Leave it to Rep. David Rivera, who was already entering into his reelection effort with a serious amount of scandalous baggage, to somehow found himself in even more ridiculous scandal.
Justin "Lamar" Sternad, a political novice who ran in the Democrat primary in District 26 against eventual winner Joe Garcia, has now told the FBI that his campaign was being orchestrated and financed by Rivera, according to unnamed sources who talked to the Miami Herald. It's just the latest drop in a dramatic political saga that should make even Miamians -- not exactly strangers to bizarre political stories -- blush.
Sternad claims that while Ana Sol Alliegro, the blonde "Republican bad girl" with a colorful past and who has now gone missing, actually ran his campaign, but often referred to an unknown "investor" who had grown interested in his campaign. Alliegro would only refer to the shadowy figure as "The Gangster" or "D.R.," Rivera's initials.
Sternad also claims that he was told if he lost it wouldn't matter, because "The Gangster" would get him a better job. Sternad has a wife and three kids and currently works as a front desk employee at a Miami Beach hotel.
But Sternad, who switched form using his first name Justin to his middle name "Lamar" in a possible attempt to appeal to black voters, isn't a total idiot. He browsed Alliegro's Facebook and Instagram pages and found photos of her smiling with Rivera. Likely the same photos Riptide previously uncovered, because, well, they weren't exactly hard to find.
The Herald also claims that Alliegro herself stormed into the office of Rapid Mail, a company that printed out costly campaign mailers for Sternad (most of which attacked Garcia, and made no mention of criticism of Rivera) and has connections to Rivera as well, and yelled, "Did you read the story? You got to get rid of everything. The s--t hit the fan! I got to calm down David and Lamar. This is bad!"
Sure, there's always that possibility, that shred of plausible denial, that Sternad is throwing Rivera under the bus to protect himself. Regardless, he does have to explain exactly how his campaign was financed. He makes $30,000 a year and according to his campaign finance reports loaned himself $64,000.
Yet the story seems to check up with everything else that's been reported before, including the story previously told to the Herald by campaign vendors.
The only thing that doesn't quite check out is the common sense factor. If true, how in the hell did Rivera, Alliegro and Sternad (to the extent he really knew what was going on) think this was going to work out?
Garcia is a well known name in the district. He's ran twice before for Congress as the Democratic nominee in the area that previously encompassed much of District 25. He's the former executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation, and an Obama appointee. Did they think Sternad, a hotel night worker, could actually beat him and then flop the general election? Did they at least hope they could knock off enough support for Garcia, so that another Democratic candidate, Gloria Romero Roses, would win the primary and hopefully not run as effective campaign as the more experienced Garcia? And how did they expect this sloppily run conspiracy to actually not be detected?
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Especially considering Rivera's reputation for scandal (see the links below for just a small taste). Perhaps because for all the accusations and investigations he hasn't been nailed for anything yet, but it's not looking like he'll be so lucky this time.
- Ana Alliegro, Rep. David Rivera's Missing Pal, Was Arrested For Brandishing A Gun At Ex
- Rep. David Rivera's Connections to Suspected Ringer Candidate Justin Lamar Sternad Deepen
- Joe Garcia Leads According to Democrat Polls, David Rivera Leads According to Republican Poll
- David Rivera Named One of the Most Corrupt Congressmen
- David Rivera Cleared of State Charges Thanks to Lax Rules, Statute of Limitations
- Rep. David Rivera Paid Himself $60,000 in Unexplained Campaign Reimbursements
- David Rivera Says He Worked for Company That's Never Heard of Him
- Marco Rubio and David Rivera's Tallahassee House Faces Foreclosure
- David Rivera Takes Lobbyist Cash During Legislative Session
- Congressman-elect David Rivera Being Investigated for $500,000 in Secret Payments from Dog Track