When George Santos duped voters in the Long Island-based Third Congressional District to send a serial liar and cheat to represent them in Washington, we soon found out that almost everything he said in the campaign –his experience, his business experience, even his religion – was a lie.
As it unraveled with astonishing speed in the weeks after his unexpected election, to their credit his Republican colleagues in Nassau, as well as in Congress, called on him to resign or be expelled from the House so voters can get a do-over.
It looks like that do-over will happen, based on media reports about his lawyers in negotiation with federal prosecutors who have indicted him on multiple fraud and money laundering charges. The recent guilty included an indication she is prepared to cooperate in Santos’ prosecution.
If he resigns or is convicted, it appears that Democratic leaders are primed to pick an experienced hand to return to Congress in a special election for the district which reaches into northern Queens – Tom Suozzi. Suozzi announced his candidacy for the position on October 10th.
“Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, then it is not yet the end,” Suozzi, taking a quote from the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, wrote in a New York Times essay as he bemoaned being replaced by a con man.
Santos’ removal from the public stage, whether by conviction or resignation, will give us the chance to make everything all right in the end of Congress.
We know Tom Suozzi over the decades as a mayor of Glen Cove, a Nassau County Executive who righted a fiscal ship that was teetering on disaster, and as a moderate congressman who worked across the isle to put his constituents needs as a priority. When he was in the House of Representatives previously, he was the Vice -Chairman on the Democratic side of the Problem Solving Caucus, which is a group of moderate Democrats and Republicans who understand the value to the American people of comporting themselves civilly and to compromise in order to enact legislation for the best interests of the American people.
He has been on the front lines fighting for us, whether securing COVID funds for schools, hospitals, and local governments, fighting efforts to eliminate the SALT (state and local tax) deduction, increasing funding by 400 percent for Long Island Sound and Queens harbors, protecting our drinking water, even combatting traffic noise in Queens and northern Nassau.
There will be no on-the-job training period for Suozzi when he returns to Washington. And there will be no need to introduce himself to the voters of the Third District. They know him. As he has said “ he can do it, because he has done it”.
Now it is time for Tom Suozzi to return to work for us.