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Leaked Democratic Party documents paint Joe Garcia in a negative light

Annette Taddeo and Joe Garcia speak to the Miami Herald editorial board. They’re running in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 26th congressional district.



An anonymous hacker believed to have connections with the Russian government released more stolen documents Monday afternoon detailing campaign strategy for Democrats in certain Florida congressional districts -- including Miami's most competitive race.

"Here are the DCCC docs on Florida: reports, memos, briefings, dossiers, etc," hacker Guccifer 2 wrote. "You can have a look at who you are going to elect now. It may seem the congressional primaries are also becoming a farce."

The stolen documents, released via a WordPress website, include strategy memos on Florida's 26th District, where Democrats Joe Garcia and Annette Taddeo are waging a primary campaign to challenge Republican Carlos Curbelo.

Garcia, a former congressman who did not receive the support of the DCCC this year, was painted in a negative light in a document titled "FL-26 Path to Victory Summary" that was last updated April 1. The DCCC highlighted two Garcia gaffes during his time in office.  

"Garcia also made a large misstep during the campaign saying 'communism works; which did not sit well in an area with a large Cuban refugee population," the document says. "More embarrassingly, Garcia was caught on a CSPAN feed picking his earwax and seemingly eating it and the video made the rounds on the internet." 

The document goes on to highlight other Democratic goals to unseat Curbelo in District 26, notably getting 45 percent support from Hispanic/Latino voters, 57 percent from women voters, increased turnout among voters under 45 years of age, increased turnout among African-American voters in Homestead and at least 53.5 percent of the early vote. 

The DCCC also criticized Garcia's failed 2014 re-election campaign, saying it "was not a model to follow" and his direct-mail vendor was "subpar." It also said that Garcia's ground operation "struggled to garner support from local Democratic committees."

A second document titled "FL-26 Campaign Overview" from April 8 also acknowledged Taddeo's political vulnerabilities. 

"Annette has also proven to be a somewhat poor fundraiser and she has gained a reputation as an inadequate campaigner among some of the talkers in the community," the document says.

“As previously noted, the DCCC has been the target of a cybersecurity incident, and we are cooperating with federal law enforcement in their ongoing investigation," DCCC National Press Secretary Meredith Kelly said. "We are aware of reports that documents claimed to be from our network have been released and are investigating their authenticity."

UPDATE from Garcia campaign: "Today’s hack of Taddeo campaign documents shows that Annette Taddeo spent thousands of dollars on a private investigator to dig up dirt on Joe Garcia and then hired a Republican strategist to spin those lies into an insult-based campaign Florida Republicans are famous for -- the Garcia campaign has done none of the above and voters in Florida’s 26th district deserve better from Taddeo," Garcia spokesman Juan Peñalosa said in a statement.