Sunday, February 20, 2011

The David Rivera & Esther Nuhfer Connection

The Miami Herald reports that David Rivera paid $250,000 to the political consulting firm Communication Solutions for a state senate campaign he later dropped out of. (Rivera would eventually run for Congress.) Rivera paid Communication Solutions $150,000 for radio ads and GOTV efforts. However, the Miami-Dade Republican Party has no record of the payments. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating Rivera's payments to Communication Solutions.

Esther Nuhfer started Communication Solutions in 2004. Blogger Joy-Ann Reid reports that Rivera and Nuhfer are dating. Below is a picture of Rivera and Nuhfer at a Miami Dade College black tie event.

The Miami Herald's reporting indicates that Nuhler acted very girlfriendish when lobbying in Tallahassee.

During the legislative session, Nuhfer was a constant presence in Rivera’s office: She often could be found sitting at or near his desk, using the telephone or typing on her laptop next to Rivera’s legislative aide, Alina Garcia, who was Nuhfer’s roommate in Tallahassee.

Rivera and Nuhfer also traveled together outside the state, according to sources close to the criminal investigation. Through his campaign, Rivera said any trips with Nuhfer were for “fundraising activities and events.” In December, Rivera accompanied Nuhfer to a black-tie gala for Miami Dade College.

Another odd piece of information is that in 2008, Nuhfer only registered to lobby the Florida House. It is unheard of for lobbyists to register to lobby the House and not the Senate. At the time, Rivera was a member of the Florida House. Where the plot thickens is during 2008 Nuhfer was a consulting for two of Rivera's political action committees. Her firm received $44,000 the the consulting work.

Ryan J. Reilly of Talking Points Memo attempted to ask Rivera why the Miami-Dade Republican Party can not account for the $150,000 paid to Communication Solutions. The response he got was absolutely bizarre. Reilly was contacted by an anonymous person using a Comcat email address. The person would not reveal to Reilly his or her identity.

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.

We will see about that.

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