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George Santos fabricated his entire resume. Where was the oppo research?
The GOP House rep-elect is the Anna Delvey of Elizabeth Holmeses.This is beyond even the Republican sociopaths currently in Congress.
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Outrage began exploding yesterday among many Democrats and progressives after a New York Times bombshell report showed that George Santos, a Republican elected to the U.S. House on New York’s Long Island — running as a gay, Latino MAGA candidate — is a complete fraud in addition to being an extremist. There’s no evidence of just about everything on his resume, in his National Republican Campaign Committee bio or in his stated background.
No evidence he worked for major Wall Street firms Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. No evidence he got a degree from Baruch College or New York University. No evidence he’s a real estate professional who owns over 30 properties with his family. No evidence he founded a pet charity that saved over 2000 animals — even though he had a fundraiser with this “charity” and the money apparently went to him rather than the beneficiary.
And there’s no evidence that any company he owned “lost four employees” in the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting massacre of 2016, as he stated in a radio interview.
You have to be a special kind of sociopath to pad your resume with a connection to a brutal tragedy of immense proportions — but that is just the tip of the iceberg of what Santos did.
As with Anna Sorokin — known as Anna Delvey — the con artist who posed as a wealthy heiress and got New York’s elite to invest millions in her fake projects, and Elizabeth Holmes, the convicted fraudster who founded Theranos after sucking in massive investment from prominent individuals, no one seems to have done a simple background check.
Certainly GOP leaders didn’t dig too deeply in vetting him, though they did sense something troubling. The Cook Political Report earlier in the fall told subscribers that GOP insiders, expecting to lose the race in the district held by retiring Democrat Tom Suozzi and redistricted to include part of the New York City borough of Queens, “bitterly regard this race as a recruitment failure.” One GOP leader was “wary of [Santos’] purported business background,” saying, “we're not touching him with a 10-foot pole.”
The evidence of his shady background was present well before the election, when the company of which he was named New York Director in 2020 at the age of 32, a $20 million venture capital firm, was shut down in 2021 by the SEC as a"Ponzi Scheme.” In 2020, when he last ran for Congress, Santos’ financial disclosure showed Santos was worth $5000 and made $55,000 a year. He was 20 months late (!) in his filing for the 2022 election, finally filing it just before the election — and he was suddenly worth $11 million.
All of that raises the issue of where the hell the Democrats and, more specifically, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Sean Patrick Maloney, were, and why there was no opposition research. And honestly, this isn’t even about “research.” It’s a quick background check with a few phone calls.
People can go after the media — and many are — but we’ve known the media can’t be trusted to just find stories when it comes to politics. With 435 races to cover they will gravitate to the shiny objects — in this case crime, inflation and the economy — and not get steered off their narrative. You have to clobber them with irrefutable evidence and show them a scoop that will be a bombshell.
From City & State New York:
The report left many politicos asking the same question: Where was this information before the election?
Some pointed fingers at the state Democratic Party, the campaign of Santos’ opponent Robert Zimmerman and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a failure to vet what seemed to be a deeply flawed candidate.
“They were too busy sending out one anti-Zeldin mailer and finding out how to run phonebanks!,” tweeted left-wing political consultant Bill Neidhardt. “Poor [state Democratic Party Chair] Jay Jacobs was overwhelmed.”
Former New York City Council candidate Jaslin Kaur offered similar sentiments. “As an NY-3 constituent, not a single ad, mailer, or canvasser communicated these details to voters,” she tweeted.
The Zimmerman campaign for its part says it did tip off the media to the way Santos was “scamming voters” — though it doesn’t appear it had this level of detail at all — and Zimmerman tweeted out a statement yesterday:
I had Robert Zimmerman — who is also a gay man — on my SiriusXM program several weeks before the election. The truth is, what already was publicly known about Santos was damning enough in a district that included part of New York City and its suburbs. Santos is a Trump-supporting election denier who financially supported the defenses of some of the January 6th insurrectionists. (And last week, true to form, he attended a gala in New York of white supremacists.)
He supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade. And he’s a gay man who supported Florida’s heinous “don’t say gay” law and Governor Ron DeSantis. Zimmerman hit hard on all of those issues and more in our interview. (You can listen to the full interview here.)
But Zimmerman notes, the media was more interested in the crime issue, with GOP gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin running millions of dollars worth of effective ads, bankrolled by billionaire Ronald Lauder. Zeldin, while he lost to Governor Kathy Hochul, did enormous damage by cutting into her lead, bringing out GOP voters and other supporters who just voted GOP down the line and hurt Democratic candidates in New York’s House races.
I’m sure many people voted for Santos not even knowing much about him, just seeing his and Zeldin’s ads attacking their opponents on crime. Two weeks ago I interviewed Mother Jones’ Noah Lenard who did a deep dive on why the crime issue didn’t work for the GOP anywhere else across the country except in New York, where it was effective even though the crime rate is lower than most American cities and ruby red places like Oklahoma.
The only interest the media had in this race was the novelty of two gay men running against one another for a House seat, a first — and thus it became another “both sides” story about “progress,” as USA Today put it, even though one of them is a MAGA maniac who would help destroy LGBTQ rights.
So yes, the media was derelict. But it again comes down to the vetting. The GOP saw something. Why didn’t the Democrats? The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did send out a memo during the campaign, with details of Santos’s ties to the company the SEC accused by being a Ponzi scheme.
But where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If they saw that much it still raises the question of why no one did a basic background check on his employment and education history. Clearly someone did so after the election. And for the New York Times it just became an easy “connect the dots” bombshell, in which you make a lot of calls and the story just blows up quickly.
Now Democrats are talking about ethics investigations, while they’ve yet to call for Santos to resign — while Santos hasn’t yet explained any of this with his lawyer only responding by calling the reports “defamation.” Washington GOP leaders are notably silent, as Kevin McCarthy needs Santos’ vote in his brutal battle to become majority leader, with the GOP’s tiny majority. Santos on Sunday, knowing the story was coming, tweeted that he’s supporting McCarthy
New York GOP leaders have other priorities however. Joseph Cairo, the influential chairman of Nassau County’s Republican committee called the allegations “serious” — the only Republican to say anything. He likely realizes that Santos is done in 2024 and a Democrat will take the blue-ish district. While a special election, if Santos were to resign, is a risk — since there will be no Lee Zeldin or media-trumped crime issue to drive conservative voters to the polls — it’s Cairo’s best shot.
But for McCarthy and the GOP House leadership it’s all about the here and now. Democrats should take advantage of this split and drive a wedge between the GOP. They should demand Santos resign now, and, as Zimmerman is doing, call for the U.S. Attorney to investigate him.
And Santos not only should resign; he must be indicted. I never thought I would say there’s a sociopath in Congress worse than Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert. Or that there is a pathological liar in politics worse than Donald Trump.
But Santos completely defrauded voters with a fake resume. He’s been evicted from two apartments for not paying rent, the Times revealed — which, again, could have been found via a background check — but then claimed to be a landlord with 31 properties and complained that people weren’t paying rent during the pandemic and that the eviction moratorium was hurting landlords like him.
But the Times could find no evidence he’s a landlord who owns properties. In fact, when they went to the address he used to register to vote and to make donations, the person who answered the door never heard of him:
The Times attempted to interview Mr. Santos at the address where he is registered to vote and that was associated with a campaign donation he made in October, but a person at that address said on Sunday that she was not familiar with him.
Material omissions or misrepresentations on personal financial disclosures are considered a federal crime under the False Statements Act, which carries a maximum penalty of $250,000 and five years in prison.
If Santos stays, the grift in the GOP goes to a frightening Anna Delvey/Elizabeth Holmes level, in which the GOP just creates characters that don’t exist and installs them in Congress. We’ve got to stop him before he even begins.