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George Santos, the Falsehoods and the Facts

More from our inbox:

  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s Release on Bond
  • Harmful Stereotypes About Africa
  • Why Fewer Women Become Teachers
  • Cuba’s Depopulation

Credit…Photo illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Caroline Brehman/EPA, via Shutterstock

To the Editor:

Re “Santos Admits to a Long List of Falsehoods” (front page, Dec. 27):

Representative-elect George Santos told The New York Post that he was “embellishing my résumé.” No. They were lies!

As a constituent of the Third Congressional District, I don’t want Mr. Santos representing me. We don’t need a deadbeat liar who has not answered where the $700,000 donation that he made to his campaign came from. We need to see the paperwork. We don’t need another politician who promises to release his return after the audit.

He’s worse than a joke. Have we no respect for the truth and a little integrity?

Robert Detor
Port Washington, N.Y.

To the Editor:

I am grateful to George Santos for redefining lying as a “poor choice of words.” For the past few years, I’d been confined to explaining eye-opening statements as “alternate facts.” I can finally bid farewell to Kellyanne Conway’s creativity and move on to the new standard for political opportunism without consequences.

Michael Emmer
Brooklyn

To the Editor:

Re “How Opposition Research Really Works,” by Tyson Brody (Opinion guest essay, Dec. 26), about opposition research on George Santos:

After 40 years of working with my late husband, who delved into the background of dozens of high-level candidates, I do know this: It’s a serious job that requires diligent work and professional skills.

The real work is in following up. It’s the legwork — hours searching paper land records, visiting residences, interviewing people — that makes the real difference. A candidate cannot simply rely on computer research or popular websites to get the job done.

Once the information is found the opposition researcher works directly with reporters with whom they have developed a relationship and whom they trust. Reporters often don’t have time or resources to do all the legwork. Nor can a candidate rely on political party committees.

Persistence, attention to detail, legwork, and an honest relationship with the press and professional campaign staff are often the key to winning an election.

Otherwise, the voters may have the kind of buyer’s remorse that so many of Mr. Santos’s new constituents are now experiencing.

Sandy Cheiten
New York

To the Editor:

Tyson Brody describes the process behind the Democrats’ failure to expose George Santos’s multiple misrepresentations about his life. He explains that “a junior researcher” documented some of the issues, which appeared “in small sections interspersed through a nearly 90-page document.”

As a corporate investigator who has spent more than 30 years supervising hundreds of researchers producing thousands of reports, I always insist on executive summaries covering the key points in the report. I have, on countless occasions, repeated the admonition, “Don’t bury the lede.”

Ernest Brod
New York
The writer is president of Brod Global Intelligence.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Release on Bond

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the crypto firm FTX, leaving Federal District Court in Manhattan after being released on a $250 million bond.Credit…Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Disgraced FTX Co-Founder Freed on $250 Million Bond” (Business, Dec. 23):

So, Sam Bankman-Fried, the Bernie Madoff of his generation, is freed on bond less than two weeks after his arrest at a luxury apartment complex in the Bahamas. How lovely for him that his parents were willing and able to secure this bond, risking their own home — and perhaps, their reputations — in the process.

It took years of vigorous advocacy for New York State to enact some form of cash bail reform for nonviolent offenders who so often languished at Rikers Island because they couldn’t raise even the minimal funds they needed to be released pending trial.

It strikes me as obscene that Mr. Bankman-Fried, whose treachery and cheating have ruined so many lives, spent virtually no time in jail. Even with a firmly affixed ankle bracelet, he will clearly be living a pretty comfortable life safely ensconced in his parents’ home.

One can only hope that he will eventually receive the punishment he so richly deserves.

Carol Nadell
New York

Harmful Stereotypes About Africa

Credit…Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Putin Wants Loyalty, and He’s Found It in Africa” (front page, Dec. 25):

I was disappointed in The Times’s portrayal of Russian involvement in the Central African Republic. On what basis is the relationship between Russia and the Central African Republic characterized as one of African fealty and passive subjugation — of “master” and “vassal”?

African states, and countries in the Global South more generally, continue to be inaccurately portrayed as lacking agency in how they conduct their foreign relations. We can certainly debate and inquire into the motives of the leaders of the Central African Republic in partnering with Russia. We can also debate the wisdom of this decision or how likely Russia is to be a good partner to smaller, weaker countries (just as we can question how good of a partner the West is to these same countries).

However, it perpetuates harmful stereotypes to presume that the leaders and citizens of African states are merely passive recipients of the desires of foreign actors or to suggest that Western governments know what is best for them.

Katherine Beall
Princeton, N.J.
The writer is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.

Why Fewer Women Become Teachers

Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “There’s a Reason There Aren’t Enough Teachers in America. Many Reasons, Actually,” by Thomas B. Edsall (Opinion guest essay, nytimes.com, Dec. 14):

The enormous drop in the number of college students graduating with degrees in education (from 176,307 in 1970-71 to 104,008 in 2010-11) coincides perfectly with the rise of the feminist movement, which gave women a far greater range of employment opportunities than earlier, when teacher, nurse and secretary were the predominant jobs for female college graduates.

Without denigrating the many excellent K-12 teachers, I think it is safe to say that many women who would have been teachers a generation earlier chose different career paths with higher salaries and, often, prestige.

Ellen T. Brown
St. Paul, Minn.

Cuba’s Depopulation

Credit…Eliana Aponte Tobar for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Largest Exodus Imperils Future of Ailing Cuba” (front page, Dec. 11):

Cuba has had many mass migrations since 1959. In fact, the exodus has never stopped, only waxed and waned as the government alternatively cracked down on or encouraged emigration, or as the means to escape became more, or less, easy.

In the nearly 64 years of communist rule, one of every six Cubans has left the island. More than 10,000 have drowned or disappeared in the Florida Straits, trying to reach the freedom of the U.S. Scores have been murdered by the regime’s security forces trying to escape.

This depopulation is not because of U.S. sanctions; it is because of political repression and Marxist economics. Fidel Castro himself, while alive and the sole ruler, ridiculed the embargo, because he was receiving ample economic aid from the Soviets. It was only when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 that Castro began blaming the U.S. for the problems communism had created.

Otto J. Reich
Falls Church, Va.
The writer is the president of the Center for a Free Cuba and a former diplomat in the Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations.

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