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Vote for Pedro...
April 23, 2010 - John Stack
I am of course a registered Democrat. But, in one of the only ways I can identify with the Tea partiers, I believe my party is very often not working for me or taxpayers, but completely for themselves. The New York State senate has seemed to have completely lost their way. When Democrats took over both the Senate and Assembly, and with a democratic Governor, I was hopeful. With this type of power, not only could they pass legislation much easier than before, but they would have no one but themselves to blame if they didn’t enact legislation. Also, for good or bad, they would get the credit for the legislation. I was hoping this would actually stir them to action. Unfortunately, as we all know, onve they attained power, they spent more time fighting themselves, blaming themselves, fighting between themselves, and amazingly, the least amount of legislation in years came out. And NONE of it was of any real substance that wouldn’t have been passed with a split Senate and Assembly. In an ironic twist when compared to the US Senate and House, where the parties mostly work on the party’s agenda, which is as much the president’s agenda, the NY democrats blew any capital they had on attacking Gov Paterson. As much as Gov Paterson has made mistakes in areas that have nothing to do with legislating, his bottom line has been to be pragmatic and to find real solutions to real problems. He probably has more fans on the GOP side than on his own. What I am saying is, I really can’t wait for the GOP to retake the Senate because of the current leadership (or more precisely LACK of competent leadership) is toxic to ALL New Yorkers. At the head of this rotting cabbage is Senator Espada.
Senator Espada hasn’t been in the Senate long. But, with a slim 32-30 majority, he was able to grab the leadership of the majority by pulling off his leaving of the Democratic majority, then returning to the Democrats as their leader. All he seems to have done since then is help out family, friends and himself. His abuse of power and using the State as his personal fiefdom would surely draw praise from Boss Tweed.
I’ve always been against politicians who switch parties while still in office. If the voters put them in based upon a valid belief on what the pol stood for, I think its disingenuous for them to switch midstream. If they want to switch parties, have them re-run under the new political banner. I still wouldn’t trust them, but I would at least agree it was the will of the people. Last year, Senator Arlen Specter, under the specter of losing a GOP primary, switched to the Democratic side. While ‘my’ party benefitted from this, I give Specter no points. He did it, admittedly, to save his political career. Not so much that his views really changed, except the view from home didn’t look as good as the view from Washington. Right now, Steve Levy the Suffolk County Executive has thrown his hat in as a candidate for governor, but only after hopping off his Democratic horse and jumping on the GOP steed. I’m not sure why the GOP has welcomed him with such open arms. Maybe they realize if Cuomo runs, Levy will get crushed, and the GOP will not have really had one of their own defeated. Who wants to put their faith behind a turncoat traitor, regardless of what you stand to gain from it? Levy left the Dems for no other reason than to have a launching pad to become governor. He’s all ready flip flopped on his views on gay marriage/civil unions. Anyway, this is about NY’s own Benedict Arnold, although Espada was a certified opportunistic crook long before he switched sides. To see the preposterousness of Espada, consider what he said in 2009 when he switched sides to give give Dean Skelos leadership: His actions were intended to help end ‘the gridlock, paralysis, secretiveness, threats and partisan politics’. Its like an arsonist burning down a house and claiming he did it so the house wouldn’t burn down! He also claimed it ‘wasn’t a power grab or a coup’. Lets refresh – he ended up being Senate leader with only 1 year in office, and was the architect of the greatest gridlock and paralysis in Albany in its history!
Earlier this week AG Cuomo announced he was suing Espada for $14 million he claimed Espada siphoned off from his charity Soundview healthcare company to his friends and family, where Espada is CEO. Of course, Espada claimed it was all political, blah blah blah. Then, the FBI and the IRS raided his offices and took out lots of boxes. I can see that people might think Cuomo was politically posturing. But when the FBI and IRS come in? Cuomo is not powerful enough to bring those guys in. There are a lot of charges Espada will be facing. These could send him to prison for years. But, it’s the stuff Espada has all ready admitted to that should get him the noose. By packing his board of directors with friends and family, he got them to authorize a pension for him for – this is no joke – NINE MILLION DOLLARS. Soundview has nowhere near that kind of money, and paying it would immediately bankrupt the charity. Oh, and where does Soundview get its money? Almost all of it is from Federal and State grants. So, its you and I paying this pension. How about 10 of Espada’s senate staaffers being either Soundview Employees or Board members (wonder how he got that $9 million severance package?). In 2008, when he ran for Senate, he actually lived in Westchester and had a VACANT apartment in the Bronx. He finally moved in when the Bronx DA opened an investigation. He has been in trouble seemingly constantly with basically using money from Soundview to fund his campaigns and other election frauds.
Why else will Dems lose? Well, a number of other senators are now ‘quietly’ suggesting Espada ‘step down’ because he can no longer lead effectively. AUUUGH! These are the same morons who ELECTED him leader knowing he was a crook, a criminal and a turncoat, just so that they could stay in the majority. Not everyone falls for this late contriteness. It is true he can’t lead, but those now saying this also have no clue how to lead, as it was their actions that caused this problem. Maybe they are hoping to pull a ‘Homer Simpson’.
By the way – you can also bet dollars to doughnuts that Espada, regardless of the scandal, regardless of the facts, regardless if he’s indicted, will run in the fall and will be re-elected.
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