New York House Representative George Santos Under Fire for Drag Queen Drama Amongst Other Lies

Politics, state politics

Danielle O’Brien, editor

New York representative George Santos’s credibility has been under a magnifying glass since his appointment to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district back in November 2022. Santos was just one Republican of the many elected to the house across the state of New York, however, he is certainly not as common. After all, George Santos is the first openly gay Republican representative elected to the House of Representatives. However, Santos has made it clear through his political stances that he opposes practically everything about his own identity by supporting anti-LGBTQ legislation such as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” in Florida. For example, in 2020, Santos was remarked as saying in an interview with conservative podcaster John Stubbins, “children who are raised by single parents or gay and lesbian couples tend to grow up ‘troubled,’ … the family unit has been under attack for decades in different ways…the flavor of the decade is same-sex couples. They’re teaching in schools that kids don’t need a mommy and a daddy, you can have two mommies and two daddies. That’s an attack on the family unit.” Santos’s comments are jarring considering Santos himself is gay. Santos has aligned himself with his Republican counterparts who worry about the LGBTQ+ grooming of America’s youth, such as through having “drag queens as teachers.” Interestingly, however, it’s possible that the call is coming from inside the house. Although Santos has admitted to fabricating a large part of his resume, one aspect he has avidly denied is an alleged past career in drag. On Wednesday, Jan. 17, a journalist for MSNBC, Marisa Kabas, tweeted a photo of what looked like George Santos dressed in drag alongside another drag queen. The photo reportedly was from a 2008 drag show. The drag queen Santos allegedly stood beside Eula Roarard and Santos as “Kitara Ravache.” Kabas goes into further detail about the interview she conducted recently with the other drag queen Eula Roarard who confirmed that the same Kitara she stood beside in Brazil was now house representative George Santos after seeing him on the news recently. Eula automatically knew it was her old friend, George, stating that the two of them met when he was a teenager interested in the drag scene in Niterói. At that time, Eula was well known in Niterói, establishing a name for herself in the drag scene. Interestingly, Eula described how when she knew Santos, he was as much of a fabricator then as he is now. Eula stated in the interview, “George always lied about everything. He used to create stories, usually involving money—like that his dad was rich. But then people wondered why his mom was a cleaning lady. There’s nothing wrong with being a cleaning lady, but if his dad was rich, then why?” (Kabas, 2023). Furthermore, Eula explained that he would not have considered Santos as having a drag career because “he didn’t have what it takes.”Santos denies that it was not a drag career. In fact, it wasn’t until Saturday Jan. 21 did Santos acknowledge he dressed up as a woman before. Walking through the LaGuardia airport Saturday being confronted by reports, Santos finally acknowledged that he had dressed up as a woman before, stating, “No, I was not a drag queen in Brazil, guys. I was young, and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life,”. However, just days prior on Twitter Santos described the allegations of him having a drag career to be “categorically false.”

