The State Senate stalemate ended Thursday when Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. flipped Democrat again after siding with Republicans in an obscure and costly leadership battle that raged for nearly five weeks.
Espada, a Bronx Democrat from the 33rd Senate District, came back to his party after the Democrats handed him the No. 2 job of majority leader. The Republicans had granted Espada the highest post of Senate’s President Pro Tempore, throwing out Malcolm Smith of St. Albans, who had held both jobs since January, 2009 in exchange for Espada’s participating in the June 08, 2009 coup that put them back into power.
Espada defended his latest flip-flop saying, “I’ve always been a Democrat; I never left home. I had a little leave of absence.”
According to Governor Paterson’s estimation, the State Senate stalemate Espada and his fellow Democrat Hiram Monserrate stirred cost the state of New York $125 million to $150 million by halting routine state tax collections and state debt offerings.
One can hope that the electorate takes a good note of Espada’s spectacularly self-serving political fiasco on top of all controversies of his public career and act accordingly the next time he runs for office.