Florida shill candidate scheme: Dark money divided among 5 beneficiaries
Dark money sent to a Central Florida printer was divided up amongst five beneficiaries, according to new court documents released by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office in its ongoing investigation into the shill candidate scheme.
Candidate pleads guilty in alleged Florida vote scam
A sham candidate for the Florida Legislature pleaded guilty Tuesday to being part of a vote siphoning scheme in last year's election and will testify against a former Republican state senator who prosecutors say ran it. Alex Rodríguez agreed to testify against former Sen. Frank Artiles after pleading guilty in Miami-Dade County to accepting illegal campaign donations and lying on campaign documents. Prosecutors charged Artiles in March with felony campaign fraud charges, saying he secretly gave more than $44,000 to Rodriguez so that he could run in the 2020 election to confuse voters and siphon ballots from then-Democratic incumbent, Sen. Jose Javier Rodríguez.news.yahoo.com
Records show intricate details of alleged Artiles sham candidate scheme
New records released by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office in the case against disgraced former senator Frank Artiles and one shill candidate give an intricate look at how the scheme was allegedly funded and connect it to a prominent Republican consulting firm.
Records show web of payments involving players in probe into sham Senate candidate
A young Republican political operative who is also the subject of a public corruption investigation into former Republican state Sen. Frank Artiles made an offer to a recent college graduate last September: He would pay her $1,500 to chair a political committee and in exchange, she would have to do nothing.news.yahoo.com
Ethics panel rejects penalty for sham no-party candidate as not tough enough
A state ethics panel on Friday rejected a $6,500 fine against a sham no-party candidate who ran in a 2020 Miami-Dade legislative race, a rare move that was triggered by calls for stiffer penalties in a case one commissioner called one of the “most egregious” in Florida.news.yahoo.com
Court to hear arguments in July on ex-lawmaker’s request to shield evidence in ‘ghost’ candidate case
A court is set to decide next month whether to shield evidence in the criminal case against former state legislator Frank Artiles, who is accused of paying a financially struggling friend to run as an independent candidate in a South Florida state Senate election, one of three in Florida last year in which so-called “ghost” candidates who did no campaigning appeared to run in order to siphon votes from Democrats.sun-sentinel.com
Artiles and shill candidate plead not guilty; hints to defense strategy emerge
Former state Sen. Frank Artiles and Alex Rodriguez, the sham candidate Artiles is accused of masterminding, entered written not-guilty pleas Friday in the alleged plot to swing the District 37 state senate race in November.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, presuntamente relacionado con fraude de candidatos plantados en Florida
El congresista de Florida Matt Gaetz, que ya forma parte de una investigación federal sobre acusaciones de tráfico sexual, ahora está vinculado a un candidato cómplice en una elección del Senado de Florida, según el New York Times.
Florida Senate Democrats call for federal probe of ‘widespread and ongoing’ election attack
Charges have been filed against the independent candidate who filed to run in one of those races and a former lawmaker who authorities say paid him nearly $45,000 to put his name on the ballot. Frank Artiles, who resigned his state Senate seat in 2017 and Alexis Pedro Rodriguez of Delray Beach, who filed to run in Miami’s Senate District 37, were charged last week with breaking state campaign contribution laws and making false statements in connection with voting or elections.sun-sentinel.com
11 Dem. members of Florida Congress want federal investigation into shill candidates
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The investigation into planting shill candidates in state legislative races may be widening. On Thursday, 11 Democratic members of Congress from Florida asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch a federal investigation into the shill candidates and their dark money. If the request is granted, the investigation into the sham candidates could be turbo-charged and could uncover the source of the $500,000 spent on three sham candidates last fall. AdUnited States Representative Frederica Wilson was one of the Florida House members who sent the letter to the attorney general. In at least three Florida senate races, sham candidates were planted by political operatives and funded by dark money groups in order to sway the electoral outcome.”Wilson’s solution?
Democrats want new election after sham candidate arrests, but where was the outrage before this case?
The Democratic groups, however, want a new election, saying the one in November was tainted. AdBy all accounts, everyone knew about this ahead of the election, raising the question of why opponents didn’t raise the issue then. The plant candidate Alex Rodriguez got more than 6,000 votes despite not actually campaigning. The actual election mechanics in this year’s District 37 race were lawful and smooth. Planting a shill candidate is not illegal, but the funding in this case was, prosecutors allege.
This Week in South Florida: Gary Farmer
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Former state Senator Frank Artiles and the shill candidate he is accused of funding were both arrested last week in a bombshell election scandal. His arrest was the culmination of a four-month investigation at the State Attorney’s office, launched the day after Local 10 found two shill candidates that might have swayed South Florida state Senate elections. He ended up losing his seat by 32 votes to now-state Senator Ileana Garcia. AdState Senator Gary Farmer of Broward County is one of those, as the Democratic minority leader in the state Senate. He joined This Week in South Florida hosts Glenna Milberg and Michael Putney, and their conversation can be seen at the top of this page.
