Big Landlords Back Espada

By Melissa Russo
|  Thursday, Sep 9, 2010  |  Updated 9:20 AM EDT
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The Dems don't want Espada.

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Scandal-ridden Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada reportedly has supporters in one corner -- some of New York City's most powerful landlords, who appreciate his efforts to block or modify numerous rent regulation bills.

The landlords believe Espada is receptive to their concerns as the state Senate has vowed to tighten rent regulations, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents large residential-building owners, threw their support behind Espada saying:

"Pedro is a much more moderate-conservative Democrat, and if he hadn't been there I think it's clear that there would have been more bad legislation enacted," said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association. "He may be radioactive in the PR level, but he is who he is, and he's been a guy who supports you more often than anyone else does," he told the paper.

But for any support, Espada faces a barrage of critics and is under investigation for corruption for allegedly steering money for personal and political purposes from his nonprofit, the Soundview Healthcare Network in the Bronx.

His own Democratic party moved to oust him this summer.

In the summer of 2009, Espada sided with Republicans in a coup that stalemated the chamber for a month and eventually led to his ascension to Majority Leader.

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