Nevertheless, this is not the only aspect of Santos’s political career thus far that is drawing people’s attention. Santos has been alleged as lying about everything from the source of his campaign funds, his resume, and his heritage, to his mother dying in 9/11. Santos’s long list of lies can begin with possibly the most disturbing. In July 2021 Santos published a tweet describing how 9/11 claimed his mother’s life. It is described in further detail on Santos’s campaign website that his mother was “at her desk” in the south tower on 9/11 and was able to miraculously escape only to die a few years later from cancer. In reality, Santos’s mother, Fatima Alzira Caruso Horta Devolder, who died in 2016, was not in the United States from 1999 to 2003 according to green card records produced by the New York Times. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, in a now-retracted quote from his campaign website, Santos alleged to be the grandson of immigrants who fled Nazi persecution to Ukraine, who then migrated to Belgium, and then to Brazil, and then once more to the U.S. In February of 2022 he told Fox News Digital “that his ancestral name is Zabrovsky, but that he now uses his mother’s maiden name of Devolder, which is Dutch in origin”. It was later revealed by a genealogist hired by CNN that Santos has “no sign of Jewish and/or Ukrainian heritage and no indication of name changes along the way”. This comes after Santos described that his mother migrated directly from Belgium whereas CNN demonstrated his mother and grandparents to be natives of Brazil. Santos has been lying about several other elements of his identity, some of which he has admitted to, such as his “embellished” resume. In Santos’ resume released by the New York Times, he reports receiving a 3.89 from Baruch College in New York as well as New York University, both of which deny him ever attending. Furthermore, he claims to have worked at Goldman Sachs before entering a career in politics, a position which Goldman Sachs also denies him ever having. Santos admitted in an interview in December of 2022 that he did not in fact work for Goldman Sachs directly, but rather through his own personal company he did work for the financial firm. Santos claims his resume to have a “poor choice of words.” Although politicians such as Santos being caught in their lies is not criminal, some of Santos’s lies could be. In fact, Santos is under fire for being a serial liar in some ways that may require federal investigation. Especially his shady explanations of how he was able to fund his 2022 campaign. On Monday, Jan. 14, a watchdog organization, The Campaign Legal Center, filed a complaint to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for suspicions around a $750,000 loan Santos received to fund his campaign that he defends as being profits from his company the Devolder Organization. However, the watchdog organization speculates that this large investment was actually from a different corporation or furthermore a foreign national, which would violate the FEC. Additionally, the watchdog organization speculates Santos has been using campaign funds to finance himself personally using up to an estimated $40,000 on flights and rent. The personal use of campaign funds also counts as a violation of FEC standards. Violations of the FEC can result in civil penalties from $6,523 to $76,280 according to the FEC. In Brazil furthermore, Santos was under investigation for fraud after he allegedly used a stolen check to buy $700 worth of clothes in a clothing store. In 2009, Santos admitted to the act, writing on a social media website to the shop owner in Brazil, “I know I screwed up, but I want to pay.” However, in 2023 Santos additionally denied having acted criminally in the U.S as well as Brazil. The Rio De Janeiro prosecutor’s office has presented its interest in reopening the case to try Mr. Santos which would be presented to the United States Department of Justice to inform Santos of the case. If Mr. Santos fails to present a defense to these claims in Brazil, it is possible he could face up to five years in prison and furthermore a fine.

Local school district ordered by judge to continue their mask mandate

local politics, Politics, state politics

Jada Urbaez, Staff

Since school districts have reopened, many parents and students have demonstrated and spoken out because they believe masks should not be worn in schools. More recently, COVID-19 cases have declined locally, and some people are becoming tired of taking precautions. Hence why Perkiomen Valley School District, located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, wanted to halt the mask mandate for their district. 

The school board voted at the beginning of 2022 to no longer require students to wear face coverings. Parents took this decision to court, arguing stopping the mandate would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Instated in 1990, this Act prohibits discrimination of the disabled and provides equal opportunity in public settings. Fighting to continue Perkiomen Valley’s mask mandate would ensure the disabled would be able to safely attend classes without complications or life-threatening risks. The plaintiffs, who were represented by Attorney Carmen De Gisi, claimed not wearing masks would put students who are immunocompromised or disabled at an unnecessary risk, which ultimately defies the 1990 Act. 

The opposing side argued that masks cause discomfort and difficulty for the children to learn the material taught in school. In addition, parents argue that some students have anxiety, and wearing masks exacerbates their anxious feelings. All in all, the parents who wish to cease the mask mandate argue they make students uncomfortable, cause an inconvenience and do more harm than good. The federal judge disagreed and ruled that the Perkiomen Valley School District must continue the mask mandate for students, faculty, and staff until further notice.

COVID-19 cases reached their all-time peak in Pennsylvania just a month ago, but have decreased expeditiously since then. On Jan. 8, 2022, Pennsylvania reported 33,650 new cases, which bumped the state’s seven-day average to 25,848. However, just about a month later, 2,794 new cases were reported on Feb. 6, which brought the weekly average to 6,207. This decrease in positive cases may cause other school boards to do what Perkiomen Valley did, but they also may get declined by a judge for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.Editor’s Note: Help stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, boosted, and tested.

