In some truly bizarre appearances, the former Congressman who is still under multiple investigations, has been spotted at the last few GOP debates.
By Jacob Engels
Many people tuned in to watch the latest GOP debate, but for those on the ground in the debate hall…especially Florida politicos – the appearance of former Congressman David Rivera was the talk of the night. The former congressman, who is still under federal investigation for several campaign related violations and alleged “secret payments” from a powerful South Florida dog track and gambling outfit populated yet again at a GOP debate.
Several news organizations have already drawn attention to Rivera skulking about at the presidential debates, and have confirmed that media, RNC, and even the Rubio campaign claim no responsibility for giving Rivera a ticket. Rubio, who was once best friends with Rivera going back to their stints in the Florida House, has distanced himself from his former colleague and friend in the past few years.
An advisor to a top 2008 and 2012 GOP presidential candidate told the East Orlando Post that Rivera had been seen socializing with “Rubio world” and he found it hard to believe that the presidential contender did not provide Rubio with a ticket.
“These events are harder to get in to than the Grammys or Emmys. You just don’t waltz in and gain admission. I’ve advised presidents and presidential contenders… and I could not get a ticket. It seems Senator Rubio has welcomed Rivera back into his orbit. Like it or not, he is here to stay.”
Rubio’s campaign spokesman Alex Conant has consistently denied that the campaign is allowing Rivera in, who is universally described as “scummy” into the events.
“If he was there, he didn’t get [a ticket] from us,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said. “I don’t know anything about his whereabouts,” according to an article from The Daily Beast by Tim Mak. In another article recently published by the Miami Herald, reporter Jay Weaver observed that it federal prosecutors have until 2017 to finalize their case against Rivera.
“They have until 2017 to file charges, under the federal statute of limitations. And if Rivera’s friend and former housemate Marco Rubio continues to rise in the 2016 Republican presidential race, prosecutors might want to steer clear of the politically charged case, to avoid the appearance of meddling with an election. U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer, a Democrat, declined to comment for this story. Rivera, whose cellphone voice mail said he is out of the country, did not respond to emailed questions.
A Miami Herald reporter asked him at a Republican Party of Florida fundraiser in Orlando last week if he had heard anything from prosecutors. Rivera, who has disputed he’s the target of the investigation, laughed off the question and said no.”
Honestly though, how long are we going to keep believing the denials from the Rubio campaign when it comes to his former best-man populating at the airtight GOP debates? The media covering the events deny letting Rivera in, the RNC denies it, the host of the debate denies it. What do they have to gain from letting in a former congressman under federal investigation into a GOP debate… or denying so?
Senator Rubio making up with his former colleague and best friend is honestly not a big deal. But when you are a presidential contender on the precipice of becoming the front-runner, admitting you are letting in a disgraced former lawmaker under investigation by several federal agencies… it’s kind of a big deal.
And it is about damn time to fess up and tell the truth. Rivera isn’t the only close friend and advisor that Rubio continues to hold court with that has been under federal and state investigation. God forbid some intrepid young reporter go down the rabbit hole to investigate that…
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at email@example.com