How George Santos defrauded my old congressional district

By | December 28, 2022

Steve Israel writes:

The media’s failure to dig into Santos shows the predicament that local newsrooms face in 2022. Newsday dominates the media landscape on Long Island. And its reporters do quality work—they turned out an important investigation just a few years ago that exposed racism in the local real-estate industry. But they don’t have the resources to cover everything—not even everything in their political backyard—and they appear to have written off NY-3 as low priority given the district’s Democratic tilt. So did all the other once-mighty New York–area media operations.

Some observers have also criticized Zimmerman’s campaign for not fully investing in opposition research based on the initial DCCC project. Perhaps that criticism is justified, but we shouldn’t let the Republican Party off the hook. Republicans accepted Santos’s narrative without due diligence because they prioritized extreme ideology over actual qualifications. Santos was at the Ellipse on January 6, 2021, and has even claimed that he helped arrested insurrectionists with their legal fees.

NY-3 voters should have had an honest choice between two candidates—not a choice between Zimmerman and Santos’s fan-fiction version of himself. Politicians embellish résumés; if that were a crime, every candidate in America would be in prison. But Santos’s lies are an assault on democratic norms. The Republicans should have vetted Santos. The Democrats should have checked him out more thoroughly. The media should have as well.

But now, barring a surprise Santos resignation or action following investigations by the House Ethics Committee and the Department of Justice, Long Islanders—and the nation—are stuck with a congressman who is a figment of his own imagination. The caucus of unhinged representatives—the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, the Lauren Boeberts, the Matt Gaetzes—has just increased by one. [Continue reading…]

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