Nassau GOP, local Republican officials call for Santos’ resignation

Nassau GOP, local Republican officials call for Santos’ resignation
A pair of complaints have been filed against U.S. Rep. George Santos and his questionable financial background. (Photo courtesy of the Santos campaign)

The Nassau County Republican Committee and local GOP officials called on newly-elected U.S. Rep. George Santos to resign from his position on Wednesday morning.

Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, newly-elected state Sen. Jack Martins and newly-elected U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito called on Santos to step down from his position, saying the lies and deceit of his personal and professional background will not allow him to be an effective leader.

“He’s disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople,” Cairo said in a press conference. “Today, on behalf of the Nassau County Republican Committee, I am calling for his immediate resignation.”

“The lies George Santos told are too numerous to count,” DeSena, who publicly endorsed Santos, said. “He lied to me personally when he sought my endorsement, and while I am offended and disgusted at his deceit, my true concerns are for the residents of the 3rd Congressional District.”

“What was really tragic is the fact that there are so many people here in Nassau County that are survivors of the Holocaust,” Blakeman said. “These are people whose families were decimated and it many instances wiped out… For him to make up this story that his parents were Holocaust survivors, is beyond the pale. It is simply tragic and outrageous and disgusting.”

Santos also faces a pair of new complaints filed by a watchdog group and two of his Democratic colleagues from New York.

The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit organization that aims to advance democracy through the law, questioned the newly-elected congressman’s influx of wealth after reporting a salary of $55,000 in 2020 to $750,000 in 2022 and $1 million to $5 million in dividends.

The organization also called the congressman’s $705,000 loan to his campaign into question, claiming he falsified reports on nearly 40 expenditure filings under $200.

The center filed the complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday and to the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.

Adav Noti, the senior vice president and legal director for the Campaign Legal Center, said the Federal Election Commission owes it to the public to unearth the truth regarding Santos’ financial disclosures.

“George Santos has lied to voters about a lot of things, but while lying about your background might not be illegal, deceiving voters about your campaign’s funding and spending is a serious violation of federal law,” Noti said. “That is what we are asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate.”

The Federal Election Commission said in a letter to the Devolder Santos Nassau Victory Committee that three donors made contributions exceeding the legal limits by $76,000. The political action committee is required to explain the excess donations it received by Feb. 8.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Ritchie Torres and Daniel Goldman filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee on Tuesday for allegedly violating the Ethics in Government Act, saying the Republican must be held accountable for deceiving voters and Congress.

The Ethics in Government Act, officials said, was created to “preserve and promote the integrity of public officials and institutions,” which Torres and Goldman believe Santos has failed to adhere to. The two described financial reports submitted in 2020 and 2022 as “sparse and perplexing” in the complaint.

“Over the past several weeks, extensive public reporting- as well as Santos’ own admissions- have shown that Mr. Santros misled voters in his District about his ethnicity, his religion, his education, and his employment and professional history, among other things,” the complaint said.

Santos has declined to answer questions from the media since arriving at Capitol Hill last week, and efforts to reach the congressman for comment were unavailing.

Financial disclosures also showed that four political action committees with ties to Santos and his family contributed almost $185,000 to the Nassau County Republican Party, money that will be returned, according to Cairo.

The Rise NY PAC contributed $64,225 to the Nassau GOP and $62,500 to the Town of Hempstead Republican Party. The Nassau GOP also received $47,966 from the Devolder Santos Nassau Victory Committee, $10,000 from the GADS (George Anthony Devolder Santos) PAC and $750 from Devolder-Santos For Congress.

Cairo told Newsday that the Nassau GOP will return the Rise NY money, which totals $126,725 and reiterated the lack of support Santos has from the organization.

Over the past two years, Santos also donated thousands to Nassau County organizations and elected officials. 

Included in the filings is $500 to Elaine Philips’ campaign when she was running for Nassau County comptroller for an event donation, a personal contribution of $500 to the Sands Point-Port Washington Republican Committee, $750 to the Nassau County Republican Primary Campaign, $1,000 to D’Esposito’s campaign, $250 to the Glen Cove Knights of Columbus, $200 to the campaign for Vhibuti Jha, who ran for the state’s 16th Assembly District, and $500 to the campaign for Ruka Anzai, who ran for the state’s 13th Assembly District.

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, who represented the district until 2023 and defeated Santos in 2020, told CNN that the Republican had $40,000 in his campaign account two years ago before reporting an excess of $700,000 this year.

“I never even mentioned his name in the campaign, I beat him by 12 points, Suozzi said. “Now, all of a sudden he has all this money that he loaned from himself. When he was running against me, he was being evicted for non-payment of rent.”

Santos’ campaign outspent other Republican House winners on Long Island and his Democratic opponent Robert Zimmerman on flights, hotels and restaurants during the campaign, according to financial disclosure reports.

Santos spent over $42,000 on flights, more than the $17,637 spent on flights by Republican Congressman-elect Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park), Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport), Congressman-elect Nick LaLota (R-Amityville) and Zimmerman. 

He also shelled out nearly $30,000 on hotels compared to the $22,233 by the other four. Filings show spending by the Santos campaign at the Garden City Hotel, W Hotel in Miami Beach and Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. 

Santos also laid out more than $31,000 at restaurants, with Garbarino in second place with expenditures of $24,155. He spent over $4,500 during 25 different visits to Il Bacco, the Little Neck restaurant where he also held his victory party at on Election Night. 

The filings include an outlay of nearly $11,000 to a company called Cleaner 123 under “apartment rental for staff.”

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