Correction 2/15/13: An attorney representing Luna provided documentation of her father serving two 30-day jail sentences and 15 weekends in jail for violating probation, but no evidence of him serving time in state prison. On the alleged apartment break-in, the attorney also provided a police report showing there was a separate unspecified “incident” five days prior to the one Luna’s roommate disputes during which Luna was home.
By now, many people know about serial liar Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) who made up almost his entire resume and claimed to be Jewish on the campaign trail. He’s facing various investigations and stepped down from his committee assignments but is still somehow in Congress. And now, the House GOP appears to have another fabulist on their hands!
According to a damning story in the Washington Post, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) is an Air Force veteran and former Obama supporter who used to go by Anna Paulina Mayerhofer before she switched parties to run for Congress. She’s now a member of the House Freedom Caucus and has argued that House members should be able to carry firearms to committee meetings.
Luna claimed on the campaign trail that while she is a Christian, her father, George Mayerhofer, raised her as a Messianic Jew and that she’s part Ashkenazi Jewish. (Messianic Jews identify as Jewish but believe Jesus is the Messiah.) She said these things during an interview with Jewish Insider in which she stood by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who had made antisemitic comments. “MTG did endorse me, and I was raised as a Messianic Jew by my father,” Luna said. “I am also a small fraction Ashkenazi. If she were antisemitic, why did she endorse me?”
Well, Luna’s relatives dispute that fact and say that not only was George a Catholic who never practiced any form of Judaism, but that his father, Heinrich Mayerhofer, served in the Nazi army in the 1940s. Luna’s estranged uncle even provided the Post with a photo of Heinrich in uniform, which an independent expert said “was consistent with that of a member of the Wehrmacht, which was the armed forces of Nazi Germany.” Luna’s aunt told the Post that Heinrich had no choice but to serve in the German army. It’s worth noting that the reason Luna is estranged from this uncle, Edward Mayerhofer, is that he used social media to draw attention to “inconsistencies” in Luna’s biography during her first Congressional bid.
People also accused Luna of only embracing her Hispanic heritage for political gain. She is the first Mexican-American woman to elected to Congress from Florida, though in a 2015 voter registration form, she identified herself as “White, not of Hispanic origin.” (She identified as Hispanic when she updated her registration in 2019.)
Luna had a difficult childhood in California with her father addicted to drugs and repeatedly incarcerated and has said repeatedly that her mother Monica raised her single-handedly with “no family to rely on.” Relatives disputed this claim, saying they gave Monica logistical and financial help. The Post was not able to find records of her father serving time in California state facilities. Her father did serve short sentences in jail.
Luna has also claimed that when she was stationed in Missouri, someone broke into her apartment at 4 a.m. while she was home. Her roommate at the time told the Post that a break-in did happen, but it was during the day when Luna wasn’t home. Per a police report provided by a lawyer, Luna was home during an unspecified “incident” five days earlier. She has used this story to talk about the importance of gun rights, telling reporters on election night: “When I was stationed in Missouri, I had someone that broke into my house. I didn’t have a firearm. It wasn’t until I got stationed in Florida that I got my concealed carry. So I have lived in circumstances and in states where gun control was pushed.” Her former roommate disputes this, saying they both had guns in the Missouri apartment.
Luna responded to the story on Twitter, calling it “comical” and saying she’d be going on Jesse Watters’ Fox News show tonight “with the facts,” adding, “The left hates conservative minorities.”
A spokesperson in Luna’s office said in a statement: “The Washington Post has clearly showcased the threat conservative minorities like Rep. Luna pose to their leftist control. Unfortunately for them, the receipts Rep. Luna is revealing tonight on primetime television will completely blow their story out of the water.”
Buckle in folks, we’re embarking on another congressional liar news cycle.
Update 2/10/23: This story has been updated to include comment from Luna’s congressional office.