Tag Archives: Espada

The Democrats May Lose the State Senate, and That’s OK

28 Oct

When the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee demanded that AEG make specific campaign contributions to specific Democratic State Senators, State Senator Antoine Thompson (SD-60) was among the five designees of donations in excess of $5,000.  All of this was done in an effort to politically influence the selection of AEG to operate a racino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens.

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While Thompson claims that he was absolved of any wrongdoing in the recent Inspector General’s report on the scandal, the question remains: why Thompson, why so much, and why for a project 400 miles from his district?  The answer likely has to do with the fact that Thompson has a leadership position within the DSCC, amazingly running its “communications”.

I say “amazingly”, because this is the statement his campaign released in response to the Buffalo News’ inquiries:

It is clear that my opponent is desperate. As I’ve said repeatedly, I was absolutely not involved in any of the negotiations highlighted in the inspector general’s report. At an excess of caution, I returned any outside campaign donations that the report said there might be questions about.

I’m absolutely gobsmacked that the senate Democrats had a unique opportunity over the last two years – an opportunity they hadn’t had in generations – to accomplish something positive, and to prove that they can move beyond the traditional Albany corruption.  Thanks in large part to Espada, Monserrate, Sampson, Golisano, and Pigeon, the Senate took dysfunction and turned it into a circus.  When “order” was restored, the Senate’s business was basically beholden to the evil corruption of Espada and Monserrate, and the absurd exploitative opportunism of Pigeon. “Responsible New York” wasn’t.

So, I am fully comfortable with the notion that the Democrats lose control of the state senate.  Such corruption and fecklessness doesn’t deserve any reward, and the Democrats who purport to represent their constituents in the senate need a wakeup call.  If you’re going to accuse the other side of being dirty, don’t be dirty yourself.

The way Albany works – where the Assembly Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, and Governor basically make any and all decisions – has got to change.  Obviously, it’s my hope that there will be some political will to do just that under Governor Cuomo.  I don’t know whether Skelos will go along, but if these people who go to Albany really want to earn their fat paychecks, and genuinely want to do the people’s business, then they need to make these changes.  They need to introduce deliberative representative democracy to the Senate and Assembly.  The legislators we send to Albany should also get serious about demanding these changes.  Like Mark Schroeder:

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So, while I hope people vote for Tim Kennedy in SD-58, and I hope for a Dem pickup in SD-59 with Cynthia Appleton, I will not be disappointed if the Democrats lose the senate, because they’ve only themselves to blame.  The epic failure of the Senate Democrats to simply be less corrupt than before should not be rewarded. Sorry.

Excelsior!

18 Apr

Money laundering, tax fraud, and an investigation by the FBI? Should make for an interesting few months for state government luminaries Pedro Espada, his son, Steve Pigeon, and Gary Parenti.

Reformy!

16 Jan

The Reform Coalition hires reform-minded reformers. The blame for this doesn’t just lay with one person. All nine members of the majority coalition voted for this.

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The Reform Coalition's Unique Meritocracy

13 Jan

The Erie County Legislature’s so-called “reform coalition” today solidified its reformist bona fides with a very bold, reformist, non-patronage, wholly meritorious new hire.

Welcome to the staff of the Erie County Legislature, James Cerroni, Jr.

Mr. Cerroni most recently worked for David Pfaff, who is a longtime Steve Pigeon associate who is currently Director of Upstate Relations for embattled kleptocrat Pedro Espada, Jr., (D-Mamaroneck Bronx). Mr. Cerroni was Pfaff’s assistant as recently as late November 2009, earning $1441 every two weeks to do whatever it is (.pdf) that Pedro Espada and his counsel, Steve Pigeon, wanted him to do in Buffalo.

Sources say that Mr. Cerroni is registered to vote at Mr. Pigeon’s mother’s house, which is where Angela Irvin, the titular head of Pigeon’s “Citizens for Fiscal Integrity” PAC was also registered to vote. You’ll recall from that Artvoice article that CFI received a $20,000 donation from the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and $11,000 from former County Executive Joel Giambra.