Florida Dem. party says Rep. senator should step down, new election be held because of fraud
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Florida Democratic leaders are calling for Republican State Senator Ileana Garcia to step down or to voluntarily resign and for a new election to be held. This comes in the wake of former state senator Frank Artiles being charged with election fraud Thursday, accused of masterminding and funding a sham candidate to manipulate voters last November. Faced with proof of fraud that clearly impacted the outcome of an election decided by 32 votes. He lost the election by 32 votes to Republican Ileana Garcia. It is unlikely that Garcia would voluntarily resign her seat and there is no provision in state law that says she must step down.
Arrest for Campaign Crimes Is Latest of Many Controversies for Ex-Florida Sen. Frank Artiles
^ Keep New Times Free Support Us LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free. Alex Rodriguez shares a surname with incumbent Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez, a coincidence many believe was intended to confuse voters. Officers with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office Public Corruption Task Force raided Artiles' Palmetto Bay home on Monday. According to the search warrant, Artiles paid Alex Rodriguez, an acquaintance of his, nearly $45,000 with the purpose of siphoning votes from Jose Javier Rodriguez. Since leaving office, Artiles has been working as a political lobbyist.miaminewtimes.com
Read the warrant alleging ex-Florida Sen. Frank Artiles paid shill candidate to dupe voters
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Former state lawmaker Frank Artiles and Alex Rodriguez, a candidate allegedly paid to fool voters in the 2020 election, were booked into jail in Miami-Dade County on Thursday. Investigators say Artiles paid Rodriguez $44,708.03 “for changing his party affiliation, qualifying as an independent candidate for Senate Seat 37, and attempting to [siphon] votes from the incumbent candidate.”That Democrat incumbent shared the last name Rodriguez, and Jose Javier Rodriguez ultimately lost the District 37 vote to Republican challenger Ileana Garcia by just 32 votes. Details of the scheme are outlined by investigators in a warrant obtained by Local 10 News that can be read below:
Ex-Florida Sen. Frank Artiles walks out of jail facing felony campaign finance charges
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Frank Artiles walked out of Miami-Dade County jail late Thursday night after posting a $5,000 bond. Shill candidate Alex Rodriguez was also booked on Thursday morning. (Courtesy of Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office)Rodriguez was released on bond Thursday afternoon and declined comment outside the jail. The plant candidate Alex Rodriguez, a deep-in-debt machinery rep who actually lived two counties away from the district, got over 6,000 votes despite not actually campaigning, nor having actual political aspirations. Alex Rodriguez, 55, told investigators that Artiles, 47, contacted him on May 15, 2020, through Facebook Messenger.
Ex-Sen. Frank Artiles’ home raided in shill candidate investigation
Investigators are looking for evidence of Artiles’ possible communication with Alex Rodriguez, a shill candidate in the District 37 Florida Senate race, and whether there is proof Artiles illegally paid for and paid off the sham candidate. Ad🚨Breaking: search warrant raid right now at home of resigned #Florida Sen. Frank Artiles re shill candidate he planted, Alex Rodriguez. Prosecutors have been working the case for months, following the money and communications between Artiles and Alex Rodriguez. Shill candidate Alex Rodriguez got over 6,000 votes. There is no evidence that suggests Garcia was involved or had any knowledge of the shill being planted in the race.
Danielle Cohen Higgins appointed to Miami-Dade Commission
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Danielle Cohen Higgins was appointed and sworn in as Miami-Dade County’s new commissioner for District 8 on Monday, filling the seat vacated by new mayor Daniella Levine Cava. Cohen Higgins, a civil law attorney, was selected by a 10-1 vote in a special meeting. The process took only about 10 minutes as commissioners decided to make the appointment rather than hold a special election for district residents. Cohen Higgins was considered a frontrunner from the get-go among a list of seven contenders. Relatively drama-freeMiami Dade commission votes 10-1 to appoint Danielle Cohen Higgins to fill D8 seat, left open as predecessor Daniella Levine Cava became county Mayor.
This Week in South Florida: Annette Taddeo and Chip LaMarca
The investigation into who masterminded and funded the shill candidates now includes Frank Artiles, a former state Senator who resigned in disgrace and who is now asking to be appointed to the Miami-Dade Commission. Two people in a position to stop political manipulation are current state lawmakers, and two of them joined This Week in South Florida. Annette Taddeo is a Democratic state Senator representing Kendall and Southwest Miami-Dade. Chip LaMarca is a Republican representing Broward County’s coastal communities, from Hollywood to the north county line. They joined TWISF hosts Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg, and their discussion can be seen at the top of this page.
Former Sen. Frank Artiles’ likely shill candidate wants Levine Cava’s former seat
MIAMI – Former Sen. Frank Artiles refused to talk on Thursday night about his role in planting a shill candidate in Miami-Dade’s Senate race for District 37. Given the opportunity, he did not deny Alex Rodriguez likely ran in the Senate race to disrupt Democratic votes for incumbent, Jose Javier Rodriguez. Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez applied to fill the vacant District 8 seat of Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, according to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners. Alex Rodriguez, who had 6,382 voters on his side Nov. 3, is at the center of an ongoing shill candidate investigation by the State Attorney’s Office. She had denied any involvement in the shill candidate scheme.