On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported that three Republican operatives received cuts of a $550,000 payment for mailers from a dark money political group under investigation for the criminal scheme to plant "ghost candidates" in Florida state legislative races in 2020.
According to the Miami Herald, the three operatives are "Ryan Smith, a GOP consultant who owns Tallahassee firm '96 Consulting; Ryan Tyson, a prominent Republican operative and pollster, and Alex Alvarado, a strategist and stepson of the printer who brokered the mail-piece project."
All three operatives received a cut from a $550,000 payment directed a printing company that coordinated political mail advertisements during three key state Senate races.
"The details of the mail buy, which were disclosed for the first time in court records released Tuesday, underscore the influence of Republican big-hitters and how mail was used to attempt to sway the outcome of three key state Senate races in 2020," continued the report.
The plot centered on running fake independent candidates in multiple competitive races which shared the names of Democratic candidates, to siphon off votes and spoil the races. The plot involved a former Republican state senator, Frank Artiles, who has been charged for lying in documents and counseling the fake candidates to submit false information.
One of the ghost candidates, Alex Rodriguez, has agreed to testify in the case.