When I asked Rep. David M. Rivera to answer a few questions on one of many brewing scandals he’s involved with yesterday, the Florida Republican asked me to send questions to a Comcast.net e-mail address for his campaign.
So I did, and a few hours later I got a response. What’s not clear is just who that response was from.
An anonymous person fielded questions for Rivera and asked that statements be attributed to the Rivera for Congress campaign. It’s the same e-mail address where his Congressional office said questions should be sent. The nameless individual did not respond to an inquiry about their name and provided TPM with no additional information about his or her role.
One reason that an anonymous e-mailer might be fielding questions on the matter is that as of now, nothing under investigation happened during his time in office, meaning there’s no reason for the Ethics office to get involved. Not answering questions through an official House e-mail account could be a means of making sure it stays that way.
Whoever the anonymous e-mailer handling inquires from reporters is, they’ve had a lot of work on their hands. News broke recently that the Miami-Dade Republican Party paid Esther Nuhfer, a political consultant with close ties to Rivera, $150,000 ahead of the 2010 election. Investigators are reportedly looking into the relationship between Rivera and Nuhfer, who is mostly known for her work as a lobbyist.
The e-mailer said that the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County “is fully aware of the details associated with every expenditure” and disputed that there was money unaccounted for.
“There are no ‘unaccounted’ funds. Communication Solutions’ services were retained by the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County to provide media, fundraising and Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) services,” the person wrote. ”The Republican Party of Miami-Dade County followed long-standing practice by ensuring that all expenditures to Communication Solutions were accounted for and properly documented with invoices, as was the case with all other Party vendors.”
Nufner was in charge of “media planning, strategy and placement” and “also engaged in fundraising and GOTV efforts.”
“Ms. Nuhfer is Congressman Rivera’s fundraising consultant and is in contact as needed to fulfill fundraising duties,” the anonymous person wrote. “Ms. Nuhfer is and has been Congressman Rivera’s fundraising consultant for several years.”
Additional reporting by Eric Lach.