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Florida GOP wants DCCC to 'apologize' for boosting faux tea-party candidate in 2010


When a little-known tea-party candidate ran for Congress in Miami in 2010, Democrats mailed two campaign fliers depicting Roly Arrojo as "too conservative" -- a strategy intended to attract conservative voters to the unknown contender and siphon votes away from Republican rival David Rivera.

But Arrojo, as was suspected at the time, turned out to be a straw candidate put up to run by the campaign of Democrat Joe Garcia. Arrojo and Garcia's whose former manager, Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, have been charged with violating federal law. (Rivera is suspected of orchestrating a far more extensive straw-candidate campaign in 2012, but he has not yet been charged.)

Democrats' support of Arrojo has not been forgotten by the Republican Party of Florida, which on Tuesday drafted a letter calling on the party to "apologize" for its role in the 2010 race.

"The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's efforts to bolster a candidate, who was illegally funded and recruited, with tens of thousands of dollars in campaign mailers is a direct disregard and harm to the democracy that voters in South Florida value," reads the short letter signed by RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia and the heads of the Miami-Dade and Monroe local parties, Nelson Diaz and Debby Goodman. The district as it's drawn now stretches from Westchester to Key West.

The letter was addressed to Annette Taddeo, the Democrat challenging incumbent GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo, and Ben Ray Luján, the chairman of the DCCC who will be in Coral Gables on Friday to raise funds for her.