Senate Dems Push to Get Espada Out

There's a full-court press this morning from top state senate Democrats, calling for the Republicans to drop Pedro Espada as their negotiator, calling him "irrational."

So far, senators Liz Krueger of Manhattan, Jeff Klein of the Bronx, and David Valesky of Syracuse have weighed in with email press releases blasting Espada --the Democratic turncoat now voting with the Republicans and who is serving as the number two negotiator on their behalf, alongside Republican leader Dean Skelos.

The move is an apparent effort to reach those GOP senators who are feeling the heat from home districts badly in need of things like sales tax renewals by the end of the session.

Here's Klein, whose district adjoins Espada's in the Bronx: "It is clear that under the control of Pedro Espada, the Senate Republican leadership is not interested in putting partisanship aside and the people first. They have failed their constituents and their conference by refusing to entertain any proposal that does not give Pedro Espada power to control the Senate and a position one heartbeat away from the Governor's office."

Ditto for Valesky, who serves as Senate vice president pro tem: "It has become clear since the court ordered the Senate to negotiate a bipartisan agreement that the current Senate Republicans' leadership under Pedro Espada is acting in an unreasonable, and even irrational way."

Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver is also in on the play, offering his own release that, while it doesn't call Espada any names, asks Senate Republicans to "end their obstruction and accept the power sharing agreement put forward by Senate Democrats."

In a separate, tougher letter to supporters, Krueger yesterday let it all hang out with a bare bones assessment of the week's events:

"I strongly believe that the attempted coup had nothing to do with reform and was simply a blatant power grab by the Republican party and a couple of disaffected Democrats. The Republicans' claim that the coup was done for the good of the people and in order to enact government reform is completely ridiculous. Remember, this is the same Republican party that controlled the Senate for more than 43 years and made it one of the least democratic and deliberative legislative bodies in the nation. Now in their latest power grab, they are attempting to mmake Pedro Espada the President of the Senate and next in line to be Governor of the state of New York. This is an outrageous act which on the face of it belies any claims they make about trying to reform the system."


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