Political Genius Or Desperate Move? Ex-Rep. Santos Reveals Master Plan

By Lisa Pelgin | Wednesday, 17 April 2024 05:15 AM
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Former GOP Representative George Santos, who was expelled from the House of Representatives last year following a federal indictment for alleged fraud and campaign finance violations, has reported no fundraising activity for his bid to return to Congress.

Santos, who is now running as an independent, is seeking to unseat Representative Nick LaLota (R-NY) in the 1st Congressional District.

The campaign committee "Santos for Congress," established to support Santos's political comeback, reported no contributions or expenditures between March 7 and March 31, according to a Federal Election Commission document filed on Monday. However, Santos insists that this absence of financial activity is a deliberate strategy.

"I will not be raising a single dime until I'm confirmed on the ballot," the 35-year-old former congressman told the Daily Beast on Monday. Santos explained that this unconventional approach is designed to counter allegations that he is running against LaLota merely to extract money from his remaining supporters. To secure a place on the ballot, Santos is required to gather 3,500 signatures from 1st District residents by May 15.

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"I'm setting the standard that only confirmed ballot access candidates should raise money," Santos stated.

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Santos, who represented New York's 3rd Congressional District for 11 months before his expulsion on December 1, is facing a 23-count federal indictment for allegedly laundering campaign funds and defrauding donors. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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An investigation by the House Ethics Committee also found that Santos had used campaign funds for personal expenses, including subscriptions to adult content on OnlyFans, Botox injections, and extravagant trips. The committee's report further found "substantial evidence" of criminal wrongdoing by Santos.

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On March 7, following President Biden's State of the Union address, Santos announced his intention to challenge LaLota in the November election.

"I just witnessed a weak, frail president deliver spin and lies to the American people from inside the chambers," Santos wrote on social media. "I have made several personal sacrifices in the name of serving the American people. My promise is that I will never back down because of my love for this country."

Santos was expelled from the House by a vote of 311-114, with LaLota among the 105 GOP lawmakers supporting his removal.

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