Curious George

Economist George Santos has some problems with gas prices.
George Santos
Credit: George Santos campaign
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Spiking gas prices have been an issue for many Americans over the last six months. Both on their own and as a primary driver of inflation they’ve hit President Biden’s popularity hard. But one New York City candidate, George Santos, apparently got a little carried away with himself trying to illustrate the point.

Santos is running in New York’s 3rd congressional district, currently represented by Tom Suozzi (D). The 3rd is basically the North Shore of Long Island in Nassau County, suburbs of New York City. But it also includes a slice of northeastern Queens (i.e., New York City proper) and a bit of Suffolk County, which is eastern Long Island.

Which brings us to Santos’ lament.

Okay, let’s go through this.

I buy gas around here and guess is not currently $4 a gallon. But it has gotten that high if you buy premium. So let’s be generous and use that as our number. That would mean George’s tank should be about 20 gallons. But let’s knock it down to 18 gallons. So George’s calculations tell us he’s using 54 gallons of gas a week. Does he really let his tank go all the way to empty? Seems odd. But that’s what he said. So he’s going through 54 gallons a week.

Let’s continue to be generous and say he gets only 20 miles to the gallon. So yeah, George drives 1,080 miles a week!

Here’s the problem though. George says he lives in Whitestone, Queens, part of that sliver of Queens which is in the 3rd district. He works, according to his campaign website bio, at a place called Linkbridge Investors. When I type these locations into Google Maps I get 14.3 mile commute. Now let’s say George takes a scenic route and bump it up to 20 miles. That generates 200 miles a week for the daily commute. Which leaves 880 miles unaccounted for.

(George’s campaign bio says that “earlier this year” he moved from Linkbridge to what he describes as his “family firm,” a place called “Devolder Organizations.” But I couldn’t find any information about Devolder’s location. In fact, it is literally not listed anywhere on the web under that name other than two places, both of which are tied to George’s campaign. Until this campaign Santos seems to have gone by name George Devolder-Santos. So, family firm. Indeed, Ballotpedia says George is “also known as Anthony Dee.” I don’t know if that’s what he calls himself when he’s on the lam or trying to buy alcohol. Given this rather bizarre range of details I’m sure you’ll understand why I’ve decided to stick to using Linkbridge for the purposes of calculating the commute.)

In any case, George can’t be driving almost 900 miles a week over and above his daily commute, can he? If George has a place in the Hamptons and goes out there every weekend that would still leave almost 700 miles a week unaccounted for. Maybe George drives a school bus or a large military vehicle? For George’s numbers to work he actually has to be getting around 2.6 miles to a gallon (14.3×10=143 … 143/54=2.6). I looked it up. Schools buses are surprisingly fuel efficient: about 10 miles a gallon.

None of these numbers make sense. And George is in finance!

Welcome to Monday.

Latest Editors' Blog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: