It’s time to Break It Down!
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” –Sir Walter Scott, excerpted from the poem, “Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field,” 1808.
NY GOP Rep.-elect George Santos has been making headlines since December 19 — when The New York Times published its jaw-dropping article documenting his litany of false claims about his work experience, education and just about everything in between. (Santos later described these falsehoods as “resume embellishment” but admitted to misrepresenting his employment and educational background.)
Santos claimed in his campaign bio to be, for all practical purposes, the
“full embodiment of the American dream” and was running to safeguard it for others. He amplified his storybook journey:
Son of Brazilian immigrants
First openly gay Republican to win a House seat as a non-incumbent
Grandparents survived the Holocaust
Mother died in 9/11 attack (Later revealed she died in 2016)
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.
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.
Throughout these twists and turns, one thing has remained constant: GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy has not condemned Santos. Not over his admitted falsehoods, his apparent misrepresentation about family members fleeing the Holocaust, questions regarding his campaign funding or even reports on his spending of campaign funds on travel to places such as Miami. (McCarthy has not returned CNN’s requests for comment about Santos.)
This silence is not surprising. It perfectly sums up McCarthy and many in today’s GOP who seek power at any cost — with no regard for principle or the greater good of our nation.
Even fellow GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz — who has opposed McCarthy’s bid for House speaker — recently slammed the Republican leader for not having any core values, writing in an op-ed, “Every single Republican in Congress knows that Kevin does not actually believe anything. He has no ideology.”
While it’s true, McCarthy has been mum on the subject, so has much, if not most of the GOP leadership. Arguably, McCarthy’s excuse is, he’s locked into a tense battle that he hopes will end with him being voted in as the Speaker of the House for the 118th Congress. This was scheduled to happen yesterday. In fact, the House conducted 3 votes, none of which resulted in any candidate earning the necessary majority (118 votes) of votes from House Members. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic challenger, garnered the most votes in each of the three ballots. Jeffries got 212 votes each time. McCarthy got 203 votes twice, and 202 votes during the third ballot. The general presumption is given the tenuous nature of McCarthy’s bid, even though Republicans maintain a slim numerical advantage, he could not afford to lose even one vote, which might have happened, had he acted or made comments that may have offended Santos.
That leaves a plethora of other Republicans in Congress, few of whom have called out Santos for his eye-popping exaggerations, misleading claims, and falsehoods. It doesn’t require much imagination to glean the tone, tenor, and frequency of GOP hyperventilation, had a Democratic Congressman been the source of similar claims. That Santos won a contested race, at least partly based on his misrepresentations, adds even more fuel to what should be considered de rigueur behavior, in response to any candidate taking such liberties with the truth.
There’s so much more to this still unfolding saga. But that’s enough to establish the gist of the case. Meanwhile, make your own foray into…”The Curious Case of George Santos & GOP Leadership’s Silence!”
I’m done; holla back!
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