Tag Archives: Pedro Espada

The Somnolent Columnist

12 Sep

1. Lazy columnist gets call from Steve Pigeon.

 

2. Lazy columnist transcribes the brain-excreta from disgraced former Erie County Democratic Committee chairman and political advisor to indictee Pedro Espada.

 

3. Lazy columnist assists disgraced former political figure to make Sunday headline, fill empty column space, and to re-inject himself where he’s not wanted.

 

4. Completely ignore the irony of a former chairman, who left the party in financial and electoral disarray a decade ago, complaining about “disarray” today.

 

5. Uncritically transcribe everything.

 

6. Profit.

Paladino’s “Issues”

23 Oct

The Paladino campaign has apparently turned its critical eye to the important issues facing New York State and Albany.  Issues like…obscure millionaires you probably never heard of before.

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There’s no confirmation that the AG granted Rattner any immunity for testimony or cooperation in connection with the prosecution of former comptroller Alan Hevesi.  The AG sued Pedro Espada on the state’s behalf to recoup millions Espada allegedly took from the taxpayers, which was supposed to go to his Soundview Health centers.  Because the AG’s investigation is ongoing, there has been no decision made on criminal prosecution.

Farkas? The New York Times writes:

But in 1997, he and Mr. Cuomo were more like crown princes of the housing world. Mr. Farkas, the heir to the Alexander’s department store fortune, had spent years amassing apartment portfolios, building Insignia into the nation’s largest owner and manager of multifamily property. Mr. Cuomo had just taken over at HUD, with promises to clean up fraud and waste.

In a campaign with the Justice Department, Mr. Cuomo authorized a lawsuit against A. Bruce Rozet, a notorious HUD landlord, accusing him of taking kickbacks from the management company he had hired to run his buildings. Insignia had taken over that management company, and continued the arrangement, turning over one-third of its HUD fees to Mr. Rozet.

Insignia was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but the allegation that it had broken the law by splitting its fees inflamed Mr. Farkas and threatened his company. “The finger was being pointed directly at Farkas, and the charge was led by Cuomo,” said a former Insignia executive. “It couldn’t have gotten more personal.”

Insignia settled in 1998, paying a total of $7.4 million — the government had alleged $7.6 million in kickbacks — and providing evidence against Mr. Rozet. The former executive said Insignia feared that the government could otherwise bar it from handling HUD properties, a crippling blow.

A prosecutor in the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Insignia had received no special treatment; rather, HUD and the Justice Department were less aggressive with Insignia than with Mr. Rozet because Insignia had inherited the fee-splitting arrangement and because of a lack of evidence that it had intended to break the law.

Farkas and Cuomo later reconciled their differences and became friends and business associates. Like they say, Andrew’s prowess is legendary.

But it’s great to see Paladino expanding upon his 8-sentence-long prescription for what ails New York (with a tip of the hat to Tom Ragan from Shredd & Ragan)

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Friends of Pedro Espada

16 Jul

Flabbergasted Whilst Ignoring the Bleeding Obvious

11 Jul

In Sunday’s Buffalo News Bob McCarthy metaphorically sticks his head in the sand about the Detestable Independence Party’s endorsement of Tim Kennedy over Bill Stachowski in the SD-58 Democratic Primary.

That minor party founded in New York by Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano is essentially controlled upstate by Democratic operative Steve Pigeon. Why? Because state Independence Chairman Frank MacKay said so, that’s why.

Rosenswie begs to differ. But she works in the same County Legislature where Pigeon helped assemble a majority friendly to County Executive Chris Collins. Legislator Christina Wleklinski Bove, a Rosenswie ally, is part of that majority. So is Kennedy.

Pigeon is also the $150,000 counsel to Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, one of two New York City members who threw the Senate into a tizzy last year when they joined a coup orchestrated by Pigeon and his political patron—Golisano.

So political insiders everywhere were flabbergasted last week when Pigeon-controlled Independence bypassed a Senate stalwart — Stachowski—for Kennedy. Did the move by a top Senate staffer amount to the Democratic leadership throwing a vulnerable member under the bus? Especially because the Stachowski seat is crucial to continued Democratic control?

Pigeon won’t talk, but a source familiar with his thinking said the Independence move signals the belief Stachowski can’t win.

Other Senate sources, however, say Pigeon’s move reflects uncertainity surrounding Espada, who was basically read out of the Democratic Party last week by Chairman Jay Jacobs.

