DOUGLASTON, Queens — Rep.-elect George Santos — the man who said that he “embellished” his resume and life story, is set to take his seat in Congress once there’s a house speaker to swear him in, but that fact has a growing number of constituents concerned.
“I am concerned that we’re going to lose influence in Washington,” said the man who spoke with PIX11 News, but declined to give his name.
He said that he did not vote for Santos.
His fellow Great Neck resident, Misook No, on the other hand, said, “I think I voted [for] him. But I regret it.”
No said that regret is not only over Santos’s falsified background of having worked at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, graduated from college, been a grandson of Holocaust survivors, lost employees in the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and so on. It’s also because Santos’ district office, on Northern Boulevard and Douglaston Parkway, has been empty since he won election in November.
As Lawrence Levy, political analyst and executive dean of Hostra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies, put it, “There’s no way that a constituent can reach the congressman-elect, and have their request for help acted upon.”
Levy said that that’s in stark contrast to other people waiting to be sworn in.
“A member-elect can do plenty of stuff for constituents,” he said in an interview, “if they have the staff or personal knowledge to get things done.”
In the case of George Santos, calls to his office on Capitol Hill go straight to a voicemail recording that announces that the voicemailbox is full.
Santos’s congressional website doesn’t even list a phone number for his district office.
That’s a clear indication of the lack of assistance that constituents are getting, according to Josh Lafazan, a Nassau County legislator and vocal critic of Representative-elect Santos.
“He hasn’t found the time to actually do the job that he lied to voters to get,” Lafazan said at a rally he organized outside of the Douglaston office that’s supposed to be turned over to Santos’s staff, from his predecessor, Rep. Tom Suozzi.
A source familiar with local real estate told PIX11 News that nobody from Santos’s team has picked up the keys at the district office, let alone tried to change the locks.
The absence has led to at least four different online petitions calling for Santos to resign, or be expelled from office.
Jody Kass, a Great Neck resident who organized one of the petitions, said at the rally that the need for Santos to step aside is greater than ever.
“This is a bipartisan issue in this district,” she said. “This is not about one elected official. It’s about the people of this community, and we want to make sure our voice is amplified.”