Why neither party is supporting a candidate for the 2022 PA senate race

Politics, state politics

Aidan Tyksinski, staff

Header Image: Generals International

Why neither party is supporting a candidate for the 2022 PA senate race

While the 2022 Pennsylvania Senate race is one of the most discussed midterm races in the nation, it seems that two major players in the race are willing to stay uninvolved for the time being. Both the Pennsylvania Republicans and Democrats are unwilling at this point to throw their support behind any candidate fighting for soon-to-be-former Senator Pat Toomey’s seat. While both parties have a good reason not to do so at the moment, some candidates need these nominations more than others. 

For the Democratic party, there are a couple of reasons that no candidate has support, the biggest being that the pool of candidates is currently too big. For any Democratic candidate to get a nomination, they need at least two-thirds support from the committee. When the committee held this vote over a week ago, there were four frontrunners: John Fetterman, Val Arkoosh, Connor Lamb and Malcolm Kenyatta. The number of frontrunners recently shrunk by one due to Arkoosh dropping out of the race late last week. 

Out of the three leading candidates, it seems that most of the Democratic Committee is torn between Fetterman and Lamb. Fetterman, the more progressive of the two, has gotten more donations than any other candidate in the party. However, it seems that many members of the committee feel that Fetterman’s message might not create a lot of turnouts in the very purple state, and view Lamb as a moderate whose message could swing the seat back under Democrats’ control. During the voting for the nomination, 159 members endorsed Lamb, 64 members endorsed Fetterman and Kenyatta got 49. A candidate must get 176 votes for the nomination.

For the Republicans, the reason for not picking a nomination is much simpler: there is currently no clear front-runner in the race. The two current front-runners, Dr. Mehmet Öz and David McCormick, both joined the race very recently and have no experience running a political campaign. With this seat as valuable as it is, the Pennsylvania Republican Committee seems to be playing it safe until after the primary, when there will be a clear candidate for the November election.As it stands, either McCormick or Öz could win the primary in May. Using their deep pockets, both candidates have created attack ads against each other and the Democratic party. Both have also accused each other of having ties to foreign countries, with McCormick also throwing around the idea that Öz’s ties in Hollywood will not make a good senator for Pennsylvania. The party is not the only main player staying silent on the race. Former President Trump, whose advisors say is paying close attention to the open seat, has been silent on the race ever since the candidate he supported, Sean Parnell, dropped out in November of last year. In the coming weeks and months, it will be interesting to see if more candidates fall out of the race, and which party will back a candidate first.

Pennsylvania joins at least twenty-five other states in raising the minimum wage by 2024

Politics, state politics

Jada Urbaez, Staff

Pennsylvania joins at least twenty-five other states as they all raise the minimum wage for state workers this year. Effective last Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, the minimum wage for Pennsylvania state workers increased to $15 per hour. 

Back in 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf proposed that the minimum wage would increase annually by $.50, which would have been on track to pay workers $15 per hour by the year 2024. Pennsylvania has sped up the process and is two years early, considering it is only 2022 and the wage has increased tremendously. 

State workers will exclusively receive these benefits for the time being, not the general public. State workers include any individual that is employed by the Pennsylvania government such as workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles or other government services. 

The minimum wage for other workers remains at $7.25, which has not changed in 13 years. The last notable increase took place in 2008, when it raised from $6.25 per hour to $7.15 per hour. Then, in 2010, it went up by .$10, to where it is now at $7.25 per hour. Governor Wolf says that the standstill in the hourly pay rate is “an embarrassment” and plans to increase it drastically to $12 by July 1, following a $.50 raise annually. That is… if the majority Republican Pennsylvania General Assembly follows through with the governor’s goals for the state’s citizens. 

Pennsylvania currently sits at the 30th state in the United States in terms of the highest offered minimum wage. The federal minimum wage sits at $7.25 per hour, which is the current minimum wage not only in Pennsylvania but in other states including Oklahoma, Kansas and Idaho. Two adults with no children’s poverty wage is $8.29 an hour, by comparison.

