Commentary: Maybe Florida congressional candidate's past really is top secret

Intrigue fairly drips off David Rivera. Like sweat off a double-agent's forehead.

At first, so much about Rivera's past seemed confounding. Even covert.

His financial disclosure declarations were inscrutable. The congressional candidate's answers to simple questions about his employment history evolved from one day to the next, from dubious to preposterous.

E-mails supposed to clarify exactly who hired him to do what arrived with key names redacted.

His purported travels as ``a public affairs consultant'' for the federal government didn't jibe with official records. His resume included associations with obscure companies of uncertain purpose. His last seven years of gainful employment, outside of his time in the state Legislature, have disappeared in a black hole.

David Rivera, congressional candidate, has become Miami's international man of mystery.

Mystery's solved. Forget misleading explanations. All that dissembling was just smoke. ``Public affairs consultant?'' Please. And James Bond was a plumber.

Think spook. Secret agent. Spy. Rivera as the Maxwell Smart of Miami politics.

On his sworn disclosure to the Florida Ethics Commission, Rivera listed his employment as a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID, oddly enough, told Scott Hiaasen and Patricia Mazzei, the Miami Herald reporters assigned to puzzle out Rivera's résumé, that the agency has no record of working with Rivera.

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