- The Handbasket
- The Daily Santos: Fake donors/real investigations
The Daily Santos: Fake donors/real investigations
Plus a Nancy Marks sighting.
I keep expecting the flow of George news to slow down, but I’m not sure why I would think that when it’s been entirely sustaining this newsletter for the past three weeks. It may be the freakin’ weekend, but there’s no time to rest when you’re constantly running from the truth. There’s a lot to get through, so let’s get to it.
Nancy Marks shows face
After she was a no-show at the board meeting of the Long Island library where she’s a trustee, I was skeptical that George Santos’ campaign treasurer Nancy Marks would show up at a dinner being thrown by a local organization in her honor. But according to videos shared on Colonial Youth & Family Services Facebook page, not only was Nancy there, and not only was she honored for her “contributions to the community,” but she was inducted as President of the org’s Board!
Nancy surfaced for the first time since the original Santos story dropped (as far as I can tell) in a black draped jumpsuit in front of guests gathered at Sunset Harbour catering hall in Patchogue, NY. She was there to toast, well, herself, pose for photos, and receive her award. A speaker presented her with a plaque, but not before saying, “I just appreciate how much she gives of herself, and to the community, and I love everything that she stands for and does.”
I’m just gonna go ahead and guess that last bit will age poorly.
It doesn’t appear there was any press at the event, unlike the board meeting. When I called the org’s office Tuesday to ask if any tickets were left for the event, the person on the phone passed along a message from the Executive Director: “No comment.”
When Santos wasn’t making up new pieces of his persona, he was apparently inventing fake people to list as donors. Or at the very least, that’s what Nancy Marks was doing. A terrific Mother Jones investigative report released Friday night revealed that more than a dozen large donations to Santos’ 2020 campaign were from people whose existence couldn’t be confirmed.
They say the donations from these potentially not real people total more than $30k of the $338k he raised from individual donors in 2020.
We also learned that George was part of an “aborted hand sanitizer venture,” and then claimed his former partner in that venture was a big campaign donor when he was not. Marks, naturally, had nothing to say on the matter. Just waiting for that indictment to drop, I guess.
DOJ wants in
As previously discussed here, the Federal Election Commission has very little capacity for enforcing violations, and the idea that the agency would bring down a chaos agent like George Santos was something of a pipe dream. But according to Washington Post reporting Friday night, the Department of Justice has told the FEC to hold off on any enforcement (as if they were going to do much anyway) and allow the DOJ Public Integrity Section to take charge. The Post calls this the “clearest sign to date that federal prosecutors are examining Santos’s campaign finances.”
When I spoke to a campaign finance expert Paul S. Ryan earlier this month about the campaign’s clearly shady bookkeeping (which has grown even more suspicious in the intervening weeks) he explained the process for FEC enforcement could take years, and violators are typically encouraged to settle.
One disincentive for dragging out an FEC investigation is fear of bad publicity, Ryan said, but we know George isn’t concerned about that. But now that actual law enforcement is stepping in? Yea, he should be a bit concerned.
More 9/11 nonsense
While campaigning for congress in 2020, George stopped by a program called “Liquid Lunch” with a host identified as “Wall Street Entrepreneur” John Tabacco on “BizTV.” All of this sounds fake, but I promise it’s not. A glasses-free Santos came on the show to discuss former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision (which he later reversed) to cancel the annual 9/11 tribute that year because of that little global pandemic we were having.
Santos has repeatedly claimed his mother was in the South Tower of the World Trade Center when the plane hit, and was lucky enough to survive the terrorist attack. But in this video unearthed by Jennifer Mendelsohn, Santos says that his dad also lived through it. “I get emotional,” he says, talking about the 9/11 tribute. “My parents were both down there the day of the attacks “
Doesn’t even flinch.
>The Washington Post put together this extremely detailed interactive timeline of all of Santos’ lies, and how they’ve evolved over the course of his short but already infamous political career.
>WinRed, the campaign fundraising platform of choice for Republicans, is asking George and his team to make sure their math is right.
>The campaign reportedly made a quarter of a million dollars in payments during the spring of 2022 to recipients identified as “anonymous.”
>Check out the recap of my bagel crawl across Santos’ district which I did in an attempt to provide a snapshot of the culture and people responsible for his rise.
Quote of the Week
George Santos attended McCarthy's event for members and donors on Wednesday at the Conrad Hotel and, according to two people familiar, said to folks who asked him how he was doing: "This is an event for the new speaker, but I’m the most famous person in the room."
— Isaac Stanley-Becker (@isaacstanbecker)
Jan 27, 2023
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