87-Page DCCC George Santos Oppo Report Somehow Missed All The Huge Lies!
What with all the daily stories about new things that Congressman-elect George Santos has lied about in his past — like his failure to disclose that he's actually been a ghost the whole movie, which becomes really obvious when you re-watch it — we figured it might be a good idea to take a look back at the 87-page opposition research report on Santos released August 24 by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It identifies a number of talking points about Santos that might be useful in running against him, but unfortunately "Everything this guy says about his past is fake" is not among them.
The report mostly highlights all the normal stuff that might make Democrats in New York's Third Congressional District not want to vote for a MAGA Republican, like how Santos is such a MAGA Republican: Attended Trump's January 6 rally, said nice things about the insurrectionists, promoted the big lie, is terrible on abortion and guns, and all that, with lots of details and quotes showing Santos to be a pretty bad candidate for a swing district that went decisively for Joe Biden in 2020. All of that would have been perfectly fine apart from having missed all the stuff that was fairly easy for reporters to check, like "Hello Baruch College, can you confirm George Santos actually graduated?" or "Hello, NYU, does this dipshit really have an MBA?" In fact, they just recapitulated his education and employment as true.
The oppo report even touches on a few of the items that the New York Times included in its big exposé of Santos's lies, like the fact that his animal rescue charity, "Friends of Pets United" — which may as well have been named The Animal Fund — wasn't actually registered as a nonprofit with the IRS:
We're at least impressed with the disclaimer pointing out that sometimes nonprofits are registered under slightly different names, so maybe that's the problem — but that also suggests nobody at DCCC looked for alternate names.
Santos Claimed He Founded And Worked At A Nonprofit Animal Rescue Operation, But It Was Not Clear If It Was Actually A Nonprofit Registered With The IRS
✓Santos claimed he founded and ran a nonprofit animal rescue operation called Friends Of Pets United from 2013-2018.
✓ A search of IRS’ tax exempt organizations for “Friends Of Pets United” returned no results.
✓ NOTE: Tax exempt entities sometimes register with the IRS under slightly different names, so this lack of results cannot be taken as conclusive proof that Friends of Pets United is not a registered nonprofit.
✓ Santos organized a GoFundMe fundraiser in September of 2017 that as of July 2022 remained open with $2,165 raised.
Also, that is a really sad fundraiser. Why didn't he put some of his own vast riches up to help the puppies and kittens? The Times investigation was more thorough, also checking to see if the group was registered with the AG's offices in New York and New Jersey (nope!), and tracking down someone whose group was supposed to get the proceeds from Friends of Pets' sole fundraising event — but never saw a penny.
We have to say, this all puts Santos's claims to have personally tracked and captured Bigfoot into question as well.
In addition, the DCCC report at least scratched surface of Santos's hinky campaign financing, which is now under investigation by the Feds. The report notes that Santos missed the deadlines for filing his "Personal Financial Disclosure" forms for his 2022 campaign, and that there were some weird mismatches between his 2020 disclosure and his actual campaign funding.
F'rinstance, Santos's 2020 disclosure said he had no assets, but he somehow managed to loan his 2020 campaign more than $81,000. Then in 2021-22, the report points out, Santos "loaned his campaign $580,000 and his leadership PAC $25,000" as of the time the oppo report was prepared. By the end of the campaign, he'd loaned a total of $700,000 to his own campaign without really explaining where that money came from.
The DCCC report even notes that one of Santos's former employers, investment firm Harbor City Capital, was accused by the SEC of running a Ponzi scheme, although Santos himself wasn't named in the indictment. The report also touches on the "Multiple Evictions And Civil Judgments" faced by Santos, who was by then presenting himself as a financial genius.
But like much oppo research, the DCCC report relies almost exclusively on public reporting, so while it hints at Santos's sleaziness, it also swallows whole his lies about his education and his nonexistent employment at CitiGroup and Goldman Sachs — and in fact, the report portrays Santos as out of touch with regular folks in the Long Island district.
So no, George Santos wasn't an unrelatable high-flying fat cat big shot investment banker, because he was a lying grifter. Maybe that would have been more effective oppo research, the end.
[DCCC Santos Research Book / NYT]
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