5 vulnerable New York State incumbents— Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, Marc Molianro and Brandon Williams— sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to every Republican in the House asking them to support their resolution to expel George Santos. Conspicuously missing from the list of signatures were 5 other New York Republicans: Andrew Garbarino, whose district borders on Santos’, Nicole Malliotakis, who spends her days terrorized by MAGAts she fears might primary her, Claudia Tenney, who is living Malliotakis’ dream in real time, Nick Langworth and Elise Stefanik, who is responsible for foisting Santos on the GOP originally and has still not given him up.
Stefanik’s opponent, Steven Holden, told voters in the upstate district this morning that “If any of us, myself included, conducted themselves as Santos has, they would be out of a job, at a minimum. Why the standards for our elected officials have devolved is concerning. These are the leaders of our country. They should be setting an example for all of us. Instead, even while they are under criminal investigation, allies remain steadfast in their support. To be clear, silence is acceptance. Elise’s failure to speak out against Santos' conduct informs us that she approves of his conduct. She thinks it is okay to lie, commit fraud, and steal. Where are the ethics? If she didn't think these acts were ethical, she would speak up. Right? Sadly, no. We deserve better representation in New York. It’s time to replace Santos AND Stefanik.”
Since LaLota, D’Esposito, Lawler, Molinaro and Williams expected every Democrat to vote for expulsion, all they needed were 72 Republicans to join the 5 of them in voting to kick Santos out. MAGA Mike had already announced he opposed expulsion— ironically the only time in his life he ever defended a gay person, let alone a drag queen— and Santos’ allies like Marjorie Traitor Greene, Matt Gaetz and Andy Oogles were whipping the conference on Santos’ behalf.
The 5 New Yorkers who are backing the expulsion resolution answered the “let the voters decide” argument that disingenuous Republicans like MAGA Mike are making by pointing out that Nassau County voters never had a chance to decide because Santos— with Stefanik’s help— fed them an unending stream of lies, including a biography Santos invented. “The voters,” they wrote, were robbed of an opportunity to decide when they were duped into voting for a fictitious candidate… Santos lied about his entire background, from his education to his religion to his work experience to his association with 9/11… Now 78% of his district’s voters (including 71% of Republicans) favor expulsion.”
That doesn’t move MAGA Mike because he’s more concerned, as he admitted, with the slim GOP majority. LaLota, D’Esposito, Lawler, Molinaro and Williams called that argument out for what it is. “This issue is not a political one, but a moral one.” A religionist hypocrite like MAGA Mike wouldn’t know a moral argument if it was sitting on his head. The kind of anti-Jesus nonsense he calls religion is 100% devoid of morality. To him religion is strictly a cudgel with which to beat up your ideological enemies and to use to further bigotry and small-minded intolerance. They reminded MAGA Mike, who all 5 of them voted for in his quest to become speaker that “Plain and simple— this is a question of right and wrong. The United States Congress must always uphold the highest standards and ensure accountability for those who have taken advantage of the American people— regardless of political party. Many [including MAGA Mike] have called for the resignation and expulsion of Senator Bob Menendez and we see no difference in the case of George Santos. We must lead by example.”
UPDATE: Did your Democratic Congress Member vote against expelling Santos?
Two dozen Republicans, primarily vulnerable Republicans in swing districts, voted to expel him. With only a half dozen exceptions, the 31 Dems who voted against expulsion were the type you always see crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans, like Blue Dogs Jared Golden (ME), Henry Cuellar (TX), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA). And then the ones who are running for statewide office and want to show… how bipartisan they are in some kind of weird way? Like Colin Allred (TX), Elissa Slotkin (MI) and Jeff Jackson (NC). There were also 15 Dems who answered “Present,’ including some with ethics difficulties themselves whop might be thinking they could be in Santos’ position in the future— Ami Bera (CA), Brad Sherman (CA), Donald Norcross (NJ), Don Davis (NC)…
Mychael Schnell reported that with just 24 Republicans voting to kick him out of the caucus, “Santos wasted no time claiming a victory for due process and vowing to fight the criminal and ethics charges to the very end. ‘I will continue to serve the 3rd Congressional District of New York until the people choose to not have me,’ he told reporters as he left the Capitol.”Polls show that 78% of voters in his district favored expulsion.
Santos also used the opportunity to lash out at the New York Republicans who led the expulsion effort, accusing them of acting purely out of “political expediency” in a tough election cycle. And he dismissed the concerns that his remaining in Congress could be a drag on his party— and might cost them control of the House.
“I don’t care. I don’t care about them; I don’t care about politics,” he said. “I care about policy. I came here for policy. I don’t care about reelections and keeping the political hacks employed.”
…The New York Republicans tore into Santos during debate on the House floor Wednesday, dubbing him a fraud, calling him a “stain on the institution” and compelling their colleagues to take action against the embattled lawmaker.
One of the rotgut conservative Democrats to vote against expelling Santos yesterday was corrupt New Dem Rick Larsen. I asked Jason Call, the progressive running against Larsen if this vote was part of a pattern voters should be aware of. He certainly thought so. "I’ve said it over and over-- whenever a small handful of Democrats breaks ranks to join Republicans and help their cause, Rick Larsen is one of them. Whether it’s failing to support LGBTQIA+ rights, pushing for more industry deregulation, or now removing probably the most fraudulent member of Congress to ever darken its halls, Rick stays true to the American Conservative Union’s ranking as one of the most aligned Democrats with conservative priorities. This vote is remarkable in its sheer purposelessness. For a Representative who spends so much of his own energy blaming Republicans, to not give Democrats in NY03 an opportunity to reclaim their district speaks to his perennial disingenuous public persona. There are so many valid reasons to show him the door in 2024."