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David Shapiro is facing a double-digit deficit in his bid to unseat Vern Buchanan.

Tampa Bay

DCCC and David Shapiro drop $900K on ad blitz in CD 16

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is joining with Democratic candidate David Shapiro on a $900,000 ad campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan in Florida’s 16th Congressional District.

Both Shapiro and the DCCC will put $450,000 toward the new ad campaign. The 30-second spot, titled “Rig,” focuses on Buchanan’s purchase of a yacht on the same day House Republicans passed the first version of their tax cuts bill last year.

It was later reported that Buchanan received a loan for that purchase from a company who was also lobbying in support of the bill.

“Vern Buchanan and Washington Republicans have rigged the system for billionaires,” the ad’s narrator begins.

“Washington Republicans voted to give wealthy insiders like Buchanan a tax handout of up to $2 million, but raised taxes on seniors and families. And that same day, Vern Buchanan bought himself a $5 million yacht with a loan from a foreign bank that was lobbying Republicans in Washington.

“Vote against Vern Buchanan and the Washington Republicans who help billionaires, not families and seniors.”

The ad cites a New York Times editorial for the claim that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act “raised taxes on seniors and families.” But the reality isn’t as clear-cut as the spot makes it seem. How the bill affects seniors and families varies on a case-by-case basis, with some paying more in taxes while others receive a cut.

Buchanan campaign manager Max Goodman responded with a statement painting Shapiro as a hypocrite for lobbing these claims against Buchanan.

“This race offers voters a clear choice between a congressman who reduced taxes on the middle class and liberal David Shapiro who wants to raise taxes even though he was delinquent paying his own,” Goodman said, referring to records cited in a previous Buchanan ad showing Shapiro had made late payments on property taxes in the past.

“This is part of a pattern of deceit and hypocrisy where Shapiro says one thing publicly yet privately does another, such as claiming to be for a clean environment while he financially invests in Halliburton and the world’s top greenhouse gas polluters. And he publicly calls for a ban on assault weapons while privately invests in the very company that manufacturers them.”

Again, Goodman is referring to previous reporting on Shapiro’s many investments. Shapiro’s camp has said those stocks were purchased as part of a retirement fund, and were not selected by Shapiro individually.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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