Campaign 2010

Sep 19, 2012

DCCC Distributes “GOP’s Most Wanted” Flyers to House Republican Caucus

With three ethically challenged Republicans facing growing investigations, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hand-delivering the “GOP’s Most Wanted” flyers to the offices of House Republicans to raise awareness about their embattled colleagues.  Republican leaders have said that “every single Republican” has “high character value” and called for a “zero-tolerance” policy on ethics.

  • Congressman Grimm’s top fundraiser was arrested and denied bail as part of an FBI investigation into Grimm’s fundraising;
  • Congressman Rivera was implicated in a new criminal investigation by the FBI and Miami-Dade police for helping to run a shadow political campaign and the prosecution’s chief witness has disappeared;
  • Congressman Buchanan skipped his own deposition, faces contempt of court charges and a new investigation reveals his involvement in another questionable land deal.

“Just like at the post office, House Republicans can now hang up a poster to help out their constituents – and maybe the investigators – who are looking for more information on these three corrupt Republican Members of Congress,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Republican Leaders have already broken their  ‘zero tolerance’ policy on ethics but will every Member of the House Republican Conference remain silent on the worsening scandals of their ethically challenged colleagues, Congressmen Grimm, Rivera and Buchanan—their chief fundraiser responsible for preserving Republicans’ majority?”


Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11)

  • Grimm’s former top fundraiser arrested and denied bail.  “The Feds are turning up the heat on Rep. Michael Grimm’s former top fundraiser, who was denied bail Friday and faces stepped-up extortion charges. “This is not a simple case of (Biton) facing a short sentence relating to visa fraud,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Capozzolo during a bail hearing in Brooklyn Federal Court. Capozzolo is assigned to the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's public corruption section, which prosecutes politicians and has been leading an investigation of allegations that the Staten Island Republican accepted illegal campaign contributions.” [New York Daily News, 9/7/12]
  • Fundraiser’s Lawyer Said Ofer Biton Arrested Because of Ties to Grimm.  “A lawyer for an Israeli immigrant who raised thousands of dollars that helped elect Michael G. Grimm to Congress in 2010 said Friday that the authorities arrested his client last month on a charge of immigration fraud because of his ties to the lawmaker.” [New York Times, 9/7/12]

Congressman David Rivera (FL-26)

  • Rivera faces separate criminal investigations by the FBI and Miami-Dade police for allegedly helping run a shadow campaign against Democrat Joe Garcia. “The FBI and Miami-Dade police have opened separate criminal investigations into the campaign of a Democratic congressional candidate who, vendors say, was aided by GOP Rep. David Rivera. Federal agents gathered campaign records, invoices and began interviewing employees at two mail and data companies used by Democrat Justin Lamar Sternad’s primary campaign. Sternad spent about $43,000 in unreported cash and checks on mail services, a witness told The Herald and authorities. Some of the money was stuffed in envelopes bulging with $100 bills.” [Miami Herald, 8/23/12]
  • Rivera allegedly ran a shadowy campaign that might have broken federal laws. “Fueled with $43,000 in secret money, Republican Rep. David Rivera helped run a shadow campaign that might have broken federal laws in last week’s Democratic primary against his political nemesis Joe Garcia, according to campaign sources and finance records. As part of the effort, a political unknown named Justin Lamar Sternad campaigned against Garcia by running a sophisticated mail campaign that Rivera helped orchestrate and fund, campaign vendors said. “Among the revelations: The mailers were often paid in envelopes stuffed with crisp hundred-dollar bills.” [Miami Herald, 8/22/12]
  • A key witness in the federal investigation against Rivera failed to show up for interview with FBI agents and prosecutors and went missing.  “A key witness in the federal investigation against U.S. Rep. David Rivera failed to show up for an interview with prosecutors and FBI agents, and her family says they are worried of her whereabouts. Ana Alliegro, a campaign manager for former Democratic congressional candidate Justin Lamar Sternad, is at the center of the federal probe of Sternad and Rivera. FBI agents are investigating whether the Republican congressman used Alliegro to secretly fund Sternad’s primary race against Rivera’s longtime rival, Joe Garcia.” [Miami Herald, 9/7/12]

Congressman Vern Buchanan, NRCC Fundraising Chair (FL-16)

  • Buchanan Secured Multi-million dollar loan using Habitat for Humanity Mortgage as Collateral. “Buchanan has been using the Habitat mortgage as collateral for a multimillion dollar loan he got from Bank of America. During his second House race, in 2008, Buchanan took out a loan from Bank of America for $3.875 million, records show. During the 2008 campaign, however, there were no questions about how Buchanan got such a sizable loan because no mention of it appeared in public records until 2010. That's when Bank of America told Buchanan it would not renew the loan unless he produced some collateral, official records show.” [Tampa Bay Times, 9/9/12]
  • Buchanan could be put under oath for a deposition before election.  “A month before Election Day, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan could be put under oath for a deposition as part of a 4-year-old lawsuit involving a former business partner…. Sarasota Congressman Vern Buchanan is taking a lot of heat for avoiding a deposition in a case involving his former partner, who alleges the congressman solicited illegal campaign contributions. Buchanan is also being investigated by the IRS, the FBI, and is the target of a federal grand jury. [Herald Tribune 8/21/12; WTSP 7/30/12]
  • A contempt of court charge was filed against Buchanan. “Attorneys representing a former business partner of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan filed a motion seeking a contempt-of-court order against the Sarasota Republican in a business dispute.”  [Bradenton Herald, 8/4/12]