2018 General Election Lost 55 — 45


Add Florida to the list

Roll Call says that Democrats will make their gains in California, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania.  These states, they say, can flip twenty seats — an average of four seats per state.Here are a few other states where Democrats can gain multiple seats — New Jersey, Michigan, and Ohio; Virginia, North Carolina, and FLORIDA. 

FLORIDA.  I’ve written about flipping Florida’s sixth, eighteenth, and twenty-sixth district.  The twenty-seventh, with its Republican incumbent retiring, appears to be solidly Democratic, has multiple Democratic candidates, and does not need a note from me — at least not now.  Florida’s Sarasota-based sixteenth district and its Democratic candidate, David Shapiro  https://voteshapiro2018.com/ could be another flip, though not an easy one. It is a very Republican district.

David Shapiro’s father was a perfect fit for the fifties.  He came back to Florida from World War II and started businesses.  Some small businesses like dry cleaning, where David Shapiro worked for a while.  Most important, though, in time for Florida’s housing boom — a construction business.  David Shapiro’s mother was in that business, too — as a real estate broker.  As Sarasota and its region grew, the Shapiros prospered.

David Shapiro did not plan on the family business.  He went to law school.  He stayed local.  He thrived, as well.  Despite his prosperity, no one accuses him of being a member of the elite.  He is a personal injury lawyer; has been for over thirty years.  The firm has ten offices on the West Coast of Florida none in New York or Washington.  Personal injury lawyers are rarely accused of being members of the elite.

WE WILL MAKE THEM PAY.  GET … JUSTICE FOR INJURIESEvery year accidents, and automobile crashes cause death, brain, head, neck, spinal cord, shoulder, knee and other injuries to millions of people. Negligent property owners …contribute to the millions injured each year by careless actions. As experienced accident and personal injury lawyers, the attorneys at Shapiro Goldman Babboni Fernandez & Walsh have handled thousands of injury cases from all types of accidents.  That’s what the website says.

Some think personal injury law is unsavory.  Some think that politics is unsavory.  David Shapiro’s opponent, the Republican Vern Buchanan, one of the wealthiest men in Congress, has the knack of making both business and politics appear unsavory.

From Detroit, son of a factory foreman, he convinced a printing company that together they could make money.  They started franchise print shops and eventually had hundreds of franchises throughout the country. 

In the late 80s and early 90s, the franchisees sued.  They were not making the money promised.  Declaring bankruptcy, creditors claimed he took excessive compensation. He resisted paying.Eventually he paid $1.5 million.  Small potatoes for him. He emerged extremely wealthy. 

He focused on car dealerships (still owns many in Florida) and added reinsurance companies to his portfolio.  They offer extended warranties for new cars.  He added real estate development too.  In one instance, cut out of a development deal, he sued.  He ended the suit with sales and resale schemes designed so taxpayers paid him off.

In 2006, Buchanan for Congress and won by less than 350 votes. Oddly, 18,000 people, thirteen percent of Sarasotans voting in the election, were not recorded as voting for a Congressional candidate. The average percentage of voters not voting for a congressional candidate in the rest of the district was 2%.  Since the electronic voting machines had no paper ballot component, a recount could make no changes. The courts declared Buchanan the winner saying that claims of impropriety were speculation.

As a Congressman, Buchanan kept up the pace.  He was listed among the most corrupt Members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.  In 2012 the House Ethics committee, declared his incorrect figures to be unintentional and cleared him of misleading Congress (and the public) in his financial disclosure forms.  The Justice Department declined to pursue claims by former business partners that he used straw donors to make illegal campaign contributions.  He has been sued by former partners, by employees — but he has not lost. 

Lots of smoke.

The election is about issues as well as character.  The candidates differ on the issues.Shapiro promises to work to fix the Affordable Care ActBuchanan voted to repeal the Affordable Care ActShapiro supports increasing the minimum wage and tax cuts that help working families rather than the wealthiestBuchanan sought to ensure that impact of new federal regulations on business be delayed until they were documented, opposed minimum wage increases, and supported the new tax lawShapiro supports background checks for gun purchases, keeping assault weapons out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable, and closing dangerous gun show loopholes to make communities saferBuchanan gets an A+ rating from the NRA and is on Gabrielle Giffords‘ incumbent defeat priority list.Shapiro argues for the best possible health care for veterans.Buchanan voted against allowing the VA to prescribe the use of medical marijuana for veterans in states where medical marijuana is legal.Shapiro supports Israel, advocates for a two state solution which would be negotiated by Israel and the Palestinians with a preference for a demilitarized Palestinian state.Buchanan urges the United States to stop all aid to the Palestinians.

David Shapiro https://voteshapiro2018.com/ is an experienced community and business leader.  He has succeeded in a tough business, expresses support for women’s issues and other issues that are central Democratic positions.  He is running against an extremely wealthy man and needs support.  Help him make a Democratic wave that reaches Sarasota.