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Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Pro-Tenant Rent Bill - "It's dead." -- Michael McKee
Above: The face of political corruption.
Thanks to the shenanigans of Democrat Pedro Espada, Jr., the pro-tenant rent bill that Democrats promised would get passed if the Democrats could gain the majority in the State Senate is dead. So says Michael McKee, the hard-working tenant rights activist whom we've seen many times at Stuyvesant Town tenant meetings. According to reports (including this one from the NY Times), Espada has been courted by the landlord lobby, but refuses to divulge if real estate interests have given him donations, a disclosure that is required by law! With all his other legal troubles, one wonders what's keeping this bum Espada from being housed in jail???
Anyway, score one for Jerry & Rob Speyer. But payback will be a bitch.
Update: The more you read about what was/is happening in Albany, the more ill and angry you get. The fix was probably in before Espada's break with the Democrats. The former (current?) Senate Majority Leader, Malcolm Smith, received more than $236,000 from landlord interests since 2007. Smith is the guy who gave Espada his high-ranking position of chairman of the Housing Committee.
Oh, and the guy who preceded Espada as State Senator from his district? Efrain Gonzalez. What kind of person/politician was he? We learn from Wikipedia:
"On August 25, 2006, it was disclosed that Senator Gonzalez had been indicted for mail fraud. He surrendered to federal authorities shortly after his indictment was unsealed, and was subsequently released on $25,000 bail following his arraignment. According to the indictment, Gonzalez is accused of defrauding the West Bronx Neighborhood Association Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, by using funds donated to the organization in order to pay for over $37,000 in personal expenses. In December 2006, in a new Federal indictment that replaced the August indictment, he was charged with diverting over $400,000 meant for the community not-for-profit to personal expenses, including vacation homes in the Dominican Republic, homes for his wife, mistress, renovations to his mother-in-law's home, Yankees tickets and college tuition for his daughter. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison."
So is "politician" a dirty word?