Suspected of being a ringer in the Democratic race to face GOP Congressman David Rivera, Justin Sternad (who's using his middle name "Lamar" to campaign as "Lamar Sternad") won't explain how he can spend big in a campaign with a minuscule budget.
Here's the math: He has raised $11,262 (nearly all from himself) and spent $10,440 to qualify in his quixotic bid for congressional office, despite having no public record of political engagement or political contacts.
That leaves about $822, according to his most recent campaign finance report. That's not enough cash to spend on mailers (considering that he has reported spending campaign cash on phones and postage) So far, he has sent at least six pieces out in the Key West-to-Kendall District 26 race.
How does he afford all this?
"Kiss my 'lily-white' ass," Sternad said by email.
For some reason, that phrase didn't appear on one of his mailers that kept his Anglo mug off mailers featuring President Obama, Martin Luther King and the Bullards, a family of Miami-Dade black politicians. (Note: "lily-white" is in quotes from Sternad because it's drawn from the above-linked blog post).
It's a violation of campaign finance laws to receive and spend money without reporting it.
The mailers come from the same Hialeah outfit that did nearly $100,000 worth of work for Rivera in 2010. It also repeats the same false charge about Democrat Joe Garcia from Rivera: That Garcia left his cancer-stricken wife.
Both Rivera and Sternad deny Sternad's a plant. Garcia's campaign believes otherwise. The campaigns of Democrats Gus Marin and Gloria Romero Roses, untouched in Sternard's mailers, are watching from the sidelines. Rivera beat Garcia in 2010. There's not much love between the two.
Another Rivera-Republican tie: Sternad said by email that GOP consultant Ana Alliegro is running his campaign. Unable to be reached via cellphone or Twitter, Alliegro has been called a "friend" by Rivera. She's also a former girlfriend of sometime-Rivera pal/rival, state House candidate and former state Sen. Alex Diaz de La Portilla. Her outfit is called "OnTarget Hispanic Marketing, Inc.," an interesting niche, considering that one of the mailers Sternad sent out had immigration-hardliner English-first language that would make most Miami Hispanic consultants a little nervous in Miami.
Alliegro, whose Twitter account describes her as a "Republican Political Guru and Conservative Bad Girl!," appears nowhere on his expenditure reports.
Other mailers misappropriated President Obama's logo. The president's campaign said he should stop. Sternad said by emails that he hadn't heard from the Obama campaign. Here's why: They say they can't reach him and have no clue (like most Democrats) who he is, a campaign official said. Sternad is an employee of the Wyndham hotel chain on Miami Beach.
Sternad denied his campaign was behind robocalls last night that touted his candidacy and that played a message of Garcia speaking in Spanish. That latter message might have primarily been sent to Anglo households -- a nice way to annoy voters and turn them off to Garcia.