News & Politics

Democratic Candidate Busted Returning Fake Ring to Jeweler

The approach to primary season is proving to be a rough time for Democratic candidates. They are feeling the general rage against incumbents no less, if not more, than their Republican counterparts.

But Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) is probably going to make it to at least the general election unscathed.

Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District runs along the southwestern part of the state from a line roughly parallel with Minneapolis-St. Paul to the Illinois border. A moderately left-leaning swing district, it has been represented by Kind since 1997, thanks largely to its inclusion of university towns La Crosse and Eau Claire.

This year, Kind faces a challenge from the Left in the person of one Juliet Germanotta, an ordained minister and self-described “proud transgender woman.” Germanotta writes that “as a woman, a transgender, a person living with HIV and human right [sic!] advocate, I do not feel sufficiently represented.” His platform contains a pledge to be “fiscally responsible by questioning expenses.”

Germanotta needs to begin with his own finances.

It seems that Germanotta ordered a yellow gold, diamond, and emerald ring from Manhattan’s Mikaelians Jewelery worth $4,800, then subsequently decided that he didn’t like it and demanded his money back. Not a problem, said the jeweler: just return the ring.

Instead, Germanotta sent them a $10 replica and attempted to sell the original.

Needless to say, it didn’t take the jeweler long to discern the fraud and call the police. Meanwhile, the potential buyer had the ring appraised and discovered it was stolen goods. NYPD detectives tracked Germanotta to La Crosse and arrested him.

After a partial confession and waiving extradition, Germanotta was flown to New York and was taken to Manhattan’s North Midtown precinct, where charges were pending.

Germanotta claims that there are “extenuating circumstances,” and told the New York Post simply that he was “taking a loss and needed the money” and is “on a fixed income.” Bail was set at $5,000, which Germanotta was evidently able to come up with. In a Facebook video, Germanotta explained that he would shortly be returning to Wisconsin, where he expected to give a press conference telling his side of the story.

At this stage, Rep. Kind probably has little to worry about. But in August, he will learn whether his Republican challenger will be military veteran and political novice Steve Toft, or Chippewa Falls middle school student Alex Vinijevich. Vinijevich has filed papers, even though he won’t actually be eligible to serve in the House of Representatives until 2030.