Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Even If Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) Goes To Prison For Taking Bribes, Israel And Wasserman Schultz Will Make Sure She Has No Democratic Opponent


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the "candidate" she picked to run against her

There was a time that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen represented a safely red district. But that was quite some time ago. The old 18th CD-- the boundaries of which she helped draw when she was in the state legislature, was an R+4 district and filled with anti-Castro reactionaries. Many of those reactionaries are dead and Ileana's new district (FL-27) is a blue district. But the DCCC acts as though no one told them. In 2008, McCain still managed to eke out a narrow 123,543 (51%) win over Obama but by 2012 the tide had inexorably turned and Obama beat Romney 130,020 (53%) to 114,096 (47%), a stunning reversal that defied patterns around the state and around the country. But Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz were very aware of how the district had changed and they moved into hyperdrive… to make sure their Republican ally Ileana would win again. Wasserman Schultz was complicit in recruiting a fake candidate, Manny Yevancey, to "run" as a Democrat. Yevancey didn't run a campaign and was just a nomination place-holder to make sure no one who would run a campaign would have the chance to do so. Ros Lehtinen raised $2,146,246 and spent $1,190,873 on the race. Yevancey filed no FEC reports, which means he raised less than $5,000-- maybe less than $5. His petitions-- which were commercially collected by a firm in Tampa that was paid by "someone else"-- is almost totally signed by folks in Tampa, not in Miami, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Springs, South Miami, Westchester or anywhere else in Ros-Lehtinen's district. The total signatures on his petitions from Miami-Dade: 12. The total from Tampa: 1,147. And the other counties with significant petition numbers were also on the other side of the state, Hillsborough with 656 and Pasco with 502. Very convenient for Wasserman Schultz and Ros-Lehtinen to have a candidate with no income, no roots and no chance-- an old dirty trick that anti-democracy hacks employee.

That all said, there were still 84,899 (37%) voters willing to cast their ballots against Ros-Lehtinen and for an unknown "Democrat" who didn't campaign. Imagine if Steve Israel had ignored Wasserman Schultz' demand that Ros-Lehtinen's seat be off limits and had instead recruited a good candidate and gone after her. So far this year, Wasserman Schultz is guarding the process like a mad dog again and despite several DCCC staffers who would like to target Ros-Lehtinen, there is no movement whatsoever on recruiting a Democrat with a reasonable chance to win. There is no way for the DCCC to win back the House with this kind of leadership. Israel and Wasserman Schultz are the worst examples of why grassroots Democrats hate Inside-the-Beltway Democrats and why so many refuse to even turn up at the polls on election day.

So, with no candidate-- thanks to Israel and Wasserman Schultz-- even if Ros-Lehtinen is indicted, there won't be a Democratic win in FL-27. Indicted? Oh, yes. Josh Rogin and the Daily Beast broke the story today. Short version: "Ros-Lehtinen, while she was Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to federal agencies on behalf of two Ecuadorian bankers convicted of embezzlement who were seeking U.S. residency. She also advocated for their family members, who donated over $20,000 to her campaign."
William and Roberto Isaias, who were convicted in absentia of embezzlement in Ecuador more than a decade ago, have been fighting for the right to avoid extradition and establish residency in the United States. And they’ve had a powerful ally in that quest: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, who made phone calls and wrote letters to advance their residency request. Last month, NBC News reported that the FBI was investigating Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez on possible corruption charges related to his advocacy on behalf of the brothers.

Menendez has denied any quid pro quo with the Isaias brothers, whose family members donated $10,000 to Menendez’s 2012 campaign, according the NBC report. Menendez's office has said they aren't aware of any investigation into this matter.

But Menendez wasn’t the only member of Congress that the Isaias clan called upon. Those same Isaias family members donated at least $23,700 to Ros-Lehtinen in the 2010, 2012, and 2014 cycles, according to federal campaign contribution records. The Isaias brothers live in Coral Gables, which falls inside Ros-Lehtinen’s district.

In March, 2011, Ros-Lehtinen wrote a letter to Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela on behalf of the Isaias brothers, whom Ros-Lehtinen said “believe they are being politically and economically persecuted by the Government of Ecuador.”
Ros-Lehtinen, of course, denied there was any quid pro quo and insinuated that helping international criminals is just a part of "constituent services" in South Florida. She claims the FBI hasn't informed her she's under investigation. Hopefully, the House Ethics Committee will get into it soon. And, of course, among other corrupt South Florida politicos, the banksters' family has sent bribes to… good ole Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The doofus on the right ripped off his synagogue

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At 10:47 PM, Anonymous me said...

Why are voters so stupid?

All the crap going on, and nobody knows, nobody cares...

It's gotta be intentional. even a monkey could have more brains than an American voter, if he wanted to. Obviously, American voters don't want to. It's a damned shame.

At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I try to get as much information on her opponents as possible to see if they have a viable shot.

I was wondering who Manny Yevancy even was. All I found was a bunch of shirtless pictures. The local media barely reported on him. Then again why would they when he was such a non-factor? At least her equally barely-existent 2010 opponent had a website.

Looks like she got no opponent this year. I would have at least expected a token.

On another note, even though I'm probably not as Left-wing, I'm not a fan of big power structures and their inevitable corruption. This site covers it pretty well. Keep up the good work.


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