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House intrigue: Rivera sought blogger mole

As nearly every state politician was thinking about property taxes during the recent special legislative session, House Rules Chairman David Rivera on the morning of June 12 was wondering: Who's the snitch?

The Miami Republican had just seen an anonymous comment posted on the St. Pete Times blog that suggested an insider was ready to spill secrets about a deal that Rep. Marco Rubio had struck with Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp about three years ago when they ran for House Speaker. Under the agreement, Rubio became House Speaker and Kottkamp was to be a near-equal as House Republican leader.

But the dominoes tumbled, and Kottkamp became Charlie Crist's number one. Haines City Rep. Marty Bowen became GOP leader and then speaker pro tem after Ocala Rep. Dennis Baxley lost a Senate race. So Delray Beach Rep. Adam Hasner became leader, the Times blogged about that, and then came this comment at 9:55 a.m:

Rubio/Rivera made the Majority Leader position a farce. Marty couldn't even hold a news conference unless they allowed her to. It started off that they were trying to screw Kottkamp from the deal they made in the speakers race when he was supposed to be Majority Leader. They were going to give it to him in name only, which it contrary to the deal they made. Just goes to show... you can't make a deal with the devil.

At 10:21 a.m., according to a recently obtained email, Rivera cut and pasted the comment and sent it to Rubio with this headline: Any suspects on this blog entry? Rubio didn't appear to respond.

Rivera, denying any plans to double-deal Kottkamp, said he was surprised that 1) the media had access to the email, 2) that he'd be called about it and 3) that someone he thought was in a position of trust wasn't so trustworthy.

"Only somebody who was close to all this knew about it," Rivera said, also noting that anonymous postings on newspaper websites are often angry cheap-shot forums.

True, but seems we all read the eGraffiti anyway.

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