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LaLota, Zimmerman Win; Crypto-Fakes Lose in US Congress Primaries

By Chris O’Neill

In a stunning victory for local establishment candidates for Congress – and a defeat for the fake or opportunist candidates backed by over $5 million in last-minute spending by the Washington DC Cryptocurrency Lobby - Nick LaLota won the Republican nomination in the 1st District; and Robert Zimmerman won the Democratic nomination in the 3rd District. Both are now heavily favored to win their respective districts this fall.

In the Republican primary in the First Congressional District - that encompasses Huntington, Smithtown, Port Jefferson, and the Hamptons - the Republican Party endorsed candidate, Nick LaLota, convincingly defeated both the Crypto-candidate - a longtime Democrat - Michelle “Bond” from Maryland - who was backed by $3.5 million in Crypto Lobby money; and a former Deputy Town Supervisor Anthony Figliola.

LaLota garnered 11,398 votes (48%), to “Bond’s” 6,491 votes (27%) and Figliola’s 6,067 votes (25%).

“Bond” was denounced in local media as a Democrat “deepfake” who only appeared and registered Republican in New York in June, and whose real last name was not even “Bond” but “Bogodja.”

The corruption of the Crypto Lobby money proved too intoxicating for some - like Donald Trump, Jr and his girlfriend Kimberly Gilfoyle - who popped-up and - against every single elected Republican in the First District - endorsed "Bond" in a "robo-call" at the last minute.

Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth and Legislator Stephanie Bontempi did robo-calls and e-blasts supporting LaLota.

LaLota raised over $500,000, while “Bond” - and the Crypto Lobby - spent at over $3.5 million against LaLota in their failed raid on the Republican primary.

In the Democratic primary in the Third District – that encompasses the Towns of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead and northeast Queens – the Democratic Party endorsed candidate, Robert Zimmerman also won convincingly, defeating Jon Kaiman, Joshua Lafazan, Melanie D’Arrigio and Reema Rassol.

Zimmerman received 9,482 votes (36%) to Kaiman’s 6,884 votes (26%), Lafazan’s 5,296 votes (19%), D’Arrigio’s 4,197 votes (16%) and Rassol’s 691 votes (2%).

Lafazan ran in 2021 as the nominee of the anti-abortion and pro-Trump Conservative Party for the Nassau Legislature - then he switched his registration to Democrat only in 2022 – just to run for Congress. Lafazan tried to re-brand himself as a “progressive” – now claiming he was pro-abortion, and “anti-Trump,” and “was never” a conservative - but despite a massive $2 million in Crypto Lobby money - the voters didn’t buy it.

Zimmerman raised $1.4 million, Kaiman $643,000, Lafazan $1.6 million, D’Arrigio $391,000 and Rasool $104,000. The Cryptocurrency Lobby directed hundreds of thousands into Lafazan’s campaign, and then spent an additional $750,000 through an outside PAC to support Lafazan.

The Crypto Lobby made these unprecedented big money interventions on Long Island - to influence the outcome of these two US Congress races – in order to get Congress to declare crypto currencies like Bitcoin as “legal tender” to pay debts and obligations; and to exempt crypto currency exchanges from regulation by the US Federal Reserve system.

Two – very newly-wealthy - crypto currency brokers coordinated these huge money interventions:

Ryan Salame, a 29-year-old cryptocurrency multi-millionaire, originally from Vermont, who earned his fortune over two years - while resident in China – is the boyfriend of “Bond” and steered the $3.5 million into her campaign and coordinating PAC. Salame is a resident of the Bahamas.

Samuel Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old partner of Salame, and who earned his billions – also in China - during 2019-2020, is worth $11 billion according to Forbes, and steered over $1 million to Lafazan. Bankman-Fried is also a resident of the Bahamas, and before becoming a “Bitcoin billionaire” in China, was promoting online offshore gambling.

Bankman-Fried also poured money into the Fourth Congressional District (mostly the Town of Hempstead) - backing former Democratic Town Supervisor Laura Gillen. She had been expected to easily win the Democratic primary, and did - winning almost 63% of the vote.


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