The video at the end is a must see. It isn’t everyday that we get to see the spouse of a failed candidate throwing water in a reporter’s face. First, a summary of one of the stranger stories of this campaign season.
Republican Rep. David Rivera is in his first term in Congress. He was elected in a competitive race against Democrat Joe Garcia in 2010. Garcia announced that he was challenging Rivera again this year. Including Garcia, four Democrats ran in the primary for the right to challenge Rivera. One of those four, Justin Lamar Sternad, was a political newcomer. Garcia received the Democratic nomination with Sternad running third.
For a political neophyte, Sternad ran a sophisticated campaign. He initially reported raising $11,000. However, after reports of a massive mail campaign, Sternad amended his financial report to include $53,000 that he claimed to have loaned his campaign. Sternad makes $30,000 a year and has few investments.
The flyers appeared to be the work of a political professional. While the flyers included Republican talking points, they were really distorted hit pieces. In one flyer, Sternad portrayed himself as a black man seeking “justice for Trayvon Martin.” Sternad is white. Toward white voters, he presented himself as the only candidate born in the United States.
Sternad’s campaign manager was longtime political consultant, Ana Sol Alliegro. Alliegro is generally a Republican consultant so working for the Democrat Sternad raised a few questions. That could be overlooked as suspicious except Alliegro is a friend of Sternard’s opponent Congressman Rivera. Alliegro and Rivera have even been linked romantically.
The FBI is investigating the situation. Sternad is talking. Rivera is denying that he ever met Sternad. Alliegro has disappeared despite promising to talk to investigators.
The direct mail company involved in Sternad’s campaign has also implicated Rivera. They stated that almost all the payments were in cash, including one call from Rivera that instructed an employee to pickup $7,800 from the company’s mailbox.
Sternad became suspicious after discovering connections between Rivera and Alliegro on Facebook and Twitter. He realized that Rivera was the “mystery investor” behind his campaign. Sternad played along because Alliegro promised a good job when it was all done.
It is difficult to imagine that Alliegro is a political consultant of any skill. For that matter, Rivera’s political instincts can be questioned too. Having a relationship with one candidate, while running the campaign of an opponent with money from the first candidate sounds more like a third-rate Hollywood comedy than real political strategy. At least, it would have been assumed that Rivera and Alliegro would have had enough sense to clean up their connections in the social media.
Back to the water. It is right there on the opening frames of the video. Apparently, Sternad’s wife is not happy about the questioning the fiasco with her husband has generated.