Miami bad boy David Rivera is in trouble again. Earlier this week Poltico reported and the Miami Herald later picked up the news that the former south Florida member of Congress is being sued by the Federal Election Commission for helping to “prop up a straw candidate to help his 2012 reelection bid.” An election he later lost in the general to Joe Garcia.
The FEC is seeking $486,000 in civil penalties against Rivera. The complaint states that “Rivera’s scheme involved concealing in-kind contributions by paying vendors mostly in cash to produce and distribute materials for Sternad’s [Justin Lamar Sternad, the straw candidate] campaign.”
The Miami Herald reported that “The FEC’s civil case, in the works since April 2013 but delayed until now, is the latest indication that Miami federal prosecutors, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Mulvihill, don’t intend to criminally charge Rivera — even though U.S. District Judge Robert Scola took the extraordinary step of forcing Mulvihill to name Rivera as the target of his investigation back in 2014.”
The statute of limitations in this case runs out in a couple of months. It looks like Rivera will again be saved by the Feds — and the clock.
I wonder if this is just another joke. Rivera has been laughing at the authorities for years — and getting away with it. He often acts like he’s in a comedy directed from somewhere in a government office. He seems to have more lives than any cat that’s ever lived. And for some mysterious reason, the authorities seem to always create an escape door for Rivera to wiggle his way through when in trouble.
Rivera should have been serving time in the clinker starting years ago. Instead, persons he’s used to do his dirty work have served time behind bars — because of him. And all the while Rivera mysteriously appears, disappears and then reappears again. Last year he almost won a state House seat in spite of his infamy.
He plans to run again in 2018. His target is another state House seat in Florida.
Rivera now claims to be a millionaire. He is currently helping to self-finance his current attempt at elected office to the tune of a quarter million dollars…
Nobody knows where he gets his money. In the past he’s claimed to work in places that later denied even knowing Rivera. He once claimed he worked for USAID. Yep, the same group who helped finance Alan Gross…
USAID denied employing Rivera.
Rivera lies as well as our current president. You never know when he is telling the truth.
I find Rivera’s alleged work with USAID interesting. As we found out with Gross, USAID has been connected to covert activities around the world. Maybe Rivera’s a spy? A James Bond with a taste for chesty women and the morals and scruples of a Bernie Madoff.
The one thing we know is that he continues to be an enigma. In 2011, he was listed as one of the most corrupt members of Congress by the nonpartisan and respected group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Still, he’s never paid the price for being a crook. Others, as I mentioned, have.
There’s the case, for example, right here in Miami, where Rivera was being investigated for corruption. The Miami-Dade state attorney, Kathy Fernandez Rundle, found ways to delay his case until it was announced the investigation would be stopped. Not for lack of evidence, mind you. The delays had worked in Rivera’s favor as the statute of limitations made it impossible to pursue the case against him further.
Now the FEC is after Rivera with an almost half-million dollar lawsuit. But heck, Rivera has also skirted fines in the past. And has had help doing it. “Last year, a Tallahassee appeals court upheld a $57,821.96 Florida Commission on Ethics fine against Rivera over improperly disclosed income and double-billed travel expenses, but Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is empowered to fine former state lawmakers, has yet to impose it,” reported the Herald.
You see the pattern here. David Rivera is either very smart or very lucky or possibly a little of both. And he’s cultivated important political leaders along the way. How’s this one: it was reported that just last month, he had the prominent role of introducing longtime friend and White House Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway (Trump’s alternative facts lady) at the Miami-Dade Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day fundraiser. And that’s in spite of the fact that at this stage many Republicans view Rivera like Superman to kryptonite.
Finally, there’s one name I have yet to mention that belongs in this story. Rivera’s good friend and political godfather, Senator Marco Rubio. Little Marco, as we’ve seen, has some clout in very high political circles. I’ve always wondered if he’s played any role in keeping Rivera out of jail.
That’s something to ponder, I suppose.