The recent discussions around the nation regarding the pros and cons of raising wages have caused much disagreement and back and forth amongst people. Many express that increasing pay rates would result in higher prices of goods and services, which could possibly lead to hyperinflation. Others think this is untrue, and providing workers with a liveable wage could mean raising income for workers so they could afford day-to-day expenses, be financially stable and stress-free, which, in their opinion, far outweighs the possibility of rapid inflation.

Breakdown of the Pennsylvania Senate race

Politics, state politics

Aidan Tyksinski, Staff

In less than 10 months’ time, the Pennsylvania state midterm elections will be upon us, and while this election may not be the most important election to some, it certainly will be the most symbolic of where Americans stand today politically at this time. The frontrunners to take former Senator Pat Toomey’s seat are a progressive from Reading, a physician from Montgomery County, a former Marine from Pittsburgh, a former TV-host-turned-politician and a politician-turned-billionaire hedge fund owner. On that note, let’s put a face to these candidates.

Democratic Candidates  


John Fetterman

As the frontrunner for the 2022 Pennsylvania senate seat, Fetterman’s 6’9 size makes him seem more like a basketball player than a politician. He got his start in politics by becoming the mayor of Braddock, a small town outside of Pittsburgh. He then became Lieutenant Governor of PA, where his political status blossomed. During his time in this role, Fetterman pushed hard for LGBTQ+ equality and the legalization of marijuana. At one point in 2019, Fetterman went around to all the state’s 67 counties and created a survey that asked people their thoughts on marijuana’s legalization. According to his campaign website, Fetterman also supports a $15 minimum wage, a single-payer healthcare plan, clean energy and the Black Lives Matter movement.


Val Arkoosh

Arkoosh has gotten the third-most donations for Democratic Candidates ($2.1 million) in this race. A physician and chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, Arkoosh has campaigned to fix problems using a scientific approach. In her campaign message, Arkoosh specifically says she will fight climate change, help push for COVID-19 safety measures and support upholding Roe v. Wade. Specifically, Arkoosh wants to codify Roe v. Wade, which would let Congress protect a women’s right to choose instead of the Supreme Court. In fighting climate change, Arkoosh promises to end fracking and push more companies to use renewable energy. Arkoosh also wants to reform immigration into the United States, create a fairer justice system and pass what she refers to as common sense gun laws.

U.S. House of Representatives

Conor Lamb

Lamb, who has been labeled as a moderate by the national media, got the second-most donations thus far ($2.6 million). Lamb, a former marine, federal prosecutor and vice-chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee while in Congress, has talked about several key issues on his agenda if elected to the position. Lamb, like Fetterman, is a supporter of a $15 minimum wage and a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. He also, like Arkoosh, is running on a pro-choice platform. Lamb also wants to reform or eliminate the filibuster if he is elected and has taken a hard stance for Israel to defend itself from attacks by enemies.   

Republican Candidates

The Guardian

Dr. Oz

Mehmet Öz is known by most Americans as Dr. Oz, the former daytime television host turned politician. Oz, a heart surgeon who graduated from the local University of Pennsylvania, announced late last year that he was running for PA Senate, the first political campaign he has ever run. Oz’s main focus is on COVID-19 reform. On his website and in his campaign ads, Oz has stated that politicians got COVID-19 wrong and has been adamant that schools should not close due to the pandemic. Oz, like Conor Lamb, made it clear he supports Israel and has pushed for healthcare reform through the private sector. He is also against energy regulations, is pro-life and has stated on his website that he will protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Pa. Senate GOP primary fight over candidate's business record

David McCormick

McCormick is the most recent candidate to announce the start of his campaign, making his announcement in the middle of January. McCormick, like Oz, has no experience of ever running a campaign, but he has much more political background than Oz. McCormick, a U.S. Army veteran who fought in the first Gulf War, had several roles in the Bush administration from 2005 to 2009 and was at one point the Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs. He was considered for a couple of cabinet roles during the Trump administration, but never got the jobs. McCormick, who most recently was CEO of the biggest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates, has announced he is running his campaign against “wokeness, weakness and the radical left.”