Former Florida State Senator Pleads Guilty in Ghost Candidate Investigation

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Former NPA District 37 Florida Senate campaigner Alex Rodriguez has pleaded blameworthy to 2 of 4 felony counts of violating predetermination laws.

Rodriguez volition person 1 twelvemonth of location apprehension followed by 2 years of probation. He volition not person jailhouse clip and prosecutors are requiring him to attest against erstwhile State Senator Frank Artiles, who is facing 4 felony counts.

“The State alleges Artiles paid astir $40,000 to Rodriguez to tally arsenic an NPA campaigner successful past November’s Miami Senate race, successfully drafting much than 6,000 votes from the Democratic incumbent of the aforesaid past name, Jose Javier Rodriguez, and handing the Republican campaigner a victory,” WESH 2 News reported.

The ungraded has been the speech of Florida authorities for months.

Earlier this year, 11 of Florida’s Democratic U.S. House members sent a missive to United States Attorney General Merrick Garland saying that “a unreality of corruption hangs implicit Florida’s 2020 predetermination cycle, which frankincense far, has received lone a constricted ceremonial investigation.”

Their missive came after Artiles was arrested and charged with respective felonies––making oregon receiving 2 oregon much excessive run contributions, conspiracy to marque oregon person 2 oregon much excessive run contributions, and mendacious swearing regarding voting oregon elections––in narration to his determination to enlistee Alexis “Alex” Rodríguez, who did not state a enactment affiliation, by offering him $50,000 to tally successful the race.

The strategy worked: Rodriguez was capable to siphon votes from incumbent Democrat José Javier Rodríguez, who mislaid his authorities Senate spot to Republican challenger Ileana Garcia by conscionable 32 votes successful November.

“It is wide that the eventual extremity of the strategy outlined successful ineligible records by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s bureau could not person been accomplished without the coordinated enactment of 2 state-level governmental committees, The Truth and Our Florida, which were acceptable up for the explicit intent of raising the sanction recognition of these shade candidates, and to confuse voters with messaging that mirrored the Democratic campaigns,” the lawmakers wrote successful their letter. 

They argued that candidates that did not actively run for bureau were supported by an entity called Proclivity, whose $550,000 successful untraceable contributions were accepted by 2 governmental committees.

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