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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Marco Rubio narrates attack ad against pal David Rivera



Democratic congressional candidate Joe Garcia is using a most-unexpected narrator in a web ad bashing Republican Rep. David Rivera: The voice of Sen. Marco Rubio, a Rivera pal who has repeatedly said Rivera will have to answer questions about his finances that have made him a target of state and federal investigations. Rivera narrowly escaped state criminal charges stemming from his use of state House campaign funds and an investigation into a secret dog-track payment.

He faces a federal investigation as well. A right-hand man for Rubio when he was in the House, Rivera is a close family friend of Rubio, who has stood by Rivera's side. He helped Rivera raise money but, in numerous interviews, has said Rivera will have to answer questions about his finances. Rivera, in turn, pushed out a public statement that said Garcia has his own "personal corruption issues."** Garcia's campaign said Rivera is simply lying about Garcia's alleged corruption.

Indeed, there's no evidence that Garcia is under investigation, as Rivera claims, but there is ample proof that Rivera is. Right now, the investigations have tolled on Rivera's fundraising. He raised just $92,700 last quarter, spent $57,529.67 and has cash on hand of $213,648.15 (but he has debts of $138,573). Garcia raised $250,194.12, spent $55,661.57 and has cash on hand of $194,532.55. Democrat Gloria Romery Roses raised $99,397 (but loaned herself $150,000 for a total of $249,397.52), spent $63,980.84 and has cash on hand of $185,416.68.

-- Marc Caputo

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 3:50pm]


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