- The Handbasket
- The Daily Santos: Vol. 1
The Daily Santos: Vol. 1
As Georgie boy starts his first full week in Congress, we take a look at the latest headlines plaguing him.
Ever since the bombshell story about George Santos dropped in mid-December, I’ve been hooked. Like I said in my last post, I’m obsessed. As a native of his district with family and friends still living there, I have a vested interest, and as a political writer and reporter, the twists and turns continue to fascinate me. Who knows how long this saga will drag on, but for now I’m going to do a daily(ish) update on what’s happening with the untalented Mr. Santos.
Multiple big stories dropped on Monday as Santos began his first full week as an official member of Congress, so let’s take a look.
A new impersonator in town
A CNBC story details the work of a Mr. Sam Miele, who posed as now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s campaign Chief of Staff Dan Meyer while soliciting donations from wealthy individuals for the Santos 2022 campaign. He would reportedly “call donors pretending to be Meyer and send follow-up emails from a fake address.” Like boss, like staffer.
Miele, 26, has been on my radar since the original story about Santos broke last month because of his work as Santos’ 2020 campaign manager, and owner of a company called The One57 Group LLC that was paid $43k by the 2022 campaign. It’s unclear what the company actually does, and its website provides no information. An archived version of the website indicates that they may have at one point done website design, along with some real estate work. And it lists clients such as the Trump/Pence campaign, WM Waste Management, Bausch Health, O’Sullivan and Zacchea law firm, and the state legislature campaign for Manuel Esteban, a Long Island Republican.
The only one of these supposed clients that replied to my query about their work with The One57 Group was Kevin O’Sullivan, who said he’d hired Miele to redesign his law firm’s website but wasn’t aware of Miele doing this work as part of an LLC.
The FEC won’t let him be
A nonprofit government watchdog filed a complaint Monday with the Federal Election Commission re: the Santos campaign. In its complaint, the Campaign Legal Center goes after Santos for allegedly, “masking the true source of his campaign’s funding, misrepresenting his campaign’s spending and using campaign resources to cover personal expenses,” per the Washington Post.
The complaint names Santos himself, as well as his campaign treasurer Nancy Marks. (Marks has served as treasurer on New York GOP campaigns for years now, and is someone whose work I’ve been looking into extensively. Hopefully more on that from me ASAP.)
This morning we filed a complaint before the Federal Election Commission alleging that George Santos, in addition to his abundant and ludicrous lies about his background, committed a tasting menu of campaign finance law violations. Long thread incoming...
— Roger G. Wieand (@g_wieand)
Jan 9, 2023
Roger G. Wieand of the Campaign Legal Center explained the rationale behind the complaint via his personal Twitter: “Santos has become a punchline in the national media, but these campaign finance violations are no joke. We think the people of New York's 3rd District deserve truth and transparency about where Santos's money came from and how it was spent. We're asking the FEC to investigate.”
As to whether this complaint will have a material impact on Santos, his tenure in Congress or his future prospects, Paul S. Ryan, Executive Director of The Funders' Committee for Civic Participation who worked at the Campaign Legal Center from 2004-2016, tells me, “I’ll put it this way: the FEC is an incredibly weak enforcement agency, with GOP Commissioners historically showing little appetite to use the power the commission has.”
But when it comes to Santos, where there’s smoke, there’s a five-alarm fire, and this complaint against his campaign’s finance and ethics is unlikely to be the last.
Proving that there’s no person too toxic for the GOP, Santos is actively assembling a team for his big new job, including a guy who used to work for Steve Bannon. According to Newsday, Viswanag Burra, the executive secretary of the New York Young Republicans Club and former producer on Bannon’s podcast "War Room," will serve as Santos’ operations director. And his communications director is Naysa Woomer who, according to Jezebel, previously worked for the Massachusetts GOP and the state’s department of revenue under Republican governor Charlie Baker.
More staffers will no doubt join the team in the coming days. I hear Nick Fuentes is available.
Have Santos-related tips? Email them to [email protected].