Following a damning ethics report put together by the House Ethics Committee, there is a growing demand, both inside and outside of Congress, for controversial Republican Congressman George Santos to be expelled.
Michael Sapraicone, who is running for the Republican nomination for Santos’ congressional seat, is among those to support Santos being expelled from Congress.
The ethics report revealed that Santos took campaign donations and used them for his own personal use, including stays in Atlantic City and the Hamptons and Botox treatment at a local spa. Following the findings in the report, Santos is likely to face a third expulsion vote. While he easily survived the first two, there now appears to be more members of Congress on both sides of the aisle willing to vote in favor of his expulsion. A two-thirds voting majority is required in order for Santos to be expelled.
According to Sapraicone, the findings in the report are not that surprising, considering the long list of controversies and lies that Santos has accumulated since being elected in 2022. One criticism that Sapraicone, a former NYPD detective, did have about the report is how long it took to come out. The fact that the Ethics panel appointed to investigate Santos met nine times, interviewed more than 40 witnesses and authorized 37 subpoenas played a role in the report taking as long as it did to come out.
“I am pleased to see that now there might be some action [taken on Santos],” Sapraicone said. “I think now it seems like everyone is kind of on the same page and I think we’ll see some action. If I was sitting in Congress, I would be voting to expel him.”
If Santos does end up getting expelled, then a special election would take place to replace his seat to represent New York’s third congressional district. It would likely be held as early as February 2024. Sapraicone emphasized the importance of such a special election, as the winner would have the advantage of being an incumbent when the general election comes in November 2024.
“If I’m the chosen person for the Republican party, I would hope that would give us an advantage in the special election,” Sapraicone said. “It’s important to hold that seat for the GOP. Therefore, if I were to win that seat, as an incumbent, I wouldn’t be too concerned about a primary at that point. But I would be prepared for the primary and the general election in November.”
In the wake of the ethics report, Sapraicone said he would not be surprised to see Santos face further legal troubles. Despite the stain that Santos has left on the Republican party in New York’s third congressional district, Sapraicone said he is optimistic about his chances of regaining that trust and respect through his campaign’s efforts to connect with the people and through his history working for the NYPD.
“I think we lack the trust on both sides of believing in a politician,” Sapraicone said. “I’m not a politician. I’m just a regular guy who was a New York City detective for 20 years and served the system for over 30 years. I’m a concerned citizen who thinks I should be giving back. Public service should be an honor. We should have pride in that and in our ethics and in the way we handle things.”
Sapraicone also noted that, as he and his campaign have reached out to those within the district, his campaign has been taking notes on what some of the biggest concerns are among these people. One of the most important qualities Sapraicone said these people are looking for is common sense.
“People want somebody who wants to be an adult in the room, make logical decisions and work together with people to get things done,” Sapraicone said. “We have too many things going on where we’re not accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.”
In the wake of George Santos being elected based in large part on a false resume, Sapraicone believes the one good thing that will come out of this is more thorough background research being performed on candidates by their respective parties, especially from potential donors. He also believes this will extend towards the potential voters, who may be more likely to look into a candidate’s history, background and stances.
“I think it’s time we start moving on [from Santos],” Sapraicone said. “It’s time we get some representation in New York Congressional District 3. We’ve had no true representation in the year since Santos was elected. It’s about time people get what they vote for and what they need: a true representative in Congress who cares about the issues of their people and not just their own agenda. And that’s what I propose to do.”