Cuomo Declines to Chat About Espada

Andrew Cuomo is keeping his distance publicly from the move to oust Pedro Espada Jr. from the Democratic party.

As the leadership in the New York State Democratic Committee today sent a letter to the Bronx County Democratic Committee requesting that it cancel Espada’s enrollment in the party, Cuomo this morning declined to comment on the issue.  

“I think the party’s position speaks for itself,” he told reporters after an event at Brooklyn Law School. “I have a number of ongoing matters with Mr. Espada from the attorney general’s office point of view, so I’m not going to be commenting politically.”

(He announced he was suing landlords for racial discrimination).

Of course, it is Cuomo adviser and state committee executive director Charlie King who is pushing for Mr. Espada’s ouster, per a report Monday in the Post, along with party chairman Jay Jacobs.

The party today released its letter to Bronx County Democratic Committee chair Jeff Dinowitz requesting the ouster, along with this statement from Jacobs:

“Time and again, by word and by deed, Pedro Espada has put his own naked financial interest ahead of bedrock Democratic ideals.  Espada has run rough-shod over campaign finance rules devised by Democrats, has played fast-and-loose with state residency requirements, and – most egregiously – appears to be a Democrat purely for personal profit, not a commitment to our core values.”

Should Espada indeed be pushed out of the party, one wonders what this might do to the budget, which still has not been completed (although the Assembly has said it has no plans to return and the Senate is working on its own plan to close the remaining gap). After all, it’s not like it’s unthinkable that he would caucus with Republicans, and he, presumably, would feel less pressure to fall in line with Democrats.

The letter to Dinowitz is here.



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Cuomo Declines to Chat About Espada