Monday, December 19, 2022

Last Call For Fantasma Santos

New York Republican George Santos, who won NY-3's House seat on Long Island in November, seems like on the surface the kind of Republican who could have a long career as the "reasonable" Red State warrior in Blue New York, young, openly gay, and charismatic, the well-educated scion of a Long Island real estate empire and the son of Brazilian immigrants.  

George Santos, whose election to Congress on Long Island last month helped Republicans clinch a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, built his candidacy on the notion that he was the “full embodiment of the American dream” and was running to safeguard it for others.

His campaign biography amplified his storybook journey: He is the son of Brazilian immigrants, and the first openly gay Republican to win a House seat as a non-incumbent. By his account, he catapulted himself from a New York City public college to become a “seasoned Wall Street financier and investor” with a family-owned real estate portfolio of 13 properties and an animal rescue charity that saved more than 2,500 dogs and cats.

But a New York Times review of public documents and court filings from the United States and Brazil, as well as various attempts to verify claims that Mr. Santos, 34, made on the campaign trail, calls into question key parts of the résumé that he sold to voters.

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, the marquee Wall Street firms on Mr. Santos’s campaign biography, told The Times they had no record of his ever working there. Officials at Baruch College, which Mr. Santos has said he graduated from in 2010, could find no record of anyone matching his name and date of birth graduating that year.

There was also little evidence that his animal rescue group, Friends of Pets United, was, as Mr. Santos claimed, a tax-exempt organization: The Internal Revenue Service could locate no record of a registered charity with that name.

His financial disclosure forms suggest a life of some wealth. He lent his campaign more than $700,000 during the midterm election, has donated thousands of dollars to other candidates in the last two years and reported a $750,000 salary and over $1 million in dividends from his company, the Devolder Organization.

Yet the firm, which has no public website or LinkedIn page, is something of a mystery. On a campaign website, Mr. Santos once described Devolder as his “family’s firm” that managed $80 million in assets. On his congressional financial disclosure, he described it as a capital introduction consulting company, a type of boutique firm that serves as a liaison between investment funds and deep-pocketed investors. But Mr. Santos’s disclosures did not reveal any clients, an omission three election law experts said could be problematic if such clients exist.

And while Mr. Santos has described a family fortune in real estate, he has not disclosed, nor could The Times find, records of his properties.

Mr. Santos’s eight-point victory, in a district in northern Long Island and northeast Queens that previously favored Democrats, was considered a mild upset. He had lost decisively in the same district in 2020 to Tom Suozzi, then the Democratic incumbent, and had seemed to be too wedded to former President Donald J. Trump and his stances to flip his fortunes.

His appearance earlier this month at a gala in Manhattan attended by white nationalists and right-wing conspiracy theorists underscored his ties to Mr. Trump’s right-wing base.

At the same time, new revelations uncovered by The Times — including the omission of key information on Mr. Santos’s personal financial disclosures, and criminal charges for check fraud in Brazil — have the potential to create ethical and possibly legal challenges once he takes office.

Mr. Santos did not respond to repeated requests from The Times that he furnish either documents or a résumé with dates that would help to substantiate the claims he made on the campaign trail. He also declined to be interviewed, and neither his lawyer nor Big Dog Strategies, a Republican-oriented political consulting group that handles crisis management, responded to a detailed list of questions.

The lawyer, Joe Murray, said in a short statement that it was “no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at The New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations.”
So he lied about his work at Goldman Sachs, he lied about his Baruch College degree, he lied about his family business, and oh yeah he's wanted for bad checks back in Brazil.
That Democrats in the state left Tom Suozzi's seat open for this clown to win it over Robert Zimmerman, figuring Zimmerman would win by osmosis or something, should serve as a critical lesson to the state's cancerous Democratic state party.

The fact that this level of scrutiny was not given to Santos until after her won with the rank lies and fabrications is a failure of the NY Times itself. This white supremacist clown should have been exposed months ago.

But the NY Democratic Party should have had this oppo research ready to go. Even an afternoon of work would have cost Santos the race, and they just didn't care to do basic due diligence.
Better late than never, and hopefully he faces crushing ethics and campaign finance investigations that drive him out of politics for good. But he never should have been allowed to run in the first damn place, let alone win.
And in the end? This is all the fault of the GOP, with another material fraudster in office.

Do better, Entire State of New Fucking York.

Ron's Gun Wrong, Con't

If you thought Florida was in trouble before, wait until everyone has a gun in the Sunshine State.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he expects lawmakers during the 2023 regular legislative session to pass a major change in Florida gun laws.

The change would allow what supporters call “constitutional carry.”

Under current law, people who want to carry guns must get concealed-weapons licenses from the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Constitutional carry would allow people to carry guns without the licenses.

DeSantis was asked about the issue Friday during an appearance in Lee County, after House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, indicated Thursday that the House would approve constitutional carry.

“Basically, this was something that I’ve always supported,” DeSantis said. “The last two years, it was not necessarily a priority for the legislative leadership. But we’ve been talking about it, and he’s (Renner’s) pledged publicly that’s moving forward, and it’ll be something that will be done in the regular session.”

The 2023 session will start March 7.
I expect the law will pass easily and quickly over the objection of law enforcement, who will have to deal with even more of the populace carrying firearms, but the response is going to be "assume the suspect is packing" and just drill them full of holes.
On the other hand, dead people don't make DeSantis and his private prison buddies any money incarcerating them, just expect the suspects that live to be turned over to the prison system, and the rest -- especially Black folk who mistakenly believe "constitutional carry" applies to us in any way, in any state that has it -- to end up in the ground.
Gunmerica is bad enough. DeSantis's version, well...

Orange Meltdown, Con't

With the very real chance of Trump being referred by the House January 6th Committee to the Justice Department as soon as today, Trump is rallying his flying monkey brigades to openly engage in some "Will nobody rid me of these troublesome FBI investigators?" stochastic terrorism.

Donald Trump was slammed for another round of threats and incitement Saturday after evoking last year’s Jan. 6 insurrection — and then telling his followers it’s now time for the FBI and Justice Department “thugs” to be “dealt with.”

Critics considered the threatening messages to be a clear dog whistle to his followers, many of whom are armed. Some 62% of gun owners voted for Trump in the 2016 election. And his Oath Keeper supporters had a “massive stockpile” of weapons stashed in the Washington, D.C., area last Jan. 6 to support Trump in the event he tried to seize control of the government and remain in power, according to trial evidence.

Trump baselessly insisted in a Truth Social post that the FBI was “absolutely” involved in a “coordinated effort to change election results” to make him a loser. That justified last year’s violent Jan. 6 “protest” at the U.S. Capitol, he insisted, even though nearly 1,000 rioters have been indicted for crimes related to the insurrection that day.

Now, Trump is urging his followers on Truth Social that the “weaponized thugs and tyrants” in the FBI and DOJ “must be dealt with.”

Trump supporters on Truth Social responded by blasting the FBI as the “gestapo” and members of “organized crime,” which could put agents lives in jeopardy among Trump acolytes.

Conde Nast legal affairs editor Luke Zaleski called Trump’s brutal message the “exact speech he gave on Jan. 6.”

“He’s continuing the rhetoric that incites violence against the United States and his thugs know what ‘must be dealt with’ means,” Zaleski tweeted.
As I've said before, the real test of this country's future is if we survive Trump being indicted. We're nowhere hear ready as a country to have that conversation yet, but very soon we won't have a choice about having it.
Related Posts with Thumbnails