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Also charged alongside ghost candidate Jestine Iannotti are James “Eric” Foglesong and Benjamin Paris. Foglesong is a political consultant involved in the launching of Iannotti's campaign, and Paris is Seminole County’s Republican Party chairman.
Iannotti is facing six charges, which include the commission of a false or fraudulent act, accepting excessive contributions from a single contributor, perjury, false reporting and accepting a contribution in the name of another.
Foglesong faces four charges, which include making two or more contributions through or in the name of another, the commission of a false or fraudulent act, unlawful use of a communication device, excessive contributions and false reporting. Paris faces a single count of making a contribution through or in the name of another.
“Some NPA candidates, commonly referred to as ‘ghost’ candidates, have been used by political parties as a way to close elections or siphon off votes. While not illegal per se, many have questioned the ethics of the practice,” the office of Seminole-Brevard State Attorney Phil Archer said in a statement. “However, when that candidate and the partisan political operatives involved violate election finance laws by illegally funding those races and filing false reports, it is the responsibility of government to act.”
Iannotti was new to politics when she ran as an independent in Senate District 9. As the Sentinel' report points out, she spent several weeks in Sweden and refused to speak to reporters after qualifying to run. She later moved to Sweden after the election.
"Her candidacy — and those of two South Florida candidates who also did no campaigning — was promoted by a pair of entities chaired by then-GOP political consultant Alex Alvarado, with ads Miami prosecutors have said were tailored to siphon votes from the Democrats in each race," the Sentinel reports.
The right-wing Newsmax network hired former Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren to lead their weeknight lineup, reportedly bumping former White House press secretary Sean Spicer out of his slot.
The network didn't officially announce what hour Van Susteren would host, but multiple sources with knowledge of the schedule told The Daily Beast that "The Record with Greta Van Susteren" would replace "Spicer and Co." in the weeknight programming.
“Newsmax may make some adjustments in timing of other shows and we will announce those changes at a later date,” a network representative said.
Spicer joined Newsmax in early 2020, and his show has been the lead-in to the network's top-rated "Greg Kelly Reports."
Newsmax has recently hired two longtime Fox News producers and brought on former Fox reporter James Rosen as the network's chief White House correspondent, and Kelly joins former Fox contributors Eric Bolling and Rob Schmitt at the conservative competitor.
“Honestly, it’s great for the network,” said one Newsmax staffer. “She is a well-respected journalist and big name in the field so it can do nothing but add to our cred.”
Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has answered another question about her reading habits – strangely enough – in her latest political quest, the race to fill the Alaska’s vacant U.S. House seat.
Palin responded to a questionnaire posed by the Alaska News Source:
“What is the last book you’ve read?” the questionnaire asked. Palin’s response:
“The Book of Esther.”
That evoked memories of Palin’s disastrous 2008 interview -- as the late Sen. John McCain’s running mate – with CBS news anchor Katie Couric.
Asked by Couric “what newspaper do you read,” Palin raised early doubts about her gravitas with this jaw-dropping exchange:
COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?
PALIN: I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media —
COURIC: But what ones specifically? I’m curious.
PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.
COURIC: Can you name any of them?
PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.
At least Palin was prepared with her four-word answer to the reading question posed 14 years later. She is among the top contenders in a June 11 special election to fill Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat, which was vacated by the March 18 death of Rep. Don Young.
Palin harkened back to another famous line from 2008 – “drill, baby, drill” – as to what would be her main focus in Congress. Here’s her response to Alaska News Source:
“At a time when rising energy prices are straining the budgets of working families, the first and most important step the federal government should take is allowing us access to develop our resources, including opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to responsible, ethical development. There are literally billions of barrels of oil just waiting for us to ‘drill, baby, drill.’ Instead, the Biden administration is closing off millions of acres of prime lands in order to appease the far-left wing of the democrat party (sic).”
Palin began her career in 1992 at the age of 28 as a member of the Wasilla City Council. She had spent most of her adult life in politics since becoming mayor of Wasilla, governor of Alaska and candidate for vice president.
But with no apparent sense of irony, this is how Palin described why she entered the race to fill the seat of Young, who was the longest-serving Republican in U.S. history, having held the seat for 49 years:
“When Rep. Young passed away, I realized that we were in very real danger of being represented in Congress by an establishment, career politician who would put their own interests ahead of those of the hard-working men and women of Alaska. I couldn’t just sit back and watch that happen.”