Florida democratic congressman seeking to become Senator accepts maximum contributions from two wealthy Colombo family mobsters
The Democratic congressman seeking to unseat Senator Marco Rubio has accepted maximum campaign contributions from a pair of Florida businessmen identified by the FBI as members of the Colombo organized crime family, records show.
According to Federal Election Commission filings, Representative Patrick Murphy’s political committee has received $5400 apiece from John Staluppi and John Rosatti during the 2016 election cycle.
FEC rules cap individual donations at $5400--$2700 for a primary campaign and another $2700 for the general election effort.
The Friends of Patrick Murphy committee received Staluppi’s two contributions on March 31. Rosatti initially gave Murphy $1000 last September, and then maxed out with a pair of March 8 contributions totaling $4400. During the 2014 election cycle, Staluppi and his wife gave the 33-year-old pol a combined $5000.
In Tuesday’s Democratic primary, Murphy received 59 percent of the vote, setting up a general election race against Rubio, the incumbent Republican. The two-term congressman represents a southeastern Florida district that includes St. Lucie and Martin counties.
As previously reported in these pages, Rosatti, 72, and Staluppi, 69, are each extremely wealthy due to their ownership of numerous car dealerships in Florida and New York. Both men are Brooklyn natives, convicted felons, superyacht owners, and, according to FBI records, prized Mafia “earners.”
Rosatti and Staluppi, both registered Republicans, are residents of Palm Beach Gardens, which is in the southern tip of Murphy’s congressional district. In 2004, Rosatti and Staluppi each donated $2000 to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, according to FEC filings.
Rosatti’s and Staluppi’s involvement with the Colombo gang is detailed in FBI debriefing reports with an assortment of mob turncoats, including former ranking members of the crime group.
During the deadly early-90s fight for control of the Colombo family, Rosatti and Staluppi initially sided (and financed) insurgent forces seeking to oust imprisoned boss Carmine “The Snake” Persico. But the pair subsequently switched allegiances mid-war after paying a visit to jailed Colombo captain Dominick “Donny Shacks” Montemarano, a staunch Persico supporter. The duo’s charge of heart is detailed in an FBI report of a debriefing of Salvatore Miciotta, a crime family captain.
The Rosatti-Staluppi flip was later the subject of a bugged conversation between Persico allies. “We got those two guys with us, Staluppi and Rosatti. They’re with us now, right?” one hoodlum asked. “Yeah,” a second wiseguy replied.
Carmine Sessa, a former Colombo captain, identified Rosatti and Staluppi as members of a crew headed by Theodore Persico, Carmine’s son, according to an FBI report. During an NYPD surveillance outside a Brooklyn catering hall, detectives spotted Rosatti and Staluppi attending the wedding reception of another Persico son (along with numerous other Colombo family figures).
In 1988, Gregory Scarpa, a Colombo captain who doubled as a top echelon FBI informant, told his handlers that Staluppi was a member of the crime family and a “man to be taken seriously.” Referring to Staluppi’s interest in several large auto dealerships, Scarpa said that he “was brought into the family because of his legitimate enterprises.”
In the midst of the Colombo war, Scarpa told the FBI that Staluppi (seen at right) and Rosatti “have made it known that they are looking to come over to the Persico side.” The move, Scarpa said, was prompted by the arrest of Victor Orena, who was leading the bloody campaign to depose Persico as boss of the Colombo gang.
At the time of Scarpa’s 1988 reports, Staluppi was working with Donald Trump on the production of a series of Cadillac stretch limousines. The Trump Golden Series and Trump Executive Series vehicles were the first time the developer had licensed his name for a product.