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MoveOn’s 15-ft. Santos “Full of Lies” Balloon Blows Up in Press

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 28: MoveOn debuts a 15-foot-tall inflatable of Rep. George Santos (R-NY) ahead of a possible vote to expel Santos from Congress on Capitol Hill on November 28, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MoveOn)

By now, we’ve all heard the news that George Santos was finally expelled from Congress on Friday. This is a huge victory for New York 3rd District residents, who are finally free from a lying lawmaker who cheated the system to pad his own pockets, and for everyone who values integrity and democracy in this country.

And it’s no coincidence that just last Tuesday, days before Congress would vote to expel Santos, MoveOn flew a 15-foot George Santos inflatable balloon in front of the Capitol, with a tie that said “full of lies.” The goal of the balloon was to demonstrate grassroots opposition to George Santos in a key, high-stakes moment and to bring national attention to the demand for Congress to expel him immediately. And that’s exactly what happened.

More than 100 media outlets mentioned MoveOn’s balloon in light of the House vote to expel George Santos. As reported by The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Boston GlobeWashingtonianPeople magazine, and more, MoveOn capitalized on the spectacle around Santos to further damage his reputation and raise the stakes surrounding his expulsion. We even reached more than 50 broadcast and radio stations—from Kansas to Santos’s own backyard in New York—making it clear across the country that Santos has no place in Congress.

George Santos is just the sixth House member to ever be expelled from Congress, which required two-thirds of Congress to approve. His expulsion came a few weeks after the House Ethics Committee released a report revealing the myriad of laws he broke, including illegal usage of campaign donations for luxury vacations, spas, Botox, and more. The scathing report concluded that “Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”

Constituents from Santos’s district, NY-03, have been relentlessly rallying, lobbying, and advocating for Congress to hold Santos accountable for his lies and fraud. For nearly a year, they had no meaningful representation in Congress.

MoveOn got involved in the fight to oust Santos early in 2023, just a few weeks after the news broke about the lies he told about his religion, education, and other personal information to get elected. In February, dozens of NY-03 MoveOn members and partners delivered a petition to his Long Island office, with 100,000 signatures demanding George Santos resign or be expelled. And just a few weeks later, MoveOn planned a “Drive Santos Out” constituent caravan with partners that made its way through the district and received TV, radio, and newspaper coverage across the region to demonstrate constituent opposition.

Before this most recent vote, Congress had voted twice on whether to expel Santos from Congress and failed both times. Even this time, after being charged with 23 indictments and the damning House Ethics Committee report, GOP leadership still voted to keep Santos in Congress.

Santos escaped accountability for far too long, with protection from his MAGA colleagues, who kept him in office so they could hold on to their majority and power in Congress. But ultimately, we won. And will we keep winning when we come together to demand justice and accountability for those who serve themselves instead of the people they are supposed to represent.