Danny Hakim of the NY Times is reporting that Mr. Espada still owes $60,000 in fines from his 2011 Beep run, and is facing up to $6,000 in fines for his most recent campaign for state Senate.
There was also the revelation of something that BoogieDowner had mentioned back before Espada strong-armed his way into power. Namely, that in 2005, an investigation revealed that $30,000 in money earmarked for AIDS treatment at his Soundview medical facility was diverted to his campaign. Espada was never charged, but 3 of his employees were thrown under the bus.
As scary as these allegations are, the most frightening aspect about the article is Mr. Espada's explanation of his misdeeds through the following quote:
“No excuses,” he said. “That’s part of the business we’re in, as they say in the ‘Godfather’ movies.”
This reference to the Godfather really shows Espada's true colors; he thinks politics is no different from organized crime. What business are you in Mr. Espada? Helping the people from the Bronx or helping yourself? Are you a Puerto Rican Don Corleone? Shameful... I guess these guys took the whole gang of three thing really seriously.
On a final note, Espada continues to throw his poor campaign workers under the bus. When pressed about the mis-registration of his campaign as a PAC he deferred blame to one of his lackeys:
"Mr. Espada said that a young campaign staff member had mistakenly registered his campaign as a political action committee — PACs are not allowed to make direct expenditures toward the election or defeat of a candidate." [D. Hakim, NY Times]
No wonder good government organizations are appalled by Espada's sudden and bare-knuckles rise to power. We can only hope that the Democratic caucus votes against this bizarre power sharing and holds Espada accountable for all of his campaign finance issues. If he does become majority leader we can only hope that Mr. Espada does not see himself as the head of an organized crime family in Albany.
State Senator-Elect Owes Thousands in Fines [Danny Hakim, NY Times]
*photo of the Don courtesy of http://z.hubpages.com/u/160282_f520.jpg, photo of Espada courtesy of Rob Bennet/NY Times*