New York Magazine‘s Chris Smith cleverly managed to convince state senator Pedro Espada into letting him sit in as the pol plotted strategy in Albany with his cagey cadre of co-conspirators, and it makes for fascinating and revealing reading.
Among those in the room with the rebel senate wrecker are his lawyer, Bronx Democratic veteran attorney Stanley Schlein, who is currently receiving $8,000 a month from landlord groups to lobby on housing issues. Last week, Espada insisted to the New York Times’‘ Nicholas Confessore that Schlein keeps his jobs separate, and doesn’t lobby him on housing issues.
But here’s Espada in Smith’s “Making of an Albany Nihilist” boasting that he has convinced Governor Paterson not to include a bill to roll back vacancy decontrol, a key piece of pro-tenant legislation, on the list of bills that Paterson wanted the senate to consider in a special session. Here’s the snippet:
“Look at this!” (Espada) shouts, reading the document. “Same-sex
marriage–as suggested by Espada! No vacancy decontrol! All Pedro!”
Smith also captures Espada advisor Steve Pigeon, a Buffalo Democratic operative working for billionaire Tom Golisano, charmingly referring to Paterson as an “asshole.” And here’s Espada watching Paterson on TV announce his plan: “This is gonna be a lot of bullshit,” Espada says.
“Should I go down there, stand in the back of the room, to keep him honest? We’ve got to call a press conference with Skelos right after …You know what would be good? To have Bloomberg come out for arbitration. But I don’t trust him.”
Legislative leadership at work.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 3, 2009