Facing allegations that he illegally spent nearly $70,000 funding a ringer candidate’s campaign against a Democratic opponent, former Miami congressman David Rivera asked a judge Wednesday to toss a federal elections lawsuit, saying that if anybody broke the law it was the guy who took the money.
Rivera, in a motion to dismiss, told Judge Robert Scola that even if he did secretly spend $69,426.20 backing the campaign of a political neophyte in a scheme to siphon votes away from a more threatening opponent, that wouldn’t have broken any federal election laws. Rather, Rivera — who denies the allegations — argued it would have been Justin Lamar Sternad, the 2012 primary opponent for Joe Garcia, who violated elections laws by failing to report the money as an “in-kind” contribution.
“The candidate was allegedly informed that the ‘in-kind’ contributions were being made by Rivera, but it was the candidate who chose not to disclose Mr. Rivera as the source of the in-kind contribution,” wrote Rivera’s attorney, Roy Kahn. “The failure to properly disclose the true facts on his campaign disclosure forms falls on the shoulders of the candidate, not the donor.”
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