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SPIRITED RALLY GOERS CHANT AT VERN BUCHANAN: “VOTE HIM OUT!”

BRADENTON RALLY FEATURED RESIDENTS’ HEALTH CARE STORIES, THE PREMIERE OF A DIGITAL AD ON A MOBILE BILLBOARD AND A PLANE BANNER ASKING “WHERE’S VERN?”

SARASOTA — Spirited rally goers reveled in a chant of “Vote Him Out!” aimed at Congressman Vern Buchanan on Coquina Beach in Bradenton on Sunday, angered about Buchanan’s questionable yacht purchase, his votes to repeal health care, and his seeming absence from the district. It’s been 575 days since Buchanan held a town hall, as a plane banner flying overhead noted.

Organized by grassroots advocacy group Floridians for a Fair Shake, the rally and plane banner were elements of a day of action focused on Bradenton. Fair Shake also premiered a digital ad on a mobile billboard featuring millionaire yacht owner The Captain, who held a meet and greet with voters on the beach after the rally asking it they too got a yacht from the tax breaks Buchanan steered toward the rich. Buchanan purchased a multimillion dollar yacht on the same day he voted for the #TrumpTax law, and his estimated tax break from the law is $2.1 million. It was later reported that Buchanan purchased the yacht with a loan from a foreign bank that lobbied him on the bill.

“Vern Buchanan typifies what’s wrong with this Congress, and why he must go,” said Stephen Gaskill, communications director for Floridians for a Fair Shake. “He helped draft the tax law, knowing it would benefit millionaires like himself, and then purchased a multimillion dollar yacht the same day he pocketed a $2 million tax break windfall. He’s voted again and again to take away his constituents’ health care, but refuses to show up in the district to hear their concerns. It’s no surprise people want to vote him out.”

One of the stories rally goers heard was from Nancy Rose Spector, a Buchanan constituent. Nancy was born with a life-threatening genetic condition that qualifies as one of the pre-existing conditions Buchanan voted to allow insurers to deny coverage for. She has struggled with the tremendous costs related to her extensive diagnosis, surgeries and inability to work. And Nancy has found a health care system that is so broken she has a two-year wait before she can even see a judge who can reverse her denied claim. More importantly, Buchanan’s health care votes could return exclusions for pre-existing conditions, like Nancy’s, that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) outlawed.

The plane banner circulating overhead read “575 Days — Where’s Vern? VernsYacht.com,” referencing how long it’s been since Buchanan’s last town hall. Buchanan has been absent from the district, showing up at Republican-only events and relying on campaign ads to make his case, despite multiple congressional district work periods. VernsYacht.com asks visitors to send pictures of Buchanan’s new multimillion dollar yacht if they see it.

With less than 30 days to go until the election, Buchanan’s constituents in the 16th District are making it known: They want to Vote Him Out.

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