Keith Fitzgerald to deliver to Vern Buchanan petitions demanding he drop support for bill redefining ‘rape’

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Democrat Keith Fitzgerald is continuing his focus on Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan ties to controversial Senate candidate Todd Akin, reports Nora McAlvanah of FLDemocracy2012.com.

Fitzgerald’s campaign on Friday will deliver over 1,200 petitions signatures to Buchanan’s Sarasota office, demanding that Buchanan withdraw his support of legislation “that would narrow the definition of rape under federal law.”

In 2011, Buchanan co-sponsored legislation with Akin that would have barred federal funding of abortions. That legislation, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, at one point had included an exception for “forcible rape” that eventually was removed from the bill and rewritten without the word “forcible.”

Earlier this week, Fitzgerald called on Buchanan “not only to condemn his colleague’s remarks, but to withdraw his support” for the legislation that “would have narrowed the definition of rape under federal law.”

Buchanan’s campaign, which has criticized Akin for his comments, accused Fitzgerald’s campaign of trying to capitalize on the controversy.

“Akin’s comment about rape was offensive and inexcusable,” said Buchanan spokesperson Sally Tibbetts earlier this week. “Fitzgerald’s cynical attempt to capitalize on Akin’s remark is sad and desperate” Tibbetts added.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.