A self-described “Republican bad girl,” she was an odd choice to run a campaign for a Democrat. More unusual: Alliegro is buddies with Rivera, who Sternad technically would have faced had he won the Aug. 14 primary.
Between May 25 and June 8, Sternad received $11,000 in cash he never reported, according to the federal charging document, known as an “information.” Sternad used the money to pay the state qualifying fee of $10,440 on June 8 — the same day as a large cash deposit into his campaign bank account.
For more than two months, the information says, a stream of unreported cash and checks flowed to and on behalf of Sternad’s campaign. It underwrote the cost of producing, directing and sending out a dozen or so mailers — all of which bore the “ Lamar Will Take Us Far” slogan.
Some mailers targeted rural or environmental voters. Another, aimed at women, savaged now-Congressman Garcia by falsely accusing him of walking out on his wife “as she battled cancer.” It compared Garcia to former Sen. John Edwards and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
If Rivera was behind it, it was the height of cynicism. Just a few months before, Rivera was a top Florida advisor for Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Some Sternad mailers gave an indication of why he might have used his middle name, Lamar, instead of Justin. He might have wanted to seem black.
Three mailers specifically targeted African-American voters. They bore images of President Obama, Martin Luther King, the Bullard family (three black current and former politicians from Miami) and Trayvon Martin, the black Miami Gardens teen whose Central Florida shooting death in 2011 ripped open the scab of racial tensions.
“Justice for Trayvon Martin,” one mailer said. “Stand Together As One Voice for Trayvon Martin.”
But none of those mailers had a picture of, as we noted in The Herald’s Naked Politics blog, Sternad’s “lily white” face.
As The Herald tried to get Sternad to answer how he could afford to pay for all of the mailers on what appeared to be just $822 in leftover money, Sternad refused comment.
This was his email response: “Kiss my lily-white ass.”
The swagger from the once-tough-talking candidate was gone Friday. The guy who said he would drive the district to listen to people didn’t even have a car to drive to surrender himself to federal authorities.
The FBI had to give him a ride.