“Steve Pigeon’s only alliance in the Senate is with Pedro Espada, and Espada’s days are numbered,” said one top Albany source. “Steve knows he has to have another horse in the game.”

Back here on earth, it’s pretty easy to sniff out the blatantly obvious quid pro quo. Kennedy signed on to Pigeon’s “reform coalition” in the leg with the understanding that Pigeon could deliver the Detestable IP (hereafter DIP) line. And when Espada loses / does his perp walk, perhaps Kennedy will help Pigeon retain a position with the needless State Senate.

Everybody wins!

Expelling Espada

7 Jul

Pedro Espada is being kicked out of the Democratic Party. I don’t know if that’s unprecedented or not, but it’s a very interesting and unusual turn of events to say the least.

In its complaint to the Bronx County Democratic Committee, the State Democratic Committee charged that Espada became a Democrat for “ulterior motives,” including his own financial gain, not out of a commitment to Democratic principles.

“Time and again, by word and by deed, Pedro Espada has put his own naked financial interest ahead of bedrock Democratic ideals. Espada has run rough-shod over campaign finance rules devised by Democrats, has played fast-and-loose with state residency requirements, and – most egregiously – appears to be a Democrat purely for personal profit, not a commitment to our core values,” said Jay Jacobs, chair of the NYS Democratic Committee.
“By initiating this proceeding, the Democratic Party seeks to make official what has long been true in fact: Pedro Espada is no Democrat. With any luck, the results of today’s action will – once and for all – end any pretense that Pedro Espada is a member in good standing of the Democratic Party,” added Jacobs.

New York law allows a political party to revoke a voter’s party registration where “the voter is not in sympathy with the principles of such party.” New York State Election Law § 16-110 (2). The process was formally initiated in writing by Edgar Santana, the Deputy Executive Director of the NYS Democratic Committee and a registered Bronx Democrat.

I predict he’ll join the party over which his patronage hire, Steve Pigeon, holds a great deal of sway – the Independence Party.

A corrupt man for a corrupt party!

Electoral Fusion Must Go

17 Jun

It is fundamentally disingenuous for Andrew Cuomo to reject the Working Families Party line because of ongoing investigations into its activities, but then to accept the Independence Party line. After all, the Independence Party is knee-deep in the Haggerty money laundering / grand larceny case, and also in the Steve Pigeon / Pedro Espada investigation regarding, among other things, election law violations and tax fraud.

The Independence Party is the poster child for the corruption that naturally arises out of electoral fusion. Along with independent redistricting, part of what’s critically necessary to reform politics in this state is to abolish electoral fusion. Politics will always have money and quid-pro-quos behind the scenes, but fusion makes it particularly dirty, lucrative, and acute.

The Specter of Pigeon

21 May

One of the overlooked results from Arlen Specter’s loss to Joe Sestak on Tuesday night is the fact that Pedro Espada patronage hire Steve Pigeon claimed to be instrumental in convincing Specter to switch to the Democratic Party last year.

It got the attention of a Kos commenter, and later Kos himself in a post from June 2009.  It quotes the Buffalo News:

Steve Pigeon, the former Erie County Democratic Party boss who helped mastermind Monday’s coup in the [New York] state Senate, is in line for a top Senate job if the takeover holds in the coming days.

“I expect to play a role. I’m being talked to,” Pigeon confirmed today at the Capitol […]

Pigeon and B. Thomas Golisano, the billionaire owner of the Buffalo Sabres, were still at the Capitol today doing a victory dance — and engaged in non-stop media interviews — for their role in helping the 30 Republicans and two Democrats in Monday’s coup.

Pigeon began working with Republicans and a small contingent of Democrats in late April on a plan to wrestle control of the Senate. Golisano, who poured millions into helping Democrats take control of the Senate in last fall’s elections, gave the green light to Pigeon to work on the coup following a sour meeting between Golisano and Smith at the end of April.

Guess what? Pigeon got his Senate patronage job thanks to Pedro Espada’s assholedness and Tom Golisano’s money.  But Specter lost his because he was too centrist for the Republicans and too opportunistic for the Democrats.

Which further proves the theory: there is nothing that Steve Pigeon does that is for the good of anyone but Steve Pigeon.

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Pigeon

3 May

The truth, they say, is subjective. One can promise to tell what they think to be the truth, but seldom is there only one, correct version of any story of any event.

