The Miami Herald reports Rep. David Rivera provided $43,000 to fund the campaign of Justin Sternad, who was running against Democrat Joe Garcia in last week's primary election.
It's complicated, but here's some of what investigators say happened. Some vendors say Rivera contacted them to provide information for Sternad, and mailers put out by Sternad were paid for by envelopes full of cash.
Campaign finance laws limit contributions to $2,500 per individual in a primary. Candidates who loan themselves money have to report it as well. They also can’t receive more than $100 in cash.
Sternad’s wife is unemployed, they have small investments and they’re supporting five kids, according to his campaign records.
Sternad, who earned $30,000 as a hotel worker last year, loaned himself nearly $11,000 for his campaign. All but $822 was spent on the state fee to qualify for office. The remainder was spent for signage, bank fees or his cell phone bill.
Sternad — the treasurer for his own campaign — never filed a report showing he loaned himself any additional money. So it’s unclear where the nearly $43,000 for the mailers came from. He never reported any work by Rapid Mail or Campaign Data. Nor has he reported expenditures for his de facto campaign manager, Ana Alliegro.