Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Deadbeat Democrat Stiffs State

State Senator Pedro Espada (D-Bronx) seems to think that the law still doesn't apply to him. He still owes the state Board of Elections more than $10,000 in fines for not turning over records in a timely fashion.
The Bronx Democrat still owes the state Board of Elections $10,310 for failing to turn over timely financial disclosure forms, board spokesman John Conklin told the Daily News on Tuesday.

Espada had vowed to pay off the full balance of his penalty - $13,553 - when Senate President Malcolm Smith threatened to take formal action against him last year.

He's coughed up a paltry $3,243 since his promise.

"It's a disgrace," said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "After repeated promises to do otherwise, the majority leader is still in violation of the state election law."

Espada racked up the fines two years ago for failing to register 41periodic campaign spending reports as required by law.

He's since handed over just 20 backdated reports, Conklin said.

Watchdogs say that without the reports there is no way of knowing who contributes to Espada's campaigns - or how he spends the money.

"We knew he was an extortionist, holding the chamber up for ransom, but now he's a deadbeat, too," one exasperated Senate Democratic colleague scoffed, noting the coup effort Espada led last summer.

Neither Espada, who faces a tough three-way primary on Sept. 14, nor his spokesman could be reached for comment.
Despite his chicanery and clear disregard for state law, Espada may yet win the primary and general elections in November. That's not only an indictment of the state of current politics in New York, but a refusal by his constituents to send him packing despite his disregard for state law and other legal and ethics problems.

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