State Rep. David Rivera's rival for Congress, Paul Crespo, had a run-in with the the law at last night's Miami-Dade Republican Party meeting. His crime: going over his allotted two-minute speaking time.
Crespo, an underdog against Rivera in the congressional district represented by Mario Diaz-Balart, was hoping to make a scene. His campaign sent out a press release Wednesday night promising that Crespo would confront Rivera, the chairman of the party, at his own meeting.
The patience of the press was sorely tested. Rivera barred them from the first hour or so of the meeting because of "official business." Then he let a slew of candidates running from state Senate to dogcatcher each get two minutes at the microphone. Oy. Where was Crespo? Finally, around 9 p.m., it was his turn to speak. "Unfortunately, my opponent, David Rivera, has been using the Republican party to benefit his own campaign,'' said Crespo, who was alternately applauded and heckled.
Rivera acted graciously, clapping for Crespo and another rival, Marili Cancio, who said "he has not lived up to our values'' by denying his ties to a businessman who facilitates trade with Cuba, Ariel Pereda.
"So much for Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment,'' Rivera told the crowd in a rousing call for unity. Meanwhile, Shark Tank blogger Javier Manjarres captured the encounter between Crespo and police. Rivera denied any involvement. More on Rivera's campaign here and video below.