The Congressional campaign of New York Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) is in shambles following news of her staffer’s alleged ties to a mob-connected gambling scam where colleagiate athletes were bribed to rig games.
Malliotakis - a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda - is trying to be the Republican Congressional candidate for the 11th District in New York to take on incumbent Rep. Max Rose in next year’s general election. Her campaign has failed to gain momentum in its early stages, and now it is in jeopardy of falling apart due to this bribery scandal.
Benjamin Bifalco, 25, is the Malliotakis aide who has been indicted along with 20 other people, most notably the reputed Colombo family capo Joseph Amato, for alleged involvement in this criminal conspiracy. Malliotakis is already distancing herself from her former confidant, who is now officially dismissed from the campaign staff.
“He was active in local politics, planning to apply to law school and was recommended to me by a number of people,” Malliotakis said. “I am shocked and saddened by this news. I have zero tolerance for criminal activity.”
It remains to be seen if more members of her campaign, or even Malliotakis herself, have any complicity with this corrupt mob-tied scheme. Her opponent, YouTube star Joseph “Joey Salads” Saladino, believes that this scandal is another example that his establishment-backed competitor is unfit to serve.
“This is just another item in the long list of her political history that makes her unqualified to hold a political office, especially in the House of Representatives,” Saladino said in a press release.
Saladino points to Malliotakis’ support of “America Last” policies such the New York SAFE Act, one of the worst infringements on the 2nd Amendment passed at the state level. She also supports amnesty for illegal aliens, including so-called DREAMers, and mass third-world immigration.
“She’s running a clown world campaign. No one wants this stuff. No one wants more corporate handouts, endless immigration, being disarmed. Who tells her these are good things?” Saladino added.
His campaign is calling for a full investigation by law enforcement into the Malliotakis campaign’s involvement in this sordid matter to see whether it is incompetence or malevolence that resulted in the hiring of this alleged criminal.
Bifalco has been charged with one count of attempted sports bribery and is currently waiting to be arraigned in federal court. Upstart populist Joey Salads may have pulled into the lead as Malliotakis’ campaign continues to sputter.