A screengrab from the CBS documentary on Rep. George Santos.

A screengrab from the CBS documentary on Rep. George Santos. Credit: CBS

Daily Point

Santos puts the glare on Nassau GOP

Nassau County GOP leader Joe Cairo is front and center in a CBS documentary about all things George Santos released on Thursday. 

Clad in a sober suit and red striped tie, Cairo says that Santos “to me is a bunch of lies.”

The county party chairman features prominently in the 23-minute documentary, as does Cairo’s early-January news conference in Westbury at which he and other Nassau Republicans called for Santos’ resignation.

The documentary takes its name from Cairo’s line at that event, calling Santos’ run a “campaign of deceit,” and CBS identifies him and fellow county GOPers as “the Republican Party bosses” who hold power in CD3.

It’s a big stage for Cairo, and his message toggles carefully between an apology and an effort to clearly distance the Nassau brand from Santos.

The documentary says that Republican campaign officials at the national level uncovered several lies about Santos in a report before his election, but Cairo said he never saw the report.

“Of course we take some responsibility,” he said, nodding toward the surprise aspect of the freshman representative’s victory. “Shame on us.”

Cairo also struck a note of empathy about Santos: “I feel sorry and sad for him,” that he’s lived “this life of lies.”

Another one of those deceits was unearthed Thursday by Politico, which reported a dizzying tale about Santos being charged with theft in Pennsylvania’s Amish country in 2017. The story involves bad checks, Santos’ pet charity group, and his claim that he “worked for the S.E.C.” as a means to get Pennsylvania prosecutors to drop charges. 

Old dog, same tricks.

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

Who will land this plane?

The Federal Aviation Administration is planning to require more than 30 employees at the Uniondale-based New York Terminal Radar Approach Control, or TRACON, facility to move to Philadelphia, sources tell The Point.

The move is considered temporary — but could end up lasting as long as two years, the sources said.

An FAA spokesman confirmed to The Point that the agency plans to reassign the Newark airspace — which covers about 100 square miles in the northeast — to Philadelphia’s TRACON facility “to allow for continued growth in New York.”

When asked about the reports that the FAA was requiring employees to move, even temporarily, the response was a bit indirect.

“The number of authorized controllers at the New York TRACON is not changing,” FAA spokesman Matthew Lehner wrote to The Point in an email this week. “Beyond that, we don’t have anything to add.”

The FAA spokesman did not respond to further queries to attempt to clarify those remarks.

But a spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said the union is “in ongoing discussions with the FAA regarding the situation.”

“Until this issue is resolved, our union is not offering additional public comment,” spokesman Galen Munroe wrote in an email.

The concerns surrounding the potential move may be enough to get some political wheels turning. The Uniondale facility falls into the 4th Congressional District and Rep. Anthony D’Esposito sits on the Transportation & Infrastructure committee. Will D’Esposito make this one of his first key issues to tackle?

“As a matter of principle, Congressman D’Esposito is concerned with any potential actions by the FAA that would eliminate good-paying union jobs from Long Island,” D’Esposito spokesman Matt Capp told The Point. “As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman D’Esposito will advocate for these jobs to stay in Nassau County.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has gotten involved in this issue before, most recently advocating to maintain TRACON jobs upstate, rather than moving them to Pennsylvania.

And then there’s Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Perhaps the FAA issue is ripe for Schumer’s favorite format — a Sunday news conference.

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Redefining 'crazy'

Credit: The Charlotte Observer, NC/Kevin Siers

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons

Final Point

Repping for the Riptide

Nassau Legis. Rose Walker can add a new title to her resume this weekend.

Professional lacrosse player.

Walker, a huge lacrosse fan, will be signing a one-day ceremonial contract with the New York Riptide, a professional lacrosse team that plays at Nassau Coliseum.

Walker’s fandom emerged in part because her grandchildren play lacrosse, and root for the Riptide. When she was planning to meet with Riptide executives recently to discuss the team’s role in the community and in the county, Walker told her grandchildren of the gathering and joked with them that the team wanted to “sign me up.” Upon telling the team executives that story, they told her they could do just that.

Come Saturday, she’ll wear her own Riptide jersey, with #17 — her district number — and she’ll place the ball before the first faceoff to start the game.

“I won’t stay out there,” Walker told The Point. “You don’t want to be out on that field once they start playing. It’s a fast game.”

Walker’s legislative colleague, Laura Schaefer, will join her at the game and will sing “God Bless America.”

Walker, who also serves as a scorekeeper for junior and senior varsity basketball in Hicksville, and keeps the clock for varsity lacrosse in the community, emphasized how the Riptide team plays a significant role in youth and community events across the region.

“Lacrosse is very, very big on Long Island,” Walker said. “We certainly are a hotbed of lacrosse.”

The legislators’ interest in the Riptide comes as the team’s home has an uncertain future. Las Vegas Sands is proposing a casino resort for the land around the Coliseum, and Sands executives have said they haven’t decided whether the Coliseum ultimately will be part of their plan.

“I don’t know what the plans are but I would hate for us to lose them,” Walker said. “If they’re not going to play [at the Coliseum], then I would hope we can find a place for them to play on Long Island. It’s something our residents love.”

Perhaps as the Riptide’s newest player, Walker will also make sure the team has a future home in Nassau County.

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

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