What's New in Coup? Espada Claims 2 Votes in Senate, Kills Housing Bills; D.A. Expands Inquiry; Maid Allegedly Questioned

Like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Pedro Espada has claimed special powers: he says that as perhaps-legitimately-elected president of the state senate, he is also lieutenant governor in the absence of an elected one, and can have two votes.

To take down this lunatic, the Bronx District Attorney is expanding his Espada inquiry to include his earlier terms in the state senate -- at which time Espada also caucused with Republicans, who were then more clearly in the majority. D.A. Robert Johnson has also subpoenaed the state senate in furtherance of his investigation, which may be why Espada is so anxious to lock it down.

In retaliation, Espada claims that Johnson has questioned the maid in Espada's Mamaroneck house (which, he hastens to tell you, in not his primary residence), spiriting her from Long Island to The Bronx to do so, which caused her "emotional distress," and that Johnson is doing "the political dirty work of the Democratic Party."

Whether or not it saves his own hide, Espada's coup has obviously been successful in killing the real estate reform legislation handed to it by the assembly in February. With the end of the term approaching, housing advocates conclude that the rent protections, for which they've been working and which Espada has been stubbornly blocking, will not become law. Hmm. Can the landlords keep him out of prison? We guess we'll find out.


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