I heartily applaud the reform coalition for truly retaining the best and brightest of Western New York to do the people’s work at the Erie County Legislature. Obviously, the chances of real, fundamental reform grow daily.

Perhaps the county executive can rescind his decision to move county-run clinics to the non-profit sector locally, and instead cut to the chase and simply retain the services of Soundview Management Enterprises to run them, instead.

H.E. Duke Pedro Espada de Mamaroneck

5 Jan

The Mercedes-Benz S600 sedan is the luxury carmaker’s most expensive.  The 2010 S600 has a starting price of $150,000.  The 2005 model ranged between $75,000 – $125,000 when new.  It is the top of the line. The state of the art.  About as expensive (if not more so)  than the median home price in Western New York.

Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. is the majority leader of the New York State Senate.  He attained that position after helping to hold the senate hostage for a few months last year, and collecting perks and promises in exchange for his return to the Democratic fold.   He is the head of a “non-profit” health care business that paid him a salary of $460,000 in 2007, but is delinquent on withholding taxes.   Although he represents a district in the Bronx, it is common knowledge that his real home is in Mamaroneck, in Westchester County.

Pedro Espada is scumbag di tutti scumbags.  A phony, lying, manipulative, self-centered, power-hungry boil on the ass that is Albany politics.

His reason for being is to enrich himself on the public teat.

The Senate Majority Leader parked his Mercedes S600 in front of a fire hydrant in a neighborhood in the Bronx that has had some tragic fires lately, displaying some sort of parking permit, which, regardless of its validity, does not permit him to block a hydrant under any circumstances.

Aside from the fact that parking in front of a fire hydrant is illegal (for everyone) for a purpose, and aside from the fact that deliberately hindering the work of first responders is a scumbag thing to do, this is emblematic of a certain subset of the political class in New York State.  This is not the first time I’ve posted about political hacks abusing parking rules that apply uniformly to all, and conduct like this conveys a holier-than-thou, more-equal-than-others mindset that certain apparatchiks and hackerati have in this state.

Here’s what I wrote about the practice in Buffalo in 2005:

All of these illegally parked vehicles have one thing in common – the imprimatur of officialdom. Whether we’re talking about a dark blue Plymouth minivan (AZR-6294)with a placard that reads: “Mahoney State Office Building Parking : 60th District” or a Ford pickup (CYX-6137), sporting a huge “Brown for Mayor” sign on the side, or a gold Toyota Camry (BNS-9769) there for “Official Use: Office of the Comptroller”, or a green Jeep Cherokee (6DJ-104) with a placard that reads: “Official Use: NYS Executive Department”, it’s bad form.

A white Ford SUV (DGE-2198) purports to be doing official Comptroller business has been spotted, as has a Honda Sedan (AKR-6606). A Green Chevy Malibu (BVP-6921) has thought nothing of parking illegally, as well as a Black Chevy Trailblazer (APP-3758).

Other placards that have been sighted include: “Official Police Vehicle” and “Official State Senate Business”. Another Trailblazer (1906-AMT) was there for “Official Business – Buffalo City Council.”

Average schmucks who commute in cars downtown don’t enjoy the same privilege.

Yet people who work for us in an official capacity (or, at least, have dash placards that say so), take it upon themselves to act above the law. When they park illegally they’re blocking deliveries, or in some cases blocking the curb-cuts for the handicapped. They obstruct driving lanes on the streets.

Sure, this is petty and not a huge issue in the vast scheme of things, but it underscores a perception that we average folks have of our state and local officials having an arrogant sense of their own power – of entitlement and privilege. Their own personal convenience trumps everyone else’s, and the city’s rules, to boot.

And, by the way, when a non-placarded car tries to pull the same stunt, it gets a ticket while the “official” vehicle remains unmolested.

Is this the kind of “leadership” Buffalo is in for if Senator Brown becomes Mayor Brown?

