Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pedro Espada Not the Only One Getting a Raise

The two state senators who held up the legislative process in New York for the past month and a half will both be getting raises and more prestige in Albany (if that's the proper word for more power in an incredibly corrupt system). As discussed earlier, Espada will be getting an extra $41,000 for being majority leader of the invertebrate Democrats. Now, however, he will be joined by (alleged) woman-beater Hiram Monserrate in the promotion and raise department.

It seems that Monserrate will be reinstated into the chairmanship he lost when he was indicted for slashing his girlfriend's face with broken glass in a jealous rage. When his chairmanship of the Consumer Protection Committee was stripped back in March, he also lost the $12,500 stipend that went with it. However, the Democrats in Albany were so desperate to get such an embarrassing individual back into their party they reportedly offered him the chairmanship back in exchange for Monserrate leaving the Republicans and going back to the Democrats (which prolonged the stalemate the Senate has been in since). Monserrate claims this is not the case, but he also claims that his girlfriend was cut after he was bringing her water and he tripped and the glass happened to break in his hand and mangle his girlfriend's face. Maybe he should investigate the manufacturer of the defective glass, because that sounds like it could be an issue for consumers.

Monserrate is in the news again for his (alleged) felony assault on his girlfriend. It seems that he used money donated to him from various law enforcement agencies to help fund his defense against the felony charges against him for (allegedly) slashing up his girlfriend. While the incredible irony of the whole thing may be lost on some people, considering that it is rumored that another man's PBA card that Monserrate found in his girlfriend's purse sparked the entire incident, the fact that it is illegal to use campaign funds for personal expenses not related to government work remains true. Monserrate paid the money back in May, but last time I checked you can't steal something from a store and then pay the owner back a few months later and escape without punishment (not without a good lawyer, at least).

The Senate, however, is still in stalemate because of the absence of Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn). That leaves the Democrats with less than the 32 votes needed to pass legislation, as the Republicans are acting like middle schoolers and using Squadron's absence to form a unified front that would block the Democrats from passing legislation. Squadron is on his honeymoon with his new wife. While I understand that he planned his wedding (which was over the weekend) and the ensuing honeymoon for a few weeks after the regular assembly was scheduled to be over, these are very special circumstances, and his boss (Paterson) is asking all Senators to be in Albany for special sessions. Would it suck to have to change his plans because of the incompetence of his colleagues? Absolutely. You know who it really sucks for right now, though? The people. Peace.

Photos - Monserrate (NY Daily News)

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