Sunday, March 26, 2023
HomeOpinionsNY Democrats now have their very own Santos-esque debacle

NY Democrats now have their very own Santos-esque debacle

Looks like New York Democrats have their own version of GOP Rep. George Santos: Queens Assemblyman Juan Ardila, a protegé of city Comptroller Brad Lander.

No, Ardila isn’t accused of telling whoppers like Santos. But a whole lot of Democrats are wishing he’d been better vetted.

Two women now say Ardila sexually assaulted them at a 2015 party.

One says Ardila “started getting physical” with her on a couch while she was drunk, then tried to pull her into a bathroom before a friend intervened. The woman also relayed a message from another victim claiming he forcibly kissed her in the bathroom and began “stroking himself” at that same party.

Like Santos, Ardila doesn’t deny the allegations. And though the party took place eight years ago, when he was just out of college, the charges are serious. Democrats, recall, sought to block Justice Brett Kavanaugh on similar sexual-assault allegations four decades after the fact where the evidence was pathetically thin and he fiercely denied the charges.

Juan Ardila's office in Sunnyside, Queens.
Ardila’s office in Sunnyside appeared to be closed following the allegations.
Stephen Yang

Plus: As a teen, Ardila posted derogatory comments online about Asians, gays, women and Jews and used words like “bitch,” “c – – t” and the N-word. And as an adult, he racked up 28 traffic and parking violations from 2019 to 2022, including parking illegally at fire hydrants and in crosswalks and speeding in school zones.

A hardcore progressive, Ardila won countless endorsements, including from Lander, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, state Sen. Mike Gianaris, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and lefty outfits like the Working Families Party, labor unions, the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens, Churches United for Fair Housing and others.

City Councilman Robert Holden, who beat Ardila in a 2021 primary challenge, this week urged them all to take back those endorsements and demand the assemblyman step down — and many have stampeded to do so.

This follows Gov. Kathy Hochul’s naming Rep. Brian Benjamin as her (first, it turned out) lieutenant gov last year, shortly before his federal indictment. Have the powers of New York politics just forgotten what vetting means?

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