George Santos’ Victory Tells a Sad Story About the State of Local News

In November, Georga Santos won the race to represent the 3rd congressional district of New York, which covers northern Long Island and northeast Queens. A number of questions have arisen about the new congressman’s biography and his recent financial dealings.

The New York Times reported that major discrepancies in Santos’ resume existed. He had claimed to have worked for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and other top Wall Street firms, and his biography had included several exaggerated claims.

The North Shore Leader questioned how Santos went from having no assets in 2020 to a net worth of at least $2.6 million in 2022. This prompted federal prosecutors to start investigating Santos’ background.

Some Republicans have called for Santos to resign, while others have demanded that he be investigated. Democrats could introduce a resolution to expel him from Congress or file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission.

The case of George Santos is indicative of how the local news business has fallen into disrepair. Local newspapers have been shuttered or laid off, leaving fewer reporters to cover local political issues. In addition it might show a lack of respect among readers for local news outlets, since one media covered Santos’ questionable record, but others ignored that coverage.

Santos was a candidate for Congress in 2020. At the time, he had no earned income. But he ran for the same seat in 2022 with newly minted fortunes.

During the campaign, Santos made false statements about his background, including his mother’s Jewish ancestry. His website said his mother had died of cancer in 2016. However, the also claimed the mother actually worked at the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11 and died during the terrorist attack that brought the tower down.

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