Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crackpot Congressman Strikes Again

I read mostly to enjoy the madness of the political scene in the county to our immediate north. However the redistricting plans following the recent census put the Florida Keys right in the middle of the madness it seems. Our"new" member of Congress is of course another Republican which is the party of the exteremist Cuban exile community and it seems we are now to be represented by one David Rivera whose grasp of democratic principles seems slender at best. I found these references to him on Wikipedia which outline several weirdnesses which seem to disqualify him from office but which have so far failed to dislodge him:

Domestic violence allegations

On October 13, 1994 a domestic abuse charge was filed in Miami-Dade County against one David M. Rivera. Rivera denies that he was the defendant in the 1994 domestic violence case, and the victim of the attack has maintained that David Rivera, the politician, was not the defendant in her case. The case file has been destroyed by the court (case files are retained for only 5 years,).

The Miami Herald reported that according to a woman who is friendly with the victim's brother, Rivera and the victim came to her home as a couple to attend a dinner party about 10 years ago. The victim's mother also once worked on one of Rivera's political campaigns, records show.

Mail truck collision

On September 6, 2002, Rivera was involved in a traffic collision with a truck carrying thousands of fliers, produced by Rivera's campaign opponent at the time, that included a last-minute attack on Rivera's character and detailed past domestic violence accusations against him. According to reports filed by the Florida Highway Patrol, a car driven by Rivera hit the truck and forced it to the shoulder of the Palmetto Expressway, ten minutes before the truck's 6 p.m. deadline to deliver the fliers to the post office, preventing the fliers from being delivered in time to be mailed.

Rivera has said that he had planned to meet up with the truck on an exit ramp off the Expressway so he could retrieve a batch of his own campaign fliers. The owner of the company that produced the anti-Rivera fliers maintains that the truck driver did not voluntarily pull off the highway. According to the FHP incident report, the collision occurred in the middle of the road.

Additional source of income

Rivera on more than one occasion stated in sworn documents that his primary source of personal income, besides his salary from the Florida State Legislature, was from freelancing consulting work he did for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). However, when the Miami Herald asked USAID, the agency said that Rivera never worked for them. On October 21 of 2010, a suit was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court stating that Rivera should be disqualified from running for office for violating state laws requiring public officials and candidates to file full and complete financial disclosure forms. After the initial investigation was reported, Rivera amended his disclosure forms, removing any reference to USAID as a source of income for the seven years in question.

Not as grotesque as the Missouri candidate's assertiosn about rape which have made headlines recently but bad anough and now the Miami Blog holds out hope Democrat Joe Garcia may beat him. A sign of desperation is the verbal thrashing Governor Scott, another known anti-democrat has been giving our Elections Chief Harry Sawyer, trying to persuade him to disenfranchise voters in Monroe County. On policies I'd like to see more backbone from Democrats but on these issues I don't understand what possible leg Republican fascists have to stand on in a democratic society.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 GOP Congressman David Rivera steps in it, again ... by gimleteye

GOP Congressman David Rivera has a political death wish. Today's Miami Herald story -- of Rivera secretly funding a campaign to undo the primary of his Democratic rival -- is amazing of itself, but quadruply so because of his repeated near political death brushes with the law since his first election to Congress only a few years ago.

It all spilled out in the Herald and El Nuevo Herald this morning: "Fueled with $43,000 in secret money, Republican Rep. David Rivera helped run a shadow campaign that might have broken federal laws in last week’s Democratic primary against his political nemesis Joe Garcia, according to campaign sources and finance records. As part of the effort, a political unknown named Justin Lamar Sternad campaigned against Garcia by running a sophisticated mail campaign that Rivera helped orchestrate and fund, campaign vendors said. Among the revelations: The mailers were often paid in envelopes stuffed with crisp hundred-dollar bills. Rivera and Sternad have denied working together in his campaign, which ended Aug. 14. But Hugh Cochran, president of Campaign Data, told The Herald this week that Rivera contacted him in July and requested he create a list of voters who were ultimately targeted in the 11 mailers sent by Sternad’s campaign. “David hired me to run the data,” said Cochran, who is a retired FBI agent."

Amazing. You can't make this stuff up, including the ham-handed effort by the GOP to suppress the November early election vote in the Florida Keys. The image of GOP Gov. Rick Scott trying to push around Monroe County's election supervisor, Harry Sawyer, just makes me grin.

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