris. With the Gopper brand suffering back in the 2006 election cycle, campaign money was hard to come by, even in the Congressional District of Katherine Harris. Vern wasn’t doing all that well in raising the funds he was going to need for a particularly nasty fight against Democratic challenger Christine Jennings (a race he may well have lost in any event, except for the 18,382 voters in the 13th District that cast no vote at all for a Congressional candidate. Strange, that is.) Vern simply could not get the money he needed in a legal way to fend off the challenge he faced in the 2006 election, in spite of pouring $6 million of his own money into his candidacy. What do you suppose Vern did, ultimately?

According to several of Vern’s former employees, he did what you’d have expected any other Gopper candidate to do under similar conditions-as in, he got that money illegally. Employees of Vern’s car dealership were behind their man all the way, even if they weren’t. As you see here, several employees of Vern’s say that they donated money handed to them on the spot by the management of Vern’s dealership. The consequences for not making the “donation” were not spelled out-but then, did they really have to be?

I sure do understand why Florida keeps voting Gopper. The “values” of Florida Gopper politicians shine through in every election cycle. Vote-rigging, money laundering, and perversion; really, what else could Florida voters ask for?

And would it really matter if they DID ask for something else?

Several former employees of a Florida Republican lawmaker’s car dealerships allege they were forced to donate campaign funds to him in 2005, according to sworn statements filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

Carlo A. Bell and D.J. Padilla say supervisors at Vern Buchanan ‘s dealerships pressured them into writing checks to the campaign. Buchanan’s campaign has denied any wrongdoing.

Bell alleges that a general manager gave $1,000 in cash to several employees in exchange for their contributing that amount of money to Buchanan’s campaign; Bell asked if doing so was illegal.

The manager “did not answer my question, instead asking me if I was on the team or not. . . . Afraid that I might lose my job if I refused, I replied yes, I was part of the team and agreed to write the check,” Bell stated.

The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the FEC on Tuesday that says Buchanan violated three campaign finance laws.

Sally Tibbetts, a spokeswoman for Buchanan’s campaign, said Tuesday that the organization did nothing wrong.

“It’s the campaign’s policy that all contributions comply fully with FEC regulations,” Tibbetts said in a statement. “No one in the campaign advised anyone to make improper donations. That is an issue between those businesses and their employees.”

The watchdog group alleges Buchanan threatened employees with “reprisals to coerce them to make campaign donations, making contributions in the name of another, and making corporate contributions.”

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