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Taxpayer funded campaign accused of fraudulently diverting funds to an off-the-books crony

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Earlier this year, Nomiki Konst, a 2016 Bernie Sanders surrogate and former member of the Democratic National Committee’s “Unity Reform Commission,” launched a campaign for Public Advocate of New York City, casting herself as a second Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She ended up losing the 17-way race to city councilman Jumaane Williams.

Now, according to Politico, her campaign is facing an accusation of fraud over its use of public matching funds.

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New York City election rules allow candidates to receive an 8-to-1 match of campaign contributions. But shortly after Konst’s campaign received a $500,000 match from the city, Konst’s former compliance officer Jason Coniglione reports the campaign received a mysterious $90,000 invoice for canvassing from a Louisiana company called Deep South Consulting, which the campaign manager did not recognize and which could not be accounted for given that the campaign already had an internal canvasser.

Coniglione ultimately filed a complaint in March alleging “massive fraud by the Campaign and Ms. Konst,” suggesting that Konst’s campaign was abusing New York City’s public funds matching system to “funnel” money to Lonny Paris, a man whom Konst was allegedly using as an off-the-books campaign manager.

Konst denies all accusations, and shortly after the complaint was filled, she issued a statement accusing Coniglione of being a “sexual predator” who worked for the campaign to pursue her. Coniglione, in turn, denies this counter-accusation.

The public advocate office is meant to be a check on New York City’s other branches of government. The office holds no specific powers, but is first in line to succeed the mayor and serves as a de facto bully pulpit. Previous public advocates have often gone on to serve in higher offices, like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Attorney General Letitia James.

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George Conway goes after ‘delusional demagogue’ Trump for calling impeachment investigators ‘human scum’

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On Thursday, President Donald Trump once again lashed out at the House Democrats overseeing the impeachment investigation, tweeting that they are "human scum" who have "taken Due Process and all of the Republican Party’s rights away from us" — a demonstrably ridiculous claim, as Republicans have gotten equal question time and were allowed to appoint their own counsel and call their own witnesses.

Conservative lawyer George Conway promptly clapped back, excoriating the president for his behavior:

Here is the president of the United States, demonstrating once again that he is a pathological liar, a delusional demagogue, a narcissistic sociopath, a malignant narcissist, and utterly unfit for office. https://t.co/hGzz9JTDGA

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Trump yells at Navy for punishing SEAL accused by his fellow soliders of war crimes

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President Donald Trump on Thursday yelled at U.S. Navy brass after reports emerged that they may strip Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher of his status as a Navy SEAL.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin," the president wrote on Twitter. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!

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‘Frustrated’ Trump going through manic mood swings as he watches impeachment hearings unfold: report

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According to a report at Politico, Donald Trump is a man of many moods, veering wildly between calm and fury as the House conducts impeachment hearings that could hold the key to his future in office and beyond.

The report notes that on Wednesday, as Trump appointee E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland explicitly accused the president of engaging in a quid pro quo threat to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless the government helped him attack possible political rival Joe Biden, the president was particularly prickly.

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