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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Calvo video raises questions

Three years ago, Fabian Calvo put up an Internet ad for his new real estate program aimed at helping Hispanics make lots of money, fast. One of his customers looks into the camera and says Calvo changed his life.

Who’s that unidentified customer? Calvo’s father-in-law, Bart Baker, a prominent insurance agent from Malibu who had already helped Calvo with real estate purchases in Pinellas County. The video also fails to identify a second customer, Robert Castro, a Calvo business partner, according to a Sunday story in the St. Petersburg Times.

Calvo, 32, now a Republican candidate in the race for House District 45, which represents parts of Pasco and Pinellas counties, maintains that Baker and Castro really did learn from him.

"They've started with no knowledge in the real estate firm whatsoever and they've both done well despite some challenges in the real estate," Calvo said. "Both of them went through that program and did well."

Calvo also talked more about his financial contributions in 2005, 2006 and 2007, to La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Calvo, who now rails against the liberal group on his conservative radio show, says he gave money only to gather information.


-- Jodie Tillman, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:40pm]


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