U.S. Rep. George Santos has received a great amount of criticism for embellishing his resume when running for office. Santos has been proven to have lied about his education and past work experience before being sworn in to Congress.
California Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, recently introduced legislation to prevent candidates from lying about their employment, education and military experience while running for office in California.
“The inspiration obviously [sic] the gripping saga of George Santos fabricated extraordinarily. So people asked me after this became revealed, they said, ‘Well this couldn’t happen in California?’ And it turns out it absolutely could,” Newman said.
The Disqualifying Unscrupulous and Pathological Elected Act, or DUPE, will require any candidate running for an elected position to submit a record of any work, education and military experience to the state and attest to the record’s accuracy. If a candidate is found to have lied about any of the experience they’ve provided, they would be subject to disqualification or removal.
Newman said candidates who lie could also be prosecuted under the Political Reform Act of 1974.
The state senator joined “Inside the Issues” host Alex Cohen to go over the DUPE Act.
“The goal here is to deter people from making the kinds of wholesale misrepresentations that we’ve seen from Mr. Santos,” Newman said.
The goal of the DUPE Act is to bring more accountability to public officials and punish those who try to manipulate the system.
“This is no different than — actually, if you or I were to apply for a job and fabricated our resume, we’d get fired. If you or I applied for a loan and fabricated our information, we’d probably get prosecuted,” Newman said.
Newman said the process for submitting a record with the work experience being would be similar to other required paperwork that has to be submitted during a campaign. He doesn’t expect the new proposed requirement to add too much of a burden on candidates.
There are systems put in place to remove elected officials from their positions. An expulsion resolution has been filed with the House Ethics Committee to force George Santos out of office. Newman notes an expulsion can get caught up in partisanship, making it hard for a removal to take place.
“Had my provisions been in place [Santos] would have been subject to removal by the court, and in jeopardy of prosecution,” Newman said.
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