Democrats Cast Stones at Republicans, Espada

ALBANY—State Senate Democrats are launching a counteroffensive in the leadership struggle over their chamber. The target: State Senator Pedro Espada

ALBANY—State Senate Democrats are launching a counteroffensive in the leadership struggle over their chamber. The target: State Senator Pedro Espada Jr.

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In four separate press releases sent over the course of 20 minutes, four different Democrats are criticizing Republicans who are standing by Espada's claim that he is the president pro tempore of the chamber.

"I ask him and his fellow Long Island Republican senators the following question: Do you really believe that having Pedro Espada as your leader, and one step away from the governor's office, is in the best interests of the residents of New York State?" State Senator Craig Johnson asked in his statement. Other statements were sent from State Senators Liz Krueger, David Valesky and Jeff Klein.

Also, last night, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee launched a robocall in Republican districts around the state saying members voted for an "indicted" Democrat to lead the Senate.

It should be said that this is a somewhat bold approach, given the Democrats’ own Faustian dilemma at the moment. While Espada may be (severely) allergic to traditional notions of public ethics, he is not, like Senator Hiram Monserrate, currently under indictment.

Democrats Cast Stones at Republicans, Espada