Matt Gaetz’s mentor Joel Greenberg is pretty much the Platonic ideal of a Trump-era Republican:
Long before the F.B.I. began to scrutinize a tax collector in Florida named Joel Greenberg — and long before his trail led them to Representative Matt Gaetz — he amassed an outlandish record in the mundane local public office he had turned into a personal fief of power.
Records and interviews detailed a litany of accusations: Mr. Greenberg strutted into work with a pistol on his hip in a state that does not allow guns to be openly carried. He spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to create no-show jobs for a relative and some of his groomsmen. He tried to talk his way out of a traffic ticket, asking a police officer for “professional courtesy.” He played police officer himself, putting a flashing light on his car to pull over a woman and accuse her of speeding. He published an anti-Muslim Facebook post. He solicited help to hack critics on the county commission.
Stalking a rival candidate got him arrested. Federal agents looking into the matter found at least five fake IDs in his wallet and backpack, and kept digging.
Their inquiry culminated in 33 federal charges against Mr. Greenberg, 36, including sex trafficking of a minor, bribery, fraud and stalking — and led to a mushrooming political scandal that burst into national news in recent days and ensnared Mr. Gaetz, who is a close ally of President Donald J. Trump, and other influential Florida Republicans, with the investigation continuing.
Cartoonishly corrupt? Check. Racist? Check. Misogynist? Check. Abuses his authority? Check. Hell, if he can stay out of the hoosegow in 2024 he could be Florida’s next governor if DeSantis joins the Trump ticket…