George Santos Used Most of His Marketing campaign Money to Pay Himself Again


Consultant George Santos, the New York Republican going through federal felony costs, reported elevating about $150,000 for his re-election marketing campaign from April via June — a modest sum that he largely used to pay again cash he had lent to his previous congressional bids.

The contributions got here from roughly 50 donors, solely three of whom reported residing inside Mr. Santos’s Queens and Lengthy Island district, in line with filings with the Federal Election Fee on Friday. A plurality of the donors stated they lived in California, and, when reached for remark, some stated they’d given cash to the congressman as a gag.

Mr. Santos had beforehand reported giving his personal marketing campaign greater than $700,000 in private loans, cash that has been the topic of intense scrutiny given his personal irregular monetary historical past. On Could 30, his marketing campaign repaid Mr. Santos $85,000.

The fund-raising figures, the primary since he formally started his re-election bid, have been strikingly weak for a candidate in a aggressive swing district. They underscored the steep political path in entrance of him as each Democrats and leaders of his personal celebration attempt to take away him subsequent 12 months.

One of many Democratic candidates for his seat, Zak Malamed, introduced that he had taken in $417,000 in simply the primary six weeks of his marketing campaign, almost thrice Mr. Santos’s whole. Kellen Curry, a Republican major challenger, reported elevating greater than $200,000.

Mr. Santos’s totals have been additionally dwarfed by these raised by different frontline Republicans in New York, who’re gearing up for a number of the most carefully contested races within the nation subsequent 12 months.

Filings showed that Consultant Mike Lawler, a Republican who narrowly flipped a Hudson Valley seat by defeating Sean Patrick Maloney, the highly effective head of Home Democrats’ marketing campaign arm, raised simply over $900,000 through the three-month interval, a lot of it from PACs. The determine made him some of the profitable freshman fund-raisers within the nation, and left his marketing campaign with $1.5 million in money.

Different first-term Republicans in New York and New Jersey swing districts — together with Representatives Marcus Molinaro, Anthony D’Esposito, Brandon Williams and Tom Kean Jr. — had not but reported their totals by Friday afternoon. Neither had Consultant Pat Ryan, a Hudson Valley Democrat whom Republicans hope to unseat.

The current contributions to Mr. Santos — $133,078.85 to his marketing campaign and $16,600 from two donors to an affiliated committee, Devolder Santos Victory Committee — got here from an unorthodox mixture of donors that’s nearly sure to be scrutinized by federal prosecutors and the Home Ethics Committee.

They included a part-time cashier from Georgia, college students from Pennsylvania and California, a masseuse from Texas and a member of a stage crew from New York, who all gave not less than $3,300 every. Few appeared to have a historical past of donating massive sums to politicians.

The Occasions reached out to greater than 40 donors listed on Mr. Santos’s submitting. Many had Chinese language or different Asian surnames. Not less than two stated they have been moved to contribute the authorized most quantity based mostly on the congressman’s vows — in fund-raising appeals on Twitter and speeches on the Home ground — to combat the Chinese language Communist Occasion.

“I see him wish to take down C.C.P.,” stated Xuehong Zhang of Plano, Texas, who recognized herself as a Chinese language immigrant and masseuse. “I simply wish to take down C.C.P.”

Mr. Santos has repeatedly linked fund-raising appeals to his opposition to the Chinese language Communist Occasion, in addition to his help for Guo Wengui, the exiled and indicted Chinese language billionaire who has discovered an ally in Steve Bannon and has a world legion of followers.

Michael Sommer, a 29-year-old trainer in Atlanta, stated he spent $32.95 on a Santos for Congress T-shirt “for a joke.”

One other contributor, Brad Mason of Pittsburgh, donated $1. “I assumed it might be actually humorous to request the refund,” he stated “And it was superb for me.”

Others stated they discovered Mr. Santos’s conservative voting report interesting, and have been stirred to help him by what they considered as hypocritical assaults by different Republicans and prosecution by a corrupt justice system.

“You’ve bought the dirtiest of the soiled calling him soiled. That’s hypocrisy,” stated Ronald Bucina of Prospect, Tenn., who gave $50. “They’ve stolen extra money than George Santos was ever going to dream of stealing.”

Charles Scheferston, a retired New York Metropolis detective who lives in Rockville Centre, N.Y., and in addition gave $50, stated the congressman was “in all probability responsible” and had lied “like loopy,” however that he favored his coverage stances. “You can’t lie a couple of voting report,” he stated.

Stockpiling money may show unusually essential for Republican incumbents this 12 months if New York is pressured to redraw its congressional districts. A midlevel appeals court docket on Thursday ordered a redraw that might make a handful of seats just about unwinnable for Republican incumbents. The case will finally be determined later this 12 months by New York’s high court docket.

Mr. Santos declared his intention to run for re-election in April, at the same time as native Republican officers and celebration committees stated they’d not help him. The following month, he was indicted on 13 felony counts, together with wire fraud, cash laundering and theft of public funds.

He has pleaded not responsible, however the case additional diminished his help from Home Republican management. Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California has stated Mr. Santos mustn’t run, telling Fox Information final month “we’re going to maintain that seat with one other Republican.”

Mr. Santos’s fund-raising totals have been an enchancment over what he took in through the first quarter of the 12 months, when his marketing campaign introduced in simply $5,300 and spent hundreds greater than that refunding donor contributions.

His bills have been pretty restricted outdoors of his mortgage reimbursement. Although he paid authorized and consulting charges, he didn’t report paying any employees or renting an workplace.

The brand new money infusion left Mr. Santos with $55,275.72 available. The marketing campaign reported $530,000 in unpaid private loans on Friday, although a $100,000 mortgage reported final quarter was not listed on this most up-to-date submitting.


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