Thanks, Pedro Espada, At Least You're Happy

New Democratic Majority Leader enriches himself at taxpayer expense

The chaos in Albany has ended, at least for the moment.

And one of the villains who caused it all has returned to his party -- with a fat title and a monetary reward. 

For coming back to the Democratic party after his outrageous behavior, Pedro Espada, the freshman senator from the Bronx, has received the title of majority leader. Majority leaders, on top of their $79,500-a-year base salary get an additional stipend of $40,000.

So Espada, who is under investigation for alleged criminal wrongdoing involving government-subsidized clinics he runs and, also, for allegedly not even living in the district he represents is in clover----a least temporarily.
Espada and his buddy, Hiram Monserrate, threw the State Senate into turmoil when they defected to the Republicans. Monserrate returned to the fold sooner but both men are despicable turncoats, the Benedict Arnolds of this tragic political soap opera.
Espada insisted: ''It was never about power, but about empowerment.''

Whom does he think he's kidding?  It was always about power---and still is. He got what he wanted and the people got stiffed.
There are a couple of bright spots in the picture. Governor Paterson --  who stumbled at the beginning of this ordeal and whose ineffectual tenure may be at its heart -- came out of it well.  He appointed Richard Ravitch,  a man with impeccable credentials, to fill the vacancy in the lieutenant governor's office. This appointment may not hold up in court but it's a step toward good government or at least better government.
But, even as the senators vote on the bills that have accumulated during this crisis, the people of New York should be thinking about the future. Whether or not it takes a constitutional convention to achieve it, we need to have embedded in our laws the principle of recall. We should be able to oust future bad pols from office. We should have the power which the people of some states have to recall from office elected officials who fail to do their jobs.
The election of 2010 should be interesting. The voters will then have a chance to voice their disapproval of the people who have failed us. We will forget this sorry episode at our peril. 

Contact Us