Tuesday, October 02, 2012

When The Republican Party Loses Faith In One Of Their Candidates...


This is beyond triage. This is even beyond what the GOP Establishment types have done to Todd Akin in Missouri after his little slip of the tongue that, basically, showed he's on the exact same page as the rest of his hateful, bigoted party. However, even political party establishments can't tolerate an exposed criminal in its midst. And Florida Republicans have followed Beltway Republicans in pushing Rep. David Rivera out beyond the political pale. It started when Romney and Ryan told him to stay away from their campaign appearances in south Florida. And when he closest political ally and oldest comrade in arms, Marco Rubio, suddenly can't remember his name-- let alone where the two of them used to cop cocaine in Tallahassee when they were roomies.

Future Pulitzer Prize winners Manny Garcia and Marc Caputo have another exclusive for the Miami Herald in their David Rivera trials and tribulations serial. The GOP, for all intents and purposes, is dropping The Gangster. Boehner already told him to drop out of the race and now the Florida Republican Party is loudly running around making it known that even if he wins in November-- next to impossible according to current polls-- they're already looking at perspective primary opponents. They freely admit he's likely to be indicted and likely to lose his reelection bid, not necessarily in that order.
The pressure has been building for about a month, but it boiled over last week after a series of stories by the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald documented that a candidate suspected of illegal campaign activities linked to Rivera has turned on the congressman.

For the past week, a group of Miami Republicans began mulling possible future candidates, who might even challenge Rivera in 2014 should he win the election in November.

Leading the list: Jeb Bush Jr., son and namesake of the popular former governor, and state Sen. Anitere Flores. Other names include Marili Cancio, a lawyer who challenged Rivera in the 2010 GOP primary; former state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, who’s running for state House, and Miami-Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo. ...Rivera’s own trusted political adviser is concerned.

“It’s bad at this point,” said Dario Moreno, a Florida International University political science professor who polls for Rivera.

“Everyone at a political gathering this weekend was talking about this,” Moreno said, declining to name names. “David faces a real Herculean task to keep his campaign together.”

Making matters worse for Rivera, on Friday The Herald obtained a survey conducted by GOP pollster McLaughlin & Associates that showed Rivera losing to Democrat Joe Garcia 33-43 percent.

The 10 percentage-point margin is outside the 4.9 percent error margin for the 400 likely-voter survey taken in the newly drawn District 26 that stretches from Kendall to Key West. A Democratic poll earlier in the month showed Garcia with a 9-point lead.

The Republican poll could hurt Rivera’s already anemic fundraising, and that in turn could make it difficult for him to hire campaign staff.

...Republican leaders are trying to determine who could step up if Rivera left office before the Nov. 6 election, even though his name would remain on the ballot.

Rivera’s closest ally, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, has been keeping his distance from Rivera as well. The two remain friends and own a Tallahassee home together that briefly went into foreclosure in 2010 when both former state representatives ran for higher office.

Rivera no longer attends high-profile events with the senator or with presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who held an event in Rivera’s district where the congressman was the only top Republican no-show.

Rivera was also absent Monday from the Versailles restaurant for a campaign rally for fellow Republican Congressman Connie Mack, who’s running for the U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.

The Versailles event was headlined by Rubio and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Rubio had previously expressed discomfort with a separate year-old federal investigation into Rivera that stemmed from a secret $500,000 payment from a dog track.

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