I Team: GOP Can’t Account For Funds To Rivera Ally

MIAMI (CBS4) — In the final weeks of last year’s election, the Miami Dade Republican Party paid a close ally of Congressman David Rivera $150 thousand primarily to buy time on Spanish language radio stations for a variety of Republican candidates.

But a review led by The Miami Herald could only find documentation at the radio stations for $34 thousand worth of ads. Radio stations are required by law to maintain complete files on all political advertising. And Republican Party officials now admit they have no detailed records or receipts showing where the rest of the money went.


The Dade GOP hired Esther Nuhfer and her company, Communications Solutions, but never signed a formal contract with her. Nor did GOP officials require her to document precisely her expenditures. Party officials now say they have asked Nuhfer to provide a more complete accounting of the money.

At the time the GOP hired Nuhfer, Rivera was the party’s chairman. Rivera claims to have recused himself from the decision making process to hire Nuhfer, a longtime friend who Rivera has hired to work on several of his campaigns.

Neither Nuhfer nor Rivera would comment for this story.

“The only thing I can say is, you have to call the chairman because I’m not at liberty to discuss any of those kind of things or situations or anything,” said J.C. Hernandez, the executive director of the Miami Dade Republican Party.

Hernandez was referring to the current chairman, State Rep. Erik Fresen, who recently took over leadership of the party from Rivera. Fresen twice agreed to an interview with CBS4 News but cancelled one at the last minute and failed to make himself available for the other.

In a statement Rivera denies he had anything to do with Nuhfer being hired by the party to be a “media consultant.” But the ties between Nuhfer and Rivera run deep. Although he identifies her as his political fundraiser, friends say they are much closer.

The two have been known to travel together outside of Miami and they recently attended a black tie event for Miami Dade College, having their picture taken as a couple for the college magazine.

On Saturday when Rivera opened his new congressional district office in Miami CBS4 News wanted to ask Rivera about Nuhfer and the $150 thousand in party money given to her during his time as chairman, but his staff kept us away.

Yet questions do remain. Whose idea was it to hire Nuhfer? Why was there no formal contract between the Miami Dade Republican party and Nuhfer? And why didn’t Rivera and the party demanding more accounting from Nuhfer on how she spent the money?

Investigators who have been examining Rivera’s finances as part of their criminal probe of the freshman congressman have also been examining the relationship between Rivera and Nuhfer and the extent to which Rivera has been responsible for directing campaign funds to Nuhfer.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )

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Comments

One Comment

  1. VICTOR MONTORO.RNC. MEMBER says:

    AS ALL WE KNOW, IN THE MIAMI HERALD STAFF IS JIM DEFEDEE, THAT IS WELL KNOWN BY THE CUBAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY, SO HE IS TRYING TO
    BLOCK ALL THE CUBAN AMERICAN CANDIDATES FROM THE GOP, BEFORE ,
    RIVERA, WAS MARCO RUBIO, AND ALL WE KNOW,THAT MR. DEFEDEE, IS
    A LAIER.PLEASE DO NOT TRUST IN HIM.

  2. VICTOR MONTORO says:

    PLEASE DO NOT TRUST IN JIM DEFEDEE, IS A REAL LAIER, ALL THE CUBAN.
    AMERICANS ,KNOWS HIM, BY HIS COMMENTS TRYING TO BLOCK THE ELECTIONS, OF THE GOP CANDIDATES BEFORE, THIS HAPPENS , BEFORE WITH
    MARCO RUBIO, AND NOW WITH DAVID RIVERA. PLEASE DO NOT TRUST IN HIM
    IS A REAL LAIER.

  3. Luis Bonilla says:

    LEARN HOW TO SPELL VICTOR. YOU ARE PROBABLY ANOTHER CORRUPT CUBAN JUST LIKE YOUR CRONIES. YOU AND THE REST NEED TO LEAVE AND FLEE SOUTH 90 MILES TO ISLAND OF THE BEARD. WE ARE SICK OF ALL OF YOU AND I WONT REST UNTIL I VOTE ALL OF YOU OUT OF OFFICE.

    1. GAIN AND AGAIN says:

      Luis, WHY JUST CUBANS? ALL CORRUPTION IS BAD. We are not fortunate enough to VOTE FOR THE BEST, but I for one am Cuban-born AND ABIDE by ALL LAWS. I do not know your NATIONALITY; but, YOUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE: Let’s get the CORRUPT OUT OF OFFICE, see Mr. Julio Robaina, claims he was born in NJ, then why is he not THERE, running for office? Alex Penelas, was another CLOWN.

  4. The Mission says:

    I think it’s interesting how Esther Nuhfer is friends with two con artists called Jackie Coniglione and Giuseppe Coniglione.

    http://coniglione-scams.nolieads.com/

  5. rolando fernandez says:

    Gelsy,

    Don’t blame JC for David Rivera’s bad decisions. Executive Director sounds impressive, but JC was simply David’s buttboy. And please don’t bring the Scouts into this – FYI: JC was not an Eagle Scout. He was a Scout, but his rank was Tenderbutt – I mean Tenderfoot.

  6. Luis Bonilla says:

    GAIN AND AGAIN: YOU ARE RIGHT, I STEREOTYPED CUBANS BECUASE MOST OF OUR POLITICIANS ARE CUBANS, I AM COMPLETELY IN ACCORDIANCE WITH YOU IN RESPECT TO ROBAINA AND PENELAS. WE DONT NEED POLITICIANS THAT WILL BENEFIT THERE OWN INTEREST BEFORE THE INTEREST OF TAX PAYERS. SEIJAS AND ALVAREZ ARE THE FIRST TWO IDIOTS OUT THE DOOR WITH MANY MORE TO FOLLOW.

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