Joe Garcia (D, Florida 26) SWEARS that that $25 grand payout wasn’t hush money.
Oh, dear. This looks very awkward:
What’s worse than firing your top political adviser and chief of staff amid a state elections-fraud investigation? Having to pay him $25,000 in invoices that appear once the FBI opens up a separate inquiry.
Welcome to Congressman Joe Garcia’s world.
The Miami Democrat this morning reported he had a solid fundraising quarter, pulling in $411,000. But when his reports came online, this $25,000 expenditure stood out: Palm Media for “General Consulting.” The company is controlled by Garcia’s now-embattled former aide, Jeffrey Garcia (no relation).
Basically, this money got paid out after Jeffrey Garcia got canned over voter fraud allegations. For those who don’t remember: Garcia has been accused of stuffing the primary ballot box for Joe Garcia in 2012; Rep Garcia (and to a lesser extent, embattled Rep. Patrick Murphy [who also used Jeffrey Garcia]) has been taking heat over this ever since. I suspect that payouts like this are not going to tamp down the controversy, pious statements about outstanding balances to the contrary.
And yes, Joe Garcia could in fact be this dumb. The man’s a first-term Congressman; the learning curve is not quite as Darwinian as it is later in the Congressional life cycle*, but it’s still nothing to sneeze at.
Via the NRCC’s blog.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*The most dangerous time for a Member of Congress is right after he or she wins her second election. That’s when they start feeling immortal.