Home » Santos’ would-be GOP successor also has a problem with the truth

Santos’ would-be GOP successor also has a problem with the truth

Congress just got rid of one pathological liar this session, and is now in danger of having that vacated seat filled by someone who also has a tenuous relationship with the truth. Mazi Pilip, the Republican running to replace former Rep. George Santos in next month’s special election, got caught by Business Insider’s Bryan Metzger running this heavily doctored ad tying the Democrat in the race, Tom Suozzi, to President Joe Biden using these ridiculously Photoshopped images.

Suozzi held the seat in New York’s 3rd Congressional District before being defeated by Santos in 2022, and that first set of images is from a Problem Solvers Caucus press conference in December 2020—before Biden took office. You can tell from the original photo on the top right in that composite that the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging because members are wearing masks, which are airbrushed out of Pilip’s ad (presumably because that would pinpoint the timeframe of the image). There’s also the fact that presidents don’t go to Capitol Hill to stand in the background of any House members’ press conferences, let alone one staged by a back-bencher caucus.

That second image, the one with Biden and Suozzi shaking hands, was actually captured all the way back in 2019 when both attended a United Federation of Teachers event. In the original photo, the two are wearing pink ribbons because the UFT event happened after the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk—which many of the attendees participated in, as our own David Nir discovered. Those ribbons got air-brushed out and the Oval Office got Photoshopped in, with the slight problem that it’s a picture of Donald Trump’s office, not Joe Biden’s. Oops.

This isn’t Pilip’s first run-in with the truth during this shortened congressional race. Her very first financial disclosure form lacked critical information and included enough discrepancies that she had to immediately amend the filing. That was a red flag for congressional ethics experts. 

“The canary in the mine can be discrepancies on their financial disclosure statements,” Kedric Payne, the senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center, told The New York Times. After all, financial shenanigans are what brought down Santos.

It seems Pilip is just as willing to play fast and loose with the truth as Santos, but where he was creating buffoonish lies for personal gain and grift, she seems to be playing a more sophisticated—and potentially dangerous—game.

Democrats need to flip the seat back to Suozzi, and Pilip needs to be kept far away from Congress.

Please contribute $10 or $20 right now to help flip this district and keep the next George Santos out of Congress!


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We’re going deep inside last year’s momentous progressive victory in the battle for control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on this week’s episode of “The Downballot,” where we’re joined by Alejandro Verdin, who managed Judge Janet Protasiewicz’s triumphant campaign. Verdin explains how he assembled a team that took the little-known Protasiewicz from third place in the polls to a runaway first-place finish in the primary and then on to a landslide win in the general election.


January 2024