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A new political nickname is born: "David 'Nine Lives' Rivera." But will he look like Bill the Cat?

Picture 4Herald alum and current Political Cortadito blogger Elaine de Valle has come up with the nickname of the year: "David 'Nine Lives' Rivera" -- an homage, of sorts, to the Republican Congressman for his uncanny ability to avoid a potential 52-count indictment and always seemingly land on his feet.

But with a federal investigation hanging over Rivera's head, it's hard to see how he'll stay out of trouble and stay in Congress. There's a compelling case to be made that Rivera's going to have tax problems over a secret $500k dog-track contract and his apparent personal use of political campaign funds. But whether he gets criminally charged is a big question mark, and it probably won't happen until after the campaign if it happens at all (the feds have a de facto six-month-before-election indictment ban in cases like this).

Still, if Rivera avoids indictment, the campaign will toll on him. The candidate most likely to win the Democratic primary and give Rivera a run, Joe Garcia, is poised to turn a sharply edited YouTube web ad into a hard-hitting TV commercial that uses the voice of Rivera pal and exile community icon, Sen. Marco Rubio, who has said in repeated interviews that Rivera will need to answer questions about his finances. That's going to hurt Rivera.

The newly redrawn congressional district now includes all of the 50,000 voters of liberal-leaning Monroe County, where Rivera's hardline stances on Cuba could be more of a minus than a plus. The Keys business community has dreamed for years of opening up trade with Cuba, just 90 miles south of Key West.

But Garcia's support of more to Cuba is anathema to many exiles in Miami-Dade, where most of D-26 is based. Garcia was destroyed at the polls by Rivera in 2010, so the top Democratic challenger is only so popular in Miami-Dade, where he has lost three times in various races. Also, Garcia still has to win the Democratic primary, where his best-funded challenger, Gloria Romero-Roses, is sending out mailers calling him an opportunist and a repeat loser. Garcia's hitting back, accusing her of "lying."

Whichever Democrat emerges, though, will (or should) have the backing of Washington Democrats who smell a chance for a victory (although they already fouled up the race once). But Rivera, meanwhile, isn't endearing himself to national Republicans. He took on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over immigration, and that's a no no. And his fundraising is tiny for an incumbent.

Put it all together -- D.C. help for the Democrat, no national support for Rivera, a criminal probe, lackluster fundraising and a new district -- and Rivera might be on his ninth life this campaign, at the end of which, if he survives, he could look as messed up as Bill the Cat.

Comments

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Sara

If Garcia wins this one, it'll look like Rivera just got a tenth life.

whasup

"Nine Lives"? Are you kidding us?

Rivera isn't alive at all. He's the Nosferatu of Cuban-American politics.

You can't politically kill off what is already dead.

Not even with the zombie candidates that the Democrats keep throwing into races.

Lindad

don't insult bill the cat!

Annoyed Rivera Supporter

People are so sick and tired of this endless bashing! I am a longtime supporter of Representative David Rivera. Very happy with his service and the job he is doing.

Nothing Congressman Rivera has ever done was against the law. That is a fact, confirmed by the State Attorney. It is obvious that he was accused using false charges made by his political enemies, and he continues to be attacked with negative campaign ads and articles like this one.

Frankly, it only makes me want to vote for him more. He knows the law and used it strategically and legally to his political advantage, and to legally sustain his 24/7 political efforts. That is the kind of fighter I want representing me. He is an asset to the people he represents. He fights hard for them around the clock and people pay attention!

He is a very intelligent, experienced member of Congress and many of his colleagues depend on him for help and advice, even if they won't admit it now. He is a man of strong beliefs that can eloquently express and defend his stances. I believe that is why so many people want him out of office, especially the democrats. These people running against him and trying to destroy his reputation are doing so because he can potentially beat them on every issue. After more than 10 years of all the ridiculous ads and accusations, he has handled it calmly, professionally and with dignity.

He knows his district and his constituents well and they know him. They realize his commitment and dedication to the job he has been entrusted with, and the assistance he has consistently provided them. They also know that he always effectively takes action on behalf of this community, his district and all constituents with wisdom, passion, enlightened judgement and strong conviction in his heart. All the best to you Congressman Rivera. We need you in Washington! Thank you for proudly representing us!

whasup

I reckon Rivera has served his constituents well over the years ... otherwise they'd probably not keep electing him to office.

But like too many candidates--in either party these days--his entire work experience and history revolves around government offices and campaigns and referendums and political and party operations, rather than working in other, more important parts of the economy.

Still, in a battle between zombies and vampires ... count on the vampire.

Annoyed Rivera Supporter

When you are required to run for reelection every other year you are constantly campaigning, which means opposition is monitoring every move and word, while looking to invent some trumped up charge and create bad press. The more effective you are, the more people come after you to try and remove you from office. Couple that with a very liberal media and press. This is where Rivera finds himself.

whasup: Interesting and amusing analogy. And the zombies just keep coming, but they don't seem to get anywhere.

Gail Flanders

It is astonishing to read testimonials for this corrupt politician. We really are getting the government we deserve if people are willing to elect this person.

whasup

OK Gail.

I'm with you on that ... as long as you include Obama in the same analysis and question why he deserves a second term.

And don't try to draw a distinction between the accusations of corruption against Rivera--which haven't exactly panned out--and the actual corruption of Obama's sell out to the health care-industrial complex beast with its voracious maw. And let's not even talk about his Wall Street banker buddies!

The President has presided over enacting the very kind of things voted against before in the Senate and campaigned against. Heck, he even beat Hillary in the primary by opposing the things he has embraced since being elected.

That is the true, significant definition of political corruption: lying to the voters to get their votes, then--right after the wedding night--jumping in bed with his special interest prostitutes.

But you are right: if we are willing to re-elect such people, we get the sorry government we deserve.

Now, I've got to get back to my several hundred thousands of fellow Floridians in search of jobs as we wander through this Obama economy jobs desert.

Ub40

Every year, Democrats trot out some trumped up "charge" against Rivera and every year they lose.

whasup

Yep. Zombies are like that. You knock them down, but more just keep showing up.

Conservative Kat

This is hysterical. Garcia must be shaking in his boots and has nothing but the same old same old BS. Is this what Garcia is running on? Come on! Give us something that we can digest. We have major issues facing our nation, and Garcia is an old, boring cat with nothing to go on but old drawn out news.

Rivera is running a clean campaign, no bashing.... and, all Garcia can do is bash and kick the can some more with old news. Sigh.

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