The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

I voted for George Santos. He owes his constituents answers — now 

My brother and I co-own a couple of small businesses on Long Island, in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. One day about a week before the 2022 midterm elections, George Santos walked into our ice cream store in Farmingdale.  

My brother recognized him and offered to buy him and his staff ice cream. Santos insisted on paying himself, and I thought, “What do you know, here’s an honest politician.” 

Clearly, first impressions can be way off. I voted for Santos, and a few weeks later every media outlet was having a field day with the guy. It seems just about his entire resume was manufactured.

I voted for Santos because I am a New York conservative. This means that on many social issues, I am very similar to a moderate Democrat. For example, I don’t want to outlaw all abortions, but some limitations would be reasonable. In general, I want less government interference in my life and business. 

A few weeks ago, a reporter asked me if I wanted Santos removed from office. My first reaction when someone is being attacked is to hit the brakes. When I was in junior high school, a friend of mine became persona non grata over a minor misunderstanding. All his friends and the popular kids ostracized him. He was, as we would put it today, cancelled. Sadly, and to my eternal regret, I joined in and went along with the crowd.  

So now, when someone is being attacked, I want to stop, collect as many facts as I can and hear directly from the accused person. I told the reporter that I wanted to hear Santos’s side of the story and then I’d make up my mind about him.  

Unfortunately, it’s been weeks and Santos hasn’t come up with any reasonable explanation for countless lies — from where he went to high school and college and where he has worked to how his mother died and even his religion. Now Santos is facing many questions over his campaign finances.

Do all politicians lie? Yes. Are some of their lies unimportant? Sure. When Hillary Clinton claimed she had been under sniper fire when she landed in Bosnia, that, in my view, was a silly lie that didn’t really mean anything. When Donald Trump claimed more people attended his inauguration than Barack Obama’s in 2009, it was also a silly lie with no real victim.  

But other lies do mean a great deal, and politicians should be called out when caught.  

Joe Biden claimed he launched his 2020 presidential campaign because Trump had called neo-Nazis and white nationalists “very fine people.” That was a lie, one Biden repeated several times. Trump very clearly said the neo-Nazis and white nationalists should be “condemned totally.” Few media outlets called Biden on it at the time.  

It seems that modern journalists hold only one party accountable for their lies, while the other party mostly gets a pass. And the victims are the American people who only hear cherry-picked stories advancing one side’s political agenda.  

By the way, my ostracized friend from junior high ultimately redeemed himself. By sheer force of will and ingenuity, he got himself back in with all his friends and by senior year of high school he was captain of the soccer team, class president and the most popular guy in school.  

George Santos has lied about so many things that I can’t imagine he will be able to recover. He stands accused of having a “made-up life.” But of course everyone has a real life. I want to know what his real life is.  

Santos has become an embarrassment to the country and a huge liability to Republicans. He should resign immediately — but only if he actually made those lies.  

Santos’s nearly 150,000 voters, as well as his roughly 600,000 other constituents in Queens and on Long Island, deserve to hear from him directly. We want the truth, and he owes it to us — now.   

Nick DeVito is co-owner of Charlotte’s Desserts, an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop, and Charlotte’s Speakeasy, a speakeasy from the 1920s that was restored five years ago to a craft cocktail bar and jazz club in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Tags 2022 midterms Donald Trump George Santos George Santos George Santos Hillary Clinton New York City Santos controversy Santos scandal

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Campaign News

See All
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video