by: Eric Giunta
Sunshine State News
A board member for Manatee County Habitat for Humanity is outraged at what she says is a twisting of her words, by Democratic candidate for Congress Keith Fitzgerald, in an effort to smear opponent U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota.
NPR-member radio station WUSF reported Monday that Patricia Staebler, a current board member for the world-renowned charity dedicated to providing “simple, decent, and affordable” housing for the indigent, said Habitat “was misled” when it purchased a piece of property from Buchanan’s brother in 2009. Staebler is a property appraiser, and was not on Habitat’s board at the time of the purchase.
Habitat purchased the property for some $1.4 million after having it appraised. The property is currently worth about $500,000.
The Fitzgerald campaign seized on Staebler’s statement, later telling the Bradenton Herald, “Congressman Buchanan and those like him in Washington are what is wrong with the system. He … is now involved in scandal for ‘misleading’ Habitat for Humanity in a questionable real estate deal. Corruption like this is fueling wasteful deficit spending.”
“That is outrageous. I am speechless. This is ridiculous,” a frustrated and indignant Staebler told Sunshine State News. “They’ve used something I said, that was already taken out of context, and twisted it around even more. This is completely wrong.”
Staebler explained that she never intended to give the impression that either of the Buchanan brothers misled Habitat for Humanity in its purchase of Cortez Landings in Bradenton.