Brian Burgess is the creator of the conspiracy website "The Capitolist," which was exposed in 2022 as part of criminal investigations into the Florida ghost candidate scheme in the state's 2020 elections.
Burgess writes hit pieces on behalf of conservative and corporate interests for a monthly salary of $12,000.
Burgess is the former communications director for then-Governor Rick Scott.
Marc Caputo works for NBC for now, but previously founded the Florida chapter of Politico, and before that was ousted from his position at The Miami Herald. Following a string of ethics complaints, Caputo and Burgess developed the "Ghost Operation" scheme as covert operatives in established news organizations to plant stories targeting individuals, companies and organizations for a fee.
Some of Burgess' victims include:
This list is not all-inclusive. Through the outlined activities, dozens of reporters and public servants were targeted. The Capitolist also targeted critics of prominent Florida republicans outside of the scheme, of which the victims are countless.
Daniella Levine Cava
Mary Ann Klaus
Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez
The Orlando Sentinel
The Miami Herald
Paul Tudor Jones II
Alissa Jean Schafer