While George Santos has made it known that he does not intend to step down from Congress despite the controversy surrounding him, Great Neck resident Jody Finkel launched a change.org petition calling for his resignation that has garnered nearly 1,000 signatures.
Created approximately two weeks before Santos was scheduled to take office, the petition set a goal of 1,000 signatures from residents of New York’s Third Congressional District. As of the early afternoon of Jan. 5, there have been 973 people who signed it. If and when it reaches its goal, the petition will be more likely to be featured on change.org’s recommended page, which would allow for the opportunity to gather even more signatures.
According to Finkel, getting Santos to resign isn’t the only goal she has regarding the petition. She is also calling for local Republican leaders to repudiate Santos and apologize to the district’s voters for offering such a low-quality candidate to represent them, national Republican leaders to refuse to seat Santos as a member of Congress and for the United States Justice Department to prosecute Santos for fraud against the U.S.
“I am absolutely infuriated by the lies and deceit of Santos,” Finkel said. “I believe that his expulsion would be good for both the Democratic and Republican parties, as it hurts the Republicans to even be associated with him. The first thing that needs to be done once he takes office is an ethics investigation.”
Some of those who signed the change.org petition provided explanations as to why they did so in the comments section. Most argued that Santos betrayed their trust through his numerous lies and, as a result, they don’t feel they can rely on him to be a good representative of the district.
“No person representing New York in Congress should gain his or her seat on false claims,” one signee said. “This is not what serving the people means.”
“Santos is a fraud and a grifter,” another signee said. “[He’s] not who District 3 voters believed they were voting for. He should not be allowed to be seated.”
Santos was supposed to be sworn in to Congress on Jan. 3, but the swearing-in process has been delayed due to the several failed attempts to elect a Speaker of the House. He is expected to be sworn in once a speaker is elected, but it remains to be seen whether or not Congress intends to expel him.
On Santos’ first day in Washington, D.C., Santos ignored multiple reporters’ questions about his falsehoods or whether he’d resign while walking through the U.S. Capitol. Additionally, Santos could be viewed on C-SPAN, sitting by himself, instead of being engaged in conversation with his new colleagues.
Finkel believes that the outcome of who is made speaker could have an impact on how many Republicans would vote for Santos to be expelled from Congress. With at least two-thirds of Congress needed to vote in favor of this, at least 78 of the 222 Republicans would need to join the 212 Democrats in voting him out.
Santos has admitted to lying about the high school and colleges he attended, his work history, his wealth and his family’s history, among other things. He falsely claimed he had ancestors who survived the Holocaust and that his mother died on 9/11. He is being investigated by multiple prosecutors’ offices for fraud.
While the change.org petition likely won’t have any impact on Santos’ state of mind, it may help to inspire his Republican colleagues to expel him so that New York’s Third Congressional District may elect someone they feel would better serve them.
“People didn’t have the truth about who this guy was,” Finkel said. “In my 30-plus years in the nonprofit world lobbying for environmental, health and affordable housing issues in Washington and Albany, I’ve never seen anyone with such an arrogant contempt for the truth or his constituents. While the whole country is aghast at Santos’s lies and utter disregard for decency, the residents of NY-3 have the most to lose.”