It’s not easy to keep up with Julia Salazar’s constantly changing story. Voting in the state senate campaign in New York is just two days away, but each day brings new stories and new twists on Salazar’s already confusing biography.
You may recall that Democratic Socialist Salazar claimed to be a Jewish immigrant from Colombia. Those claims were challenged last month in a story published by Tablet magazine. Salazar admitted she was born in Miami and put down the claim that she was an immigrant, which appeared in the biography on her own campaign website, to confusion among her staff.
The confusion over her religious background was a similar sort of thing. She’d been a pro-life conservative Christian before becoming a Jewish Democratic Socialist, seemingly in a matter of months. People who knew her in college as a conservative were surprised she seemed to have forgotten her pre-conversion existence. Her own brother said no one in the family was Jewish.
But that wasn’t the end of the corrections to her personal biography. Salazar has also claimed she grew up working class, something her brother says wasn’t true. In fact, the family was very well off until Salazar was 6 or 7, then her parents got divorced and things got a little tougher. But when her father died in 2009, Salazar apparently inherited a trust fund worth more than half a million dollars. From NY Magazine:
Now the campaign has confirmed Salazar has had substantial assets held in trust for her. “Julia’s father, who played a very limited role in raising her after her parents’ divorce, was not able to work due to disability in the final years of his life, but on his death in 2009 he left a house and considerable retirement savings; those assets were put in a trust to be divided evenly between Julia and her brother,” campaign spokesman Michael Kinnucan said. “Julia does not have direct access to the trust; the trustee is a relative in Colombia.”
Trust-fund socialist is not the look she was going for, I’m guessing. It’s not clear if she intends to blame that omission on her staff. But we’re not done making corrections yet. Today, a good government group dropped its endorsement of Salazar after she admitted that she never graduated from Columbia University as she had claimed. From the NY Daily News:
“Citizens Union is hereby rescinding the preference it expressed for Julia Salazar in the Democratic Primary for New York State Senate District 18,” Randy Mastro, the chair of the group, said in a statement. “Salazar recently admitted that the information she originally provided to Citizens Union about her academic credentials was not correct, so Citizens Union has decided to express no preference in this race.”
A campaign spokesman called it an “error in her endorsement application.”
“Julia regrets that an error in her endorsement application led to Citizens Union rescinding its endorsement, but remains committed to working with Citizens Union and others opposed to Albany corruption if elected to take money out of politics and clean up Albany,” he said.
If this had been the only error, maybe people would decide it was just a mistake, but when it’s the 4th or 5th error involving a mistake about her own history, you begin to get the impression she’s not a very reliable narrator.
But even as all of this is happening, there appears to be a new story on the horizon. Earlier today, Salazar announced on Twitter that she was the victim of a sexual assault by a spokesman for Israeli PM Netanyahu:
The story was apparently this one at the Daily Caller which notes this accusation has been mentioned in the media as far back as 2016:
In April 2016, The Times of Israel first reported that Keyes was accused of assault by an unnamed woman.
The alleged incident, according to The Times of Israel, occurred November 2013 in Keyes’ Manhattan apartment.
“This man, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s new spokesperson, is an American who sexually assaults women – and I’m here to tell you this from firsthand experience,” Salazar wrote on Facebook. “I still remember vividly the night that this happened, and have a record that corroborates it.”…
“I resisted, tried to laugh it off, tried to be polite,” she wrote, “But he persisted. Repeatedly. In fact, I told him ‘No, I’d rather not,’ at least a dozen times. Frankly, I was really uninterested in having any physical contact with this guy,
“Eventually, after I insisted on leaving his apartment repeatedly, he physically coerced me,” she continued. “After I submitted to him, he finally allowed me to leave. I remember going into the elevator and sobbing, and getting off before the ground floor so that I could wipe my face with a tissue, so the doorman wouldn’t embarrassingly see me leaving his building in tears so late at night.”
This is obviously horrible if it’s true, but given the frequent rewriting of her own history it’s a bit hard to take claims about her past at face value. That doesn’t mean she’s lying, it just means it’s hard to judge the veracity of this claim without additional information. For his part, Keyes has denied the claim. I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more about this in the coming days.