News Flash

Legislative District 18

Posted on: February 1, 2023

Op-Ed Submission from Legislator Joshua Lafazan on the G.E.O.R.G.E. Package

“Make lemonade out of lemons” is a saying ingrained from an early age in students across the country to teach perseverance in the face of adversity. In essence, when faced with a bad situation, navigate the current circumstances to imagine a positive outcome.

When it comes to George Santos, it’s far easier to imagine a steady stream of lemon juice squirted directly into our eyes rather than heeding such an elementary maxim.

Each new day seems to bring a new lie with it, one more outrageous than the next. From a fake resume, to a fake address, to a fake religion, and more, George Santos remains defiant as ever in the face of his masterpiece: the most sophisticated web of lies ever created in the history of American politics.

The good news is that people of good conscience all across NY’s 3rd District, irrespective of partisan affiliation, are exasperated by the “Talented Mr. Santos” and have had enough. Calls for Santos to resign ring out from the headquarters of both the Nassau Democrats and the Nassau GOP. But being outraged is not a sufficient enough solution to our George Santos problem.

Yes, George Santos is an issue for the nation, but he’s also a problem of our local creation. And therefore, the burden lies with us here in NY-03 not just to destroy Frankenstein’s monster, but to ensure that the next George Santos is barred from ever putting their name on the ballot.

And what George Santos, the long-lost brother of fake German heiress Anna Delvey, has shown us is that guardrails to prevent charlatans and liars from running for office simply don’t exist in the 21st century.

That’s why I’ve proposed the G.E.O.R.G.E. PACKAGE here in Nassau County, an eponymous series of laws named for Mr. Santos: Get Egregious Officials Removed from Government Elections.
This package includes several law proposals to safeguard against individuals like Mr. Santos from ever getting elected in the first place. They include:
-Mandatory background checks for all candidates, just like every other employee is subjected to.
-Barring anyone with an open foreign arrest warrant from holding office.
-Making it a misdemeanor to lie about a candidate’s education, employment history, address, and income sources.

The G.E.O.R.G.E. PACKAGE is not a guarantor against politicians lying to get elected. Rather it offers peace of mind to residents that they have an honest choice between two candidates and gives insurance to voters that if candidates don’t play by the rules, they, like us, will also be held accountable.

When James Madison authored the Constitution, never in the wildest dreams of our Founders did they envision needing laws like the G.E.O.R.G.E. PACKAGE on the books. But so as the Constitution is a living document, our governments also must continue to evolve with the times.

And in the age of George Santos, where politicians take an “ends justify the means” approach to elevate lies over the truth and perpetrate fraud against the voters in order to win elections, these safeguards are needed now more than ever to protect our democracy.

My hope is that versions of the G.E.O.R.G.E. PACKAGE pass in Mineola, in Albany, and in Washington. Therefore, all across this state voters can breathe a collective sigh of relief that no matter which candidate wins, at least someone as morally reprehensible as George Santos won’t be representing them.

After all, while Santos may be the lemons, the G.E.O.R.G.E. PACKAGE is our lemonade. Let’s drink up.

By Josh Lafazan
January 31, 2023

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