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I am sure that, after I finish this diary, I will be able to count down until some Republican says that I am picking on a conservative Latino. But the bottom line is that Congressman-elect David Rivera has not even been sworn into his first term and he is already under investigation, according to the Miami Herald.

The Miami-Dade state attorney's office is investigating more than $500,000 in secret payments from the owners of the Flagler Dog Track to a company tied to Congressman-elect David Rivera, The Miami Herald has learned.

Most of the money was paid in early 2008, weeks after Rivera -- then a member of the Florida House of Representatives -- helped run a political campaign backed by the dog track to win voter approval for Las Vegas-style slot machines at parimutuel venues in Miami-Dade County.

The dog track -- now called the Magic City Casino -- made three payments totaling $510,000 to Millennium Marketing, a company currently co-managed by Rivera's 70-year-old mother. Investigators are still trying to determine if Rivera himself received any of the money, or if anything about the transaction was illegal, according to sources close to the inquiry.

Rivera, a Miami Republican elected to Congress on Nov. 2, has previously denied working for the dog track, though he played a public role in supporting the pro-slots referendum campaign. Rivera never reported receiving any money from Flagler during his eight-year tenure in the Legislature.

I want to be careful about what I say about Miami-area politics. But there seems to be something inherently sleazy about the cabal of Florida Republicans whether we're talk about Rivera, Scott or the  Balart brothers. And it makes me wonder if the GOP's new golden knight Marco Rubio might also have something to hide. Anyway, it will be interesting to see whether he is the lone GOP freshman with an unpleasant surprise for the people who elected them.

Originally posted to RandySF on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM PST.

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