Five years on, we know that it is.  Oh, how it is.  In Espada’s case, it’s not unexpected, and it just adds to the ethical failure he is.

What more must this person do before he is prosecuted by a district attorney or by the Attorney General?

(Photo by BoogieDowner)

Pedro Espada Under Investigation. Some More.

2 Nov

The hiring of Pedro Espada’s son as assistant to the regional manager the state senat’s deputy director for intergovernmental relations – a $120,000 job – has prompted an ethics investigation because of anti-nepotism rules.

Remember that Espada and Monserrate are strongly supported by Tom Golisano’s Responsible New York, proving that it clearly isn’t.

Bizarro World Good Government

19 Oct

This Buffalo News editorial regarding the Pfaff/Pigeon/Espada waste of $70,000 is dead-on.

As I said when it became clear that the Democratic caucus in the state senate was willing to make a deal with Espada to regain its majority, I would rather they be in the minority than deal with such fundamental scummery.

The fact that Espada’s tentacles reach into WNY is detestable, and Pfaff would make a welcome addition to the growing ranks of New York State’s unemployed.

How Much Espada Costs

20 Aug

$350,000.  Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, per year, added to the state payroll in raises and new hires.  That was, in essence, what state senate Democrats paid him to bring him back into their caucus.

It was exactly $350,000 too much money.  We shouldn’t have wanted him, we shouldn’t have paid him off, and we shouldn’t have entertained him in any way.  We should have completely severed all ties with him.  This, more than the coup itself, is the big failure of the senate Democrats.

A former employee of Espada’s Soundview health clinic is a special assistant making about $37,000.  That guy’s mom, incidentally, pled guilty to charges that she directed state funds to Espada’s campaign chest in 2004.  Two other former Soundview employees are earning $60,000, $35,000, and $80,000. Buffalo’s own Steve Pigeon will be earning $150,410 as Espada’s “chief counsel”.

The big problem I have here with this scumbag stimulus is that Senate Democrats could have been just fine with the adjectives “feckless”, “dysfunctional”, and “tone-deaf” to describe them.  By enabling this corruption, they themselves are corrupt.

Pedro Espada: Nepotism Watchdog

15 Aug

The Daily News reports that New York State’s totally awesome state government has a new watchdog to keep a close eye out for any nepotism in patronage positions in that fine institution.  Of course, this all has to do with the fact that Espada’s son was hired to be a deputy director of intergovernmental relations in the State Senate earning $120,000 – a job created especially for him, earning more than the actual director of intergovernmental relations.

Espada (D-Bronx) told the Daily News he never has publicly raised the issue when the family and “girlfriends” of fellow lawmakers were on the state payroll.

Upset at what he called the “pinata” treatment of his son, Pedro G. Espada, and the mostly anonymous quotes from lawmakers ripping the hiring, the senator warned all gloves are off.

“I’m not going to be a vigilante, but I am going to be vigilant,” Espada said. “I’m going to know why people are hired and what their job descriptions are.”

He added that “everybody (will be) cutting out all the nonsense about relatives, girlfriends. It’s over, it’s over, it’s over.”

Hurray for New York!  We need all the petulant hypocrites we can get!

New York State Senate Hires Pedro Espada

11 Aug

That’s right.  The Democratic majority in the New York State Senate has inexplicably and tone-deafidely hired Pedro G. Espada, son of the Bronx/Westchester Senator who flipped back and forth between the Democratic and Republican caucuses a few months ago.

Espada the younger will earn an astonishing $120,000 as “Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Relations”.

Why yes, it is a newly created position.

As this post at TAP suggests, I’d rather the Democrats were in the minority than handing six-figure patronage jobs to the sons of scumbags who can’t be bothered to file mandated financial disclosures. This is disgusting, and little more than evidence of what the payoff was to get Espada voting with the Democrats again.

Albany is the root of all evil and stupidity in New York State.  What we need is a unicameral, nonpartisan, part-time legislature under the Nebraska model.