Some of you may remember back in the day when I was a regular contributor to a Daily Kos regular feature called Overnight News Digest, from which I regretfully retired in 2008. Consider this diary an unauthorized upstart, harking back to those good ol' days, springing once more from the fertile Everglades muck in which, yet again your
peerfearless reporter finds glopping around the ankles.
Meanwhile, in Miami, Ana "The Facilitator" Alliegro, a political consultant and buddy of U.S. Rep. David Riviera, has -- GASP! -- disappeared. No David Copperfield in town. And oddly, no one's filed a missing person report even though she's been gone for 72 hours. Her whereabouts are unknown to her attorney, Mauricio Padilla, who hasn't had contact with her since last Wednesday. Even her daddy doesn't know where she is, and he was the one who told Padilla that he would bring her to the lawyer's office that afternoon. Daddy has some 'splaining to do.
Why is there no corporeal evidence of Ana on this earth? Could it be because the federal grand jury had an interview date scheduled with her for the following day, the day after the FBI raided her Miami apartment and removed her computer, her cellphone, and other stuff?
Please turn the page and let's find out.
Ana Alliegro, a winsome lass who looks like the proverbial pat of butter would emerge from her moth intact, is believed by the FBI to have
played a key role as a go-between for Rivera and a former Democratic congressional candidate who might have broken campaign finance laws in his failed bid against a rival of the Republican congressman in the Aug. 14 primary.It's a disappearing/reappearing act we've got going in Miami. You see. . .
Alliegro had been scheduled to testify Thursday before a federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale, but Padilla worked out a deal to speak directly to lead prosecutor Thomas J. Mulvihill and two FBI agents. Miami Herald
Ana The Facilitator acted as campaign manager to politically unknown, part time hotel worker, Justin Lamar (the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing) Sternad in the August primaries when he (believed by many SoFloridians to have been a stealth Republican) came out of virtually nowhere and got on the Democratic primary ballot in what could only have been an effort to subvert Joe Garcia's candidacy. During the normal run-up to primary day, somehow $46,000 that came from I (and nobody else) know not where (some of it stuffed into envelopes -- this is getting good!), paid for some of Sternad's mailers destined for the mailboxes of SoFla's unsuspecting electorate.
Sternad’s campaign finance disclosure reports initially gave no indication that he had paid for the mailers. He later amended the reports amid the FBI probe.All to no avail, Sternad came in third of three.
In spite of the generosity of who knows who, Joe Garcia won the Democratic primary and is poised to slug it out metaphorically on the ballot in November against his Republican rival. None other than -- pause -- U.S. Rep. David Rivera!
Who better to tell us "who" Sternad's mysterious underwriter is than, of course, Sheep's Clothing Sternard's campaign manager, the gone missing Ana The Facilitator.
But look! Look over there! David Rivera is here and he's been running around all over the place shouting, "It's a conspiracy! They're out to get me!" as he accuses Miami Herald reporters who broke the story of being in cahoots with Joe Garcia!! That damn liberal media communiss conspiracy is at it again.
Perhaps the best tidbit to come out of this whole imbroglio is -- and we must acknowledge this -- the superior example of fiscal conservancy displayed by the Sternad campaign, sadly brief though it was.
Sternad’s pre-primary campaign report for the period ending July 25 showed he spent $11,262 for the entire campaign, of which $10,440 was for the state fee to qualify for the ballot in the newly drawn congressional District 26 primary race, which stretches from Kendall to Key West.
Yet Sternad sent out at least 11 professionally designed and printed mailers that targeted specific types of voters, according to campaign vendors.
Who knew wolves in sheep's clothing were so thrifty. I mean, fur coats ain't cheap, are they? Selfishly, Sternad declines to share with the rest of the world how he did so much with so little and who he owes it to. Neither he, nor his attorney are talking when asked.
However, probably in anticipation of the coming Clintonization within his "own" party, once the FBI probe got underway, it birthed within him a sudden proficiency in math, Sternad
amended his financial disclosures after the primary to show he had loaned himself nearly $64,000. Before the primary, he reported lending himself about $11,000.But here's what we do know.
Still, the amended campaign finance reports raised more questions because they didn’t indicate how he paid to print the mailers.
Sternad used Rapid Mail, a mailing house frequently used by Rivera.
Rivera admits he referred Alliegro to such a facility.
That mailing house says that "Sternad and Alliegro paid cash for the mailers except in one instance, when the campaign had a company called Expert Printing send him a $9,000 check."
When another payment was due, "Rivera telephoned a secretary at Rapid Mail and directed her to walk outside to the company’s mailbox and get an envelope." The envelope held $7800.
Even amended, Sternad's filing indicates only $6000 paid to a company Expert Printing (mailer printers), Not near enough to pay for an estimated 135,000 mailer that went out.
Even amended, Sternad's filing hasn't been amended to include the "specialist his campaign used to target voters — Campaign Data. The company’s owner, Hugh Cochran, said Rivera was involved."
Oh, the irony! Mr. Cochran just happens to be -- not a retired hotel worker -- but a retired FBI agent. And he has the "email he sent to Rapid Mail and Rivera concerning the voter-targeting he performed at Rivera’s request."
More running around and shouting all over the place from the now blithering Rep. Rivera, "He sent it to me by mistake!"
And that's where we are, folks. In the middle of an FBI probe of election fraud by a sitting South Dade Republican Congressman, and the key witness who can tell us where the money trail leads is on the lam and unavailable for testifying this week.
I am not making this up.