They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker
Kazran has been accused by the FEC of illegally reimbursing workers of his Hyundai for political donations to Buchanan and are seeking a $67,900 fine. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been targeting Buchanan over the allegation.
Kazran also said that the FEC has "ignored the findings of its investigations and the recommendations of its investigators by failing to acknowledge Mr. Buchanan's role" in the reimbursements.
He says he's the one who first approached the FEC about "certain material facts that gave rise to FEC's yearlong investigation in which the Defendants provided full cooperation and virtually all the evidence in this action."
TPM could not immediately reach Kazran. But in an interview with the Herald-Tribune, Kazran said Buchanan tried to exert his influence on him.
"He told me, 'Sam I'm going to be governor one day and you'll want me to be on your side,'" Kazran told the newspaper. "He's put so much pressure on me. I'm just a regular joe who went into business with him. I didn't want to get into some political war with him."
A spokesman for Buchanan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kazran's filing also includes an affidavit from him which says that he was not part of any scheme to reimburse employees for donations to Buchanan's campaign. The affidavit that Buchanan allegedly wanted Kazran to sign said this:
Since my relationship with Buchanan first commenced, I attended various meetings of other general managers or partners of Buchanan who were involved in other dealerships in which Buchanan, or companies controlled by him, had a direct or indirect ownership interest. At no time was there any statement or any form of encouragement to make a campaign contribution based upon a threat of job discrimination, financial reprisal, or other detriment for failure to make a contribution discussed, disseminated or suggested by Buchanan, a Buchanan representative or anyone under his or their direction. Furthermore, there never was a discussion, statement or other action which would have implied that a person who made a contribution to the Vernon G. Buchanan for Congress campaign would be reimbursed by someone or would receive a special benefit.
After he refused to sign the affidavit, Buchanan allegedly told Kazran that he had "five minutes to sign this affidavit" or he'd cancel a settlement that discontinued their business relationship.
"Buchanan delivered on his commitment and canceled an entirely unrelated business transaction solely because the undersigned Defendant refused to be the scapegoat for Mr. Buchanan," Kazran's suit says.
Kazran said in the filing that he's "caught in some political war to which he has no desire to be involved in" and says that former employees have filed a state class-action lawsuit against Buchanan.