By JAVIER MANJARRESFire up the grill, and start basting the “Lechon,” as the Miami “Arroz con Pollo” style of politics and electioneering has just garnered a new FBI investigation. The “G-men” are now formally investigating the former Chief of Staff and best buddy of Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia, for his possible involvement in a “phony Tea Party candidate’s secretly funded mail campaign.”
The Miami Herald’s Marcos Caputo reported this story late Monday evening-
Kaplan’s statements to the FBI and the media directly contradict Jeffrey Garcia’s longstanding denials two years ago that he was connected to the campaign of Arrojo, whose full name is Jose Rolando Arrojo. At the time, the Herald reported the two went to the same high school and were former business partners.
The FBI found Kaplan through Image Plus Graphics after the Herald reported in June that the well-respected print shop produced and mailed Arrojo’s fliers.The FBI then subpoenaed all of Image Plus’ records related to Arrojo. Image Plus and Dynamic Strategies are not targets of the investigation.
“When you get a subpoena from the FBI, you give them what they want,” said Cliff Warren, the former president of Image Plus who still works at the company from time to time.
Warren and Kaplan, speaking from memory, said their records indicated Arrojo sent out roughly 18,000 fliers, which would have cost more than $10,000 to produce and mail.
Arrojo reported none of it, even though federal law requires candidates to disclose contributions and expenditures once they exceed $5,000.
Jeffrey Garcia, who is not related to Congressman Garcia, is currently under a state investigation for his possible involvement into the now infamous 2012 Miami absentee ballot request scandal. Garcia is also suspected by grassroots activists of possibly pulling the same kind of dirty tricks against former Congressman Allen West, as Garcia also consulted Patrick Murphy, who defeated West by a few hundred votes in the 2012 general election. Rep. Joe Garcia has naturally denied any and all knowledge of wrong-doing, but others beg to differ.
But while Garcia contends to not have any knowledge of the alleged absentee-ballot scandal, past and present campaign staffers from both Republican and Democratic campaigns are questioning whether or not Garcia was really kept out of the loop.
During Garcia’s past failed Congressional campaigns, Garcia built up a reputation of being a “hands-on” type of candidate, that insisted on been apprised on all aspects of his campaign.-Miami Absentee Voter Fraud Scandal
Congressman Garcia and his firmly affixed political anchor (Jeffrey Garcia) have offered up substantial fodder for his 2014 Republican congressional opponents to go after him on, but with these investigations in their infant stages, this political picnic is far from over. Keep the “Tres Leches” in the cooler.
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