From a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, against Congressman Vern Buchanan (R., Fl.):
Rep. Buchanan owns several car dealerships in Florida. In September 2005, dealership employees were pressured into contributing to Rep. Buchanan’s congressional campaign and some were reimbursed for making contributions. Former employee Carlo Bell was called into a manager’s office and told that if he was part of the “team” he would make a contribution. Fearing for his job, Bell agreed to make the donation and was handed $1,000 in cash.
Bell also saw two other employees, Jack Prater and Jason Martin take cash in return for promising to write checks and FEC reports confirm that both men made $1,000 contributions to the Buchanan campaign. Dealership employee D.J. Padilla was told that any employee who donated to the campaign committee would be repaid.