Category Archives: Politics: FL-25/FL-27

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Takes a Star Turn as GOP Policy Weathervane

Words cannot express my joy at being represented in Congress by this paragon of consistency and statecraft that is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Why, just consider the warm fuzzy feeling one gets from reading stories like this:

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., endorsed a no-fly zone in a Feb. 26th press release when she said “stronger penalties must be imposed in order to hold the regime accountable for its heinous crimes, and to prevent further violence against the Libyan people. Additional U.S. and international measures should include the establishment and enforcement of a no-fly zone…”

But after the President imposed the no-fly zone, on March 20th, Ros-Lehtinen had concerns which she expressed in a new press release.

“I am concerned that the President has yet to clearly define for the American people what vital United States security interests he believes are currently at stake in Libya,” she said.

I happen to think that the second position is more sensible than the first, but wouldn’t it be nice if there were some principles (other than the destructive one of a will to power) driving the modern GOP?

(Meanwhile, three wars now. And counting.)

Posted in National Security, Politics: FL-25/FL-27, Politics: The Party of Sleaze | 1 Comment

They Don’t Like David Rivera in DC Either

Rep. David Rivera’s (R-FL-25) shtick isn’t playing well in Washington DC.  Even the Republicans up there don’t like him:

In addition, there is anger and frustration at Rivera in GOP leadership circles. Rivera is described by Republicans as being “less than candid” or “not forthcoming” about his ethics problems in conversations with leadership aides and campaign operatives, and they have been surprised on several occasions as new allegations surface.“It’s only a matter of time before the eighth shoe drops,” said one senior House Republican staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Source: Rep. Rivera facing ethics issues –

Given the sleaze allegations swirling, you would think the indictment, and then the resignation under the GOP’s “zero-tolerance” policy would be coming soon. Except I’m not even sure he’ll go if indicted.

Meanwhile, back home, very odd doings. Our local prosecutor, Miami Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, doesn’t have the best record on public integrity prosecutions but she’s said to be ambitious. Surely when an easy one drops in her lap, you would think she’d embrace it. But no such thing, she’s running from it as fast as she can. Dropped it without a credible explanation of any sort. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is going to pick up the ball, so hopefully this will only be a small hiccup.

Posted in Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | 1 Comment

David Rivera Sinking in Swamp of Lies

Gina Cooper, Lies, Disappearing Documentation, Surround Republican David Rivera (FL-25)

The article includes this amazing widget that gives a summary of all the media coverage of the scandals.

You really do need fancy tools to keep up, there's so much!

Posted in Politics: FL-25/FL-27, Politics: The Party of Sleaze | Leave a comment

Joe Garcia’s Weakness

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Joe Garcia, the Democratic candidate for FL-25. And more we learn about this opponent, the more David Rivera sounds like has a serious honesty problem.

Garcia is a serious, smart guy, who genuinely cares about the community he grew up in. He'll be a great Congressman. But nobody is perfect. And if Joe Garcia has a weakness, it's a taste for jokey campaign commercials. I actually liked the ones he ran two years ago, but I don't think the voters did. And IMHO this year's web-only effort, “The Politician Who Shagged Us”, is just a mistake. But then I don't like Mr. Bean much, either.

Posted in Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | 1 Comment

Rivera Won’t Disclose Who Really Pays Him

David Rivera has a problem with the truth. A big problem. And the Miami Herald has Rivera in its sights.

We've known for some time that GOP Congressional candidate David Rivera (FL-25) was sort of weird and shifty, but the narratives were a little complex and weird. (Rivera ran a delivery truck off the road to prevent his opponent's mailers from getting to the post office? Rivera either was battering a woman or having an unknown doppelganger with the identical name who had a restraining order? Rivera was saying one thing in Spanish, then denying it English? Rivera was accused in an FEC filing of illegal campaign activities?)

But here comes something easy to understand: today's paper reports (Source of Rivera's income unclear) that Rivera has for years been getting money from a secret source that Rivera will not disclose. Yes, the one and only David Rivera in the Florida state legislature has either been lying on his sworn financial disclosure forms, or taking some kind of secret payoff, or both.

See, there's this money he has been saying for seven years that he gets in salary from consulting for the USAID, a federal agency. But the Herald discovered that USAID says it has never heard of him. Oh, says Rivera, I was a subcontractor. But I won't tell you for whom. I didn't mention the subcontractor in my sworn ethics disclosure form because the money originated at USAID (which I'm sure is an ethics violation right there). What, asks the Herald, did you actually do for USAID? I took trips like these, says Rivera, showing receipts of three trips to Mexico and Chile.

And here the Herald does real journalism: it looks into those trips and finds they were funded exchanges by the US State Department, on which Rivera got expenses and $200 per day – not the thousands he lists on his ethics forms. Oh, says Rivera, well those were just examples of what I did. And it goes round and round and round, including the creation of a possibly sham company in Puerto Rico (to launder the money?).

Somewhere in all this I lost track of the number of times the Herald caught Rivera lying, but it's a large number. And don't miss the last few paragraphs of the story, in which the Herald, purely deadpan, presents facts relating to large payments by previous Rivera campaigns, for what seems like not much, to a corporation that had a close relationship with his mother. At least he's a family man.

Posted in Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | Leave a comment

DCCC Poll Has Garcia Way Ahead (Thanks to the Tea Party)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has a new poll out that looks good for Joe Garcia. He's ahead by much more than the margin of error. The Garcia campaign sent this out:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today released a new Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll that shows Joe Garcia leading Republican challenger David Rivera by 7 points.

In the initial head-to-head in the race for Florida?s 25th congressional district, Garcia leads Rivera 40 percent to 33 percent. Whig Party candidate Craig Porter and Tea Party Candidate Roly Arrojo each received 2 percent and 7 percent respectively. Conducted September 12-19, the poll surveyed 404 likely voters and has a 4.9 percent margin of error.

Two caveats. Partisan polls tend to lean a bit in favor of the paymaster. And it's notable Garcia's lead is equal to the 7% garnered by the Tea Party candidate. It's possible that some of those voters will come home to the GOP by November. It's also possible that they won't. Or, that as people get unhappier with Rivera, that 7% for the Tea Party might even grow…

Minor note: is it smart for the campaign to refer to Rivera as his “Republican challenger”? Does sounding like an incumbent help this year?

Posted in Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | 3 Comments