Readers Write: DeSena shrugs on Santos

Readers Write: DeSena shrugs on Santos

“We’re gonna do the best we can.”
That’s what North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jen DeSena said about her residents’ lack of congressional representation at the most recent town board meeting.

After formally endorsing George Santos during the election, DeSena now says she no longer considers him to be her congressman. So, where does that leave the 3rd District, including the entire Town of North Hempstead?

At the meeting, DeSena showed impatience with the concerns raised during public comment, stating that our congressman was not a town issue. One speaker after another asked her what we can do given the scathing weakness of George Santos.

Beyond voting for federal legislation, congressmen do constituent work: helping the people they represent negotiate the complex structures of the federal government. A federal representative helps senior citizens seeking help with social security, veterans who need help from the VA, and anyone trying to get a passport or help with immigration.

The town works with our congressperson on getting funding for projects in the town. These desperate human needs are now piling up without a viable partner on the federal end.

None of this appeared to have any effect on the town supervisor. She suggested that anyone with problems needing help in Washington should reach out to neighboring congressman Anthony D’Esposito for help.

Representative D’Esposito may be earnest in his willingness to pitch in, but, as a freshman member of Congress himself with limited previous experience in government and who was elected by and represents another district, that’s a lot to ask.

Nevertheless, DeSena suggests that this level of service, unsupported by any constitutional responsibility, is enough for us. She evidently wants us all to be second-class citizens.
“We’re gonna do the best we can.”
That’s the best DeSena could come up with after taking to the microphone at the head of her fellow Nassau County Republicans on Jan. 11. Full of high moralism and public-spiritedness, she joined a call for George Santos to resign.

Clearly, this would make the problem go away for Nassau Republicans, but they can do nothing but shrug when it comes to making that happen.
Humility is a fine quality in public life. Fecklessness is not.

Town Board Member Mariann Dalimonte said at the same meeting that she’s been in touch with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. But as far as the second half of Congress – the one ultimately responsible for federal spending – goes, Dalimonte said that “we are without a representative.”

This is a gaping void in our civic life and our Town Supervisor is all out of ideas.
“We’re gonna do the best we can.”
Supervisor DeSena repeated that line throughout the meeting. When pressed for specifics, she offered none.
George Santos is a legitimately elected member of Congress and the constitutional mechanisms for removing representatives are necessarily limited.

A growing list of law enforcement agencies are looking into Santos’ troubling history, but such investigations are deliberative and slow. Several speakers at the town board meeting suggested that DeSena request that other members of the Long Island congressional delegation call for a vote to expel Santos from his seat, which would require a two-thirds vote.

DeSena did not bite, and of course, that kind of vote is very unlikely in a House with a 4-seat GOP majority.
Essentially, the only remaining option is for Santos – whose only confirmed quality is his shamelessness – to resign, and, if this resignation is unlikely, DeSena’s readiness to accept the disenfranchisement of her more than 230,000 constituents – is unforgivable.

So, “We’re gonna do the best we can” might honestly be the best we can expect. It’s not the response of a true public servant. It’s not the vision of a leader. It’s the words that a politician says when she either has no ideas or no real commitment to pursuing them.

Town Supervisor Jen DeSena says we all just have to take it. Nothing to be done. That’s a gutsy stance for any public official. It’ll make for a risky campaign slogan in future elections.
As for those of us who think Town Supervisor DeSena needs a stronger response, who think that government without representation is a betrayal of our democratic republic, who think that the shame of this cheap huckster stains us all and needs to be purged from our community, well, we’ll remember all this.

We’ll remember on future election days when finding Santos or DeSena’s name on a ballot. And we’ll remember at every public function where either dares to appear. We’ll remember. Or at least, we’re gonna do the best we can.

Rebecca Hughes Parker
Port Washington

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  1. So well said. This passive indifference from the Supervisor is utterly disappointing; you can be sure if the lying Congressperson were a Democrat, Ms. DeSena would on the warpath.

  2. Thank you for that eloquent letter. I was one of the people who spoke out on January 12 at the Town meeting and I plan to be there at the next Town board meeting on January 24.

    FYI – She’s delivering the State of the Town address on January 27 at Harbor Links. I plan to be there as well. We cannot let this issue fade away, as it affects every resident in the Town.


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