Now watch this:

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I’m so used to being insulted by this person’s surrogates that it’s fascinating to watch the words come directly from his mouth. G. Steve Pigeon defends himself and takes a swipe at yours truly:

…whatever the bald guy is who likes calling people names and is just a rude and unsuccessful, jealous politician himself who ran for office and was completely, um, uh, no one would elect him to be a dog-catcher, you know he loves to call other people names.

Generally, it would be a privilege to be insulted by Pedro Espada’s patronage hire. Certainly I dish it out, and definitely I can take it. But Mr. Pigeon, you have it all wrong, sir.

Just like the “truth” isn’t defined by how you rebut what Sam Hoyt or Dennis Ward say, my life isn’t defined by any of the personal insults you hurl at me. On the other hand, when I call you a tinpot Machiavelli or a douche, these are categorically and objectively true tidbits of information. When we point out that some recent “reforms” you’ve championed have actually cost the taxpayers more, I am writing things that are objectively true and verifiable.

But back to the insults.

I won’t say never, because I’ve probably slipped here and there, but I cannot recall a single instance where I’ve ever attacked or criticized a political figure for their personal appearance. Not even Domagalski. In Steve Pigeon’s case, I can say I have never launched an attack on his person. This is because I don’t give a shit what he looks like – he could look like Adonis and still be a detestable political figure.

Like most adults, I’m concerned with merit (or lack thereof) – not a politician’s body habitus or characteristics. My distaste for Steve Pigeon stems from his actions – not his looks, so it’s quite telling that the first thing he goes for is to call me “bald”. There is no seriousness there, no substance there, no merit there – just a schoolyard bully who grew up to be an asshole of a political albatross. Unsubstantive, meritless non-seriousness is also how he conducts his politics.

Now, certainly I may be rude, as Mr. Pigeon suggests, especially towards political figures who have little or no objective merit as such. He is correct that I was an unsuccessful politician. Dreadfully so, in fact. So? I tried. I made Mike Ranzenhofer think and defend what amounted to an 18-year record of failure, stasis, and hypocrisy. I didn’t have the money, time, or resources to do it right, but I gave it a shot. But it’s also true that I have no aspirations to political office. So, no – I’m not “jealous” of anyone – especially not MIke Ranzenhofer or his successor, Ray Walter, and my failure as a politician is that, only.

And what would you say I’m jealous of? I’m jealous of people pulling down less than $50 large per year to keep Chris Collins in check and administer only 10% of the budget of the political unit for which they legislate? Maybe that’s how his mind works.

Dog-catcher? I would hope that no one would elect me dog-catcher, mostly because (1) I don’t like dogs; and (2) I am not qualified to be dog-catcher.

Just like Hormoz Mansouri and Jack O’Donnell aren’t qualified to help run the water authority.

So, I’d love the opportunity to interview Pigeon someday and invite him to make these charges to my face and we can have a back-and-forth about what really matters – not my hairline, but stuff like, for instance, “reforms” in the State Senate notwithstanding, we still have a three-men-in-a-room troika dictatorship. I’d like to hear Mr. Pigeon explain why he thinks we need a State Senate at all, if the aim is good government rather than personal political power. I’d like him to defend the growth of the Erie County legislative staff in the name of so-called “reform”.

I don’t care if Pigeon likes what I write about him or his political allies. What matters is that he – and they – read it and thinks it important and influential enough to discuss, and comment on so hatefully.

Pedro Espada, Jr

29 Apr

When they make the biopic of Pedro Espada, Jr. – the most unapologetically, blatantly corrupt and petulant politician this side of Louisiana – they will quite obviously have to retain the services of Joe Pesci to play Mr. Espada.

Just watch this report from YNN and look at Espada’s body habitus and choice of suits.  If that’s not Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas), I don’t know who is.

Pedro Espada: All About the Public Service

28 Apr

The thing about embattled State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. is that he’s not so much a political leader as he is a petty mafia kingpin. I would have made a comparison to some small potatoes dictator, but really – petty dictator and mafia don? Six of one, half dozen of the other. He’s got the sense of self-importance, he’s got the personal empire, he’s got the third person self-referral, he’s got the self-entitlement, and he’s excellent at portraying himself as the victim.

He has no business anywhere near elected office, and when the hoped-for indictments come down, it would be quite handy if he’d be Monserrated right out of the state senate.

Here he is on WCBS’ “Eye on New York” enjoying what might reasonably described as a “bad interview“, culminating in his premature departure when asked one too many unfriendly questions, including about his real home in Mamaroneck which is nowhere near his senate district.

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Excelsior!