Will Florida Republicans Put Up With A Candidate Who Beats Up Women-- And Then Lies About It?
In another DWT exclusive-- we now have quite the team of reporters in Florida, may of them just ordinary citizens concerned about David Rivera's abusive behavior, including, I should mention, more than a few Republicans-- we have obtained a copy of a 2002 mail piece that was used against Rivera when he first ran for state Representative. The flier (above) was sent by Reiner "Ray" Gonzalez, Rivera's 2002 GOP primary opponent and reads "Domestic Violence is a Serious Matter... David Rivera has had his brush with violence." It is not clear if the woman photographed is Rivera's victim. However, the backside of the flier (seen below) shows a copy of the court record which lists Rivera as a repeat offender. As far as we've been able to ascertain, Rivera never denied the allegation in 2002 nor did he threaten Gonzalez with an injunction or a law suit.
As you can see on the right, Rivera barely won that election by a little more than 230 votes. Miami political insiders tell me that Gonzalez did not use the domestic violence attack against Rivera until just a few days before the election and the impact never got a chance to really sink in.Now we have Tea Party candidate and one of Rivera's GOP primary opponents, Paul Crespo, launching an attack website aimed at Rivera documenting the domestic violence rap sheet, www.TheRealDavidRivera.com.
If you're a regular reader here, you know we've been all over this case since July 4 (sleaze) and woman beating four days later. Here's what we know up until now:
• David Rivera's campaign manager, Javier Correoso, claimed on his Twitter account yesterday that these attacks have originated from Democrats and are fabricated. That is FALSE. As the flier above clearly shows and as DWT has reported, the emergence of David Rivera's domestic violence past came from REPUBLICANS. There is nothing fabricated about this either. It's on the Miami Dade County Clerk of Courts website.
• The domestic violence attack resurfaced again when REPUBLICAN Marili Cancio, the moderate in the FL-25 GOP primary, sent Rivera's domestic violence court records to her Facebook supporters.
• Multiple news outlets in Miami are working on this story but have been unable to interview Rivera and are being threatened and harassed by his and Marco Rubio's attorneys. I am told by reliable sources that law suit threats have been made against multiple publications and television news stations in Miami.
Again, here is the Miami Dade County Clerk of Courts public records listing where Rivera is cited as a Repeat Domestic Violence Offender:
Rivera originally said the public records listing was the result of a computer glitch. I'm not kidding. Now I am told he claims this is a case of mistaken identity and that he doesn't know the woman in question. Rivera's story is hard to believe and appears to be in serious trouble for a few reasons:
• Rivera has ZERO credibility as he's run a disastrous campaign and was already caught lying to reporters about his close friendship to a Miami businessman who promotes trade with Cuba.
• Rivera's campaign was also condemned by Florida International University for sending its faculty and staff a fundraising letter that reminded them that as chairman of the Florida budget committee he appropriates the school's funding.
• Rivera clearly has ties to the victim's family as he is seen photographed here with Scarface star Steven Bauer ("Manolo") and the victim's mother.
• Various media outlets have confirmed to me off the record that friends of the victim have confirmed the two know one another and dated in the 1990's, which refutes David Rivera's claim he doesn't know the woman.
Is any of this a "smoking gun"? Not yet. But when you add Rivera's record of unethical behavior + his constant lying + the county public records + the "non-denial" in 2002 + his picture with the woman's mother + his threatening to sue Miami news outlets that publish this, you have a strong case that at the very least, the David Rivera listed as a repeat domestic violence offender in Miami Dade County is the David Rivera being supported by the NRCC, Mike Huckabee and his best friend Marco Rubio.
The question now becomes... how long before Marco Rubio, Pete Sessions and Mike Huckabee distance themselves from Rivera?
UPDATE: David Rivera Responds... Or His Consultant Does
Nothing new in this disingenuous and misleading denial; same stuff they've been telling, implausibly, the south Florida media. Rivera's campaign manager called a few days ago and threatened to sue DWT for slander or something. No lawsuit yet but here's the carefully parsed, official campaign statement the Tallahassee crisis management firm finally sent over:
“When I ran for the Florida state house in 2002, a last minute campaign mailer was sent falsely accusing me of domestic violence. The mailer cited a 1994 case involving another individual also named David Rivera. In my 2010 campaign for Congress, some of my opponents have tried to use these same false allegations from 2002 to libel, slander and defame my character. While I find it offensive to even dignify these false allegations with any response at all, let me be clear: The 1994 case has absolutely nothing to do with me. I am not the David Rivera in that case and to suggest otherwise is a blatant and shameful lie. Campaigns should be based on issues, not false personal attacks.”
The question remains, was it a different David M. Rivera at the same address? And were the friends of the girl he's alleged to have beaten to a pulp wrong when they claim it was this guy? Implausible, but I guess it's possible... until you look at his overall record of blatant dishonesty with the media. I wonder how long Pete Sessions is going to allow Rivera's presence on the Young Guns list to continue to stain all the other candidates the GOP is pushing on voters across the country. And how long will Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee stand by this guy? I bet the Diaz-Balarts and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are thanking their lucky stars that they decided not to endorse him!