Espada Named "Senator of the Year"

No, seriously

By Scott Ross
|  Thursday, Jul 30, 2009  |  Updated 4:46 PM EDT
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Espada Named "Senator of the Year"

NBC New York

Ladies and gentlemen, you're 2009 Senator of the Year!

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Pedro Espada is being honored tonight as "Senator of the Year," just weeks after holding the state senate hostage for a month.

In fairness, selection for Edward A. Stevenson Community Service Awards was made before Espada and Hiram Monserrate temporarily switched parties and gave control of the Senate to the Republicans.

But rather than regretting the choice of Espada, event organizer Eric Stevenson seemed to argue that the coup only adds to the Bronx Democrat's qualifications.

" You may not agree with the way he went about it, but the fact is he achieved reform in the Senate that was a long time coming," Stevenson said in a press release.

"His high profile and willingness to make tough decisions makes him an easy target for criticism, but that’s also what makes him a passionate and dedicated leader. You have to look at the entire body of work - everything he has done for our communities and people of color in the Bronx. When things gets (sic) rough, we can count on him to be there for us."
 

The biggest change to come about as a result of Espada's coup be -- which left the state in limbo for 31 days -- was his own ascension to the Majority Leadership, deposing former leader Malcolm Smith.

In apologizing for his part in the palace intrigue, Espada called the stalemate "a point on the bumpy road."

It was allegedly Smith's obsessive fiddling with his Blackberry during a meeting earlier this year that so angered billionaire Tom Golisano -- another 2009 Edward A. Stevenson Community Service Awards honoree -- that he sent his political henchmen to make the overthrow happen.

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