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FL-13: Vern Buchanan vs. Christine Jennings

At first glance, the race to succeed Florida’s Republican Senate nominee, Rep. Katherine Harris, in the Sarasota-based 13th District means business: Both Republican candidate Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings are successful local business leaders, both with impressive lists of volunteer and community work. The winner, it would seem, would know about things such as job creation, dealing with federal bureaucrats, health care, and how taxes affect small businesses and employees.

But a careful look at where Buchanan and Jennings stand on individual issues, reveals great differences—and should sound an alarm for conservatives, warning them not to take this district for granted, despite Harris’s relatively easy two trips to the polls there.

Auto dealer Buchanan calls for tax deductions and credits to make health insurance more affordable. He has also taken the “no new taxes” pledge. Banker Jennings has yet to address the issue of insurance affordability and, in fact, supports raising taxes on married couples, families with children, small businesses and farmers (Venice Gondolier, Sept. 6, 2006).

“And when you think that my opponent’s first vote will be to make [California Rep.] Nancy Pelosi speaker and give the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee to [New York Rep.] Charles Rangel, who says ‘no question about it’ when asked if taxes will go up under a Democratic Congress, that’s reason enough to elect me,” declares the conservative Buchanan.

The sharp differences between Buchanan and Jennings extend far beyond taxpayer issues. Buchanan calls for tough border security and no guest-worker program, while Jennings backs Ted Kennedy’s scheme for amnesty, Social Security and welfare for the estimated 11 million immigrants now in the U.S. illegally (Sarasota Herald Tribune, Aug. 24, 2004). Buchanan stands by the President for a “victory strategy” in Iraq. Jennings backs a nebulous “summit” for terrorists and terrorist states (Sarasota Bay Club Candidate Forum, Sept. 26, 2006).

“This race is really simple,” says Buchanan, “If you vote for me, you’re voting against Speaker Pelosi.”

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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