10 Things to Know About Pedro Espada, Jr.
Earlier this week State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. was named President Pro Tempore of the New York State Senate after he and fellow Democrat Hiram Monserrate turned their back on the State Senate Democratic Majority and backed an attempted Republican Coup which has crippled the New York State Government.
To give some background, the New York State Young Democrats have put together the following “10 Things To Know About Pedro Espada, Jr.” As you read this, contemplate the irony in his claims of bringing change and a new era to Albany after everything he has been accused of in his political career.
We hope you will join us in 2010 as we work to defeat State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr.
1. According to the New York Daily News, he’s called “the Bronx’s ‘Teflon Pol’ for good reason- nothing ever seems to stick to State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. except maybe the whiff of trouble”.
2. The Riverdale Press reported that as of April 16, 2009 State Senator Espada did not even have a district office in his district.
3. The New York Times reports that State Senator Pedro Espada “owes the City of New York $61,750 in fines for fraudulent campaign fund-raising going back to 2001”.
4. The New York Times also reports that State Senator Pedro Espada “has failed to file 41 reports with the State Board of Elections, and has racked up $13,553 in penalties since 2002”.
5. New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is apparently investigating State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr to determine if he used his nonprofit organization Soundview Health Clinic as a slush fund for his political campaigns.
6. The Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson is apparently investigating claims that State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. lives in Westchester County rather than his Bronx district.
7. Before turning his back on the Democratic Party & State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. requested $2 million dollars in State Senate earmarks for two organizations that he founded, which were rumored to have been created to receive those grants. In April State Senate Democrats rejected the grant applications when they could not confirm that these organizations were legitimate.
8. According to the New York Times “In 2005, three employees of a Bronx nonprofit health care company run by Mr. Espada, the Soundview HealthCare Network, pleaded guilty to diverting $30,000 from programs for family care and AIDS treatment to one of his campaigns. Mr. Espada was never charged.”
9. In 2002, State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. announced that he would switch parties and become a Republican. He never actually changed his voter registration, but he did sit with the Republican majority to participate in the party’s conferences.
10. According to Project Vote Smart: The Voter’s Self Defense System “Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. repeatedly refused to provide any responses to citizens on the issues through the 2008 Political Courage Test when asked to do so by national leaders of the political parties, prominent members of the media, Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball, and Project Vote Smart staff.”