Now things are really heating up! Raul Martinez and state Democrats at a Miami press conference today looked to tie Lincoln Diaz-Balart to Puerto Rican senator Jorge de Castro Font, who was arrested by the FBI.
Dems charge that de Castro Font has "implicated" Diaz-Balart by alleging to "have traveled to Miami with Congressman Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico to deliver a suitcase full of cash for Diaz-Balart's re-election campaign." The money was allegedly from a prominent PR family.
Diaz-Balart's campaign has called it a "desperate attack" and the congressman told reporters today that he got two checks from the family in 2006 -- totalling about $400.
De Castro Font in an interview with a PR TV station, said the alleged trip took place in 2005 -- long before Diaz-Balart's challenge from Martinez. De Castro Font has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 31 criminal counts including bribery, wire fraud and money laundering. He’s also peeved that Fortuño has tried to distance himself from him since the scandal broke, and even tried to remove him from the November ballot. Fortuño is running for governor, and de Castro Font seeks reelection.
In interview, Font claims that the cash for Diaz-Balart was given through the Fonalledas family.
"These are serious allegations that Diaz-Balart must address," the Florida Democratic Party said in a press release. "Did Lincoln Diaz-Balart meet with the Puerto Rican Senator Jorge de Castro Font and Luis Fortuño? Did he accept $50,000 in cash? Where was this money reported? Is there proof of these contributions and a record?"
A quick check of Federal Election Commission records show that a Jaime Fonalledas did write 2 $200 checks to Diaz-Balart on Feb. 24 2006.