This lack of disclosure makes it virtually impossible to see who bankrolled his recent primary (which for a Democrat in the Bronx is the campaign) against disgraced former State Senator Efrain Gonzalez. To indicate how important being a Democrat is to political success in the BoogieDown, here is a video we posted way back in the primary (courtesy of West Bronx Blog). Espada a secret elephant?
There is, although, a Political Action Campaign called "Espada for the People," which is supposed to be prohibited from making direct expenditures for a campaign. Now I am not sure about what constitutes a "direct expenditure," and I do not want to imply any nefarious wrong doing on the part of "Espada for the People," but as a resident of Bedford Park, and as a neighbor(?) of Mr. Espada, my wife and I have received piles of mailings denying Mr. Espada is a closet Republican, promising school supplies to struggling families, and the coup de grace, a mailing that paired the Senator-elect with then presidential candidate Barack Obama.
On top of these murky campaign finances, Espada also finds himself on the wrong side of the Democratic leadership in Albany because he will not support Malcolm Smith, an African American state Senator from Queens, as majority leader. The gripe from Mr. Espada and the three other Democratic dissidents can be boiled down to Mr. Smith's not being a Latino. Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News reports:
"The dissidents - three of them Hispanic - told the governor they are tired of the state's Democratic Party taking Latinos for granted, despite their role in the party's huge victories on Election Day." [Daily News]
Mr. Espada sure knows how to get attention and press, huh? Somehow I think that the potential $500 fine for not filing properly is a little lenient. If found to have not filed intentionally is there any steeper penalty available for Mr. Espada? Any politicos want to chime in?
Also for your viewing pleasure, a video of Mr. Espada getting sassy with one of our neighbors back when his residency was in doubt. To be fair to Mr. Espada, the courts ruled that he did indeed have legal residency. In any case, let the sassiness ensue:
You can also read all about the Espada saga in the most recent issue of the Norwood News.