Our Candidate Selection Process Needs Reform

The latest reminder.

Source: Santos campaign website.

Via NBC News: Embattled Rep. George Santos hit with additional charges, including identity theft.

Federal prosecutors hit Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., with 23 additional charges Tuesday, including allegations of identity theft and that he charged a supporter’s credit card in excess of their contribution and then transferred the money to his personal bank account. 

Prosecutors said Santos faces “one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of access device fraud” in a superseding indictment filed Tuesday.

And yes, there are a lot of more important stories out there, but it is still worth noting how poorly constructed our party system is and how that has directly led to the specific mess that is the Republican Party at the moment, especially in the House of Representatives.

And, of course, this does intersect with the grave news of the day, because Republican Party dysfunction in the House, of which Santos is a symptom, means that the US government currently lacks the means to act vis-a-vis the situation in Israel.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, I think we have swung too far away from the smoked filled rooms method of selection. Selection solely by primary means that candidate selection is controlled by the few. Today, in the Republican Party, that means the selection is by the loons and racists that make up the committed and active Republican base. But I first became aware of it when the professional campaign consultants took over (I forget the party that Ross Perot founded and am too lazy to look it up) convention, nominated their stooge and looted the treasury.

    Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders has put the Dems in the same danger.

  2. Gavin says:

    Was that picture taken after he led the charge at Antietam or after he received the Nobel Prize for inventing penicillin?

    his then-campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks

    As in the adjective for timid and the slang noun for scam victims? Showrunners, you were supposed to fire the scab writers when the strike was over.

  3. DrDaveT says:

    And yes, there are a lot of more important stories out there

    No, not really. The fact that such a person could not only be elected, but could persist in office even after the truth is understood by all, is hardly inconsequential. George Santos is, in many ways, the reductio ad absurdum of our current system and institutions.

  4. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    Yes. Ironically, had Santos didn’t stole a checkbook in Brazil there is no way that he would have been elected to public office in Niteroi. There are weird politicians in Niteroi, but even then I can’t see Santos being elected there.