Horner: Espada Should Have Known Better

ALBANY—A longtime advocate for good government said there was "no excuse" for Senator-elect Pedro Espada Jr. not to have correctly filed campaign papers.

Espada was just awarded a new prominent title: senate majority leader.

"It's amazing, by all new standards, that someone pole-vaults over members with a lot of seniority to get toward the top of the house," said Blair Horner, legislative director for NYPIRG. "Of course, since the Democrats haven't controlled the State Senate since the Jurassic period, most of the old standards don't apply."

Horner said Espada "should definitely clean that up, there's no excuse that it's still out there. He's an experienced enough legislator that he should know the difference between a campaign committee and a P.A.C."

Robert Brehm, spokesman for the State Board of Elections, said that as of Friday Espada had not filed the necessary registration to operate Espada for the People, his political action committee, as a campaign committee. He also hadn't updated the committee's filings to reflect the additional requirements of operating as a campaign committee.

As such, Brehm said there are two judgments against Espada totaling $1,000, two pending before a judge and two pending internally (a total of six, in other words). Espada also owes the New York Campaign Finance Board $60,000 in fines related to his 2001 run for borough president. He is appealing that judgment.

The B.O.E. and Espada are in talks to sort things out, Brehm said.