MIAMI (CBS4) – A day after CBS4 News revealed how David Rivera took advantage of a little-known loophole in Florida’s campaign finance laws to collect tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands, of dollars in unreported donations during his years in the state Legislature, the freshman Congressman issued a statement to The Miami Herald defending his actions.
“Any money raised and spent in relation to Congressman Rivera’s campaigns for the Republican Party of Florida state executive committee was done with the strictest adherence to all applicable legal requirements and any suggestion to the contrary is completely false,” the statement said.
Using the relatively obscure position of Republican Party State Committeeman, Rivera was able to quietly raise money from lobbyists and corporations and spend it with no oversight whatsoever.
Click Here for more on what CBS4 investigative reporter Jim DeFede found out.
CBS4 News has tried repeatedly to question Rivera about the contributions, but he refused to answer them in person.
“Just email me, you’ll get all your answers,” he said repeatedly.
CBS4 News sent Rivera detailed questions on two occasions, as well as emailing his staff. Rivera ignored the CBS4 News emails. But Thursday night Rivera did send The Miami Herald a statement.
“Congressman Rivera has at all times acted in compliance with both the letter and spirit of campaign finance regulations and has timely, properly and publicly reported all personal income,” the statement noted.
Rivera’s statement, however, didn’t actually answer any of the questions the Herald or CBS4 News submitted to Rivera.
The new organizations had asked for a list of the individuals, lobbyists and corporations who gave him money. They asked him to reveal how much each of them gave – so the public could better understand who was supporting him while he was a legislator. And they wanted to know where the money went.
But Rivera refused to answer those questions or any of the others.
While the Miami Dade State Attorney’s investigation in this case has stalled – no final decision has been made by prosecutors about what to do. The FBI and the IRS are continuing their own separate investigation of Rivera for tax evasion. The results of that investigation should be known by this Spring.