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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Espada Camp Feeling Good (Updated)

Standing outside of Pedro Espada's district office on Bainbridge Avenue, a political outpost among rows of medical offices, State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. offered a prediction for the upcoming primaries on Sept. 14.

"Pedro's going to win. I'm going to win. And we're going to come back stronger, faster and better," said Diaz, who remains the only elected official to have endorsed Espada. "You know, like the $60 Million Man, you remember the TV show?"

Well, not really. But point taken. In fact, several people in Espada's camp have expressed this feeling over the past few days. It's clear they feel -- despite all the negative press, the investigations, the law suits, the confrontations with hecklers and protesters, the hundreds of thousands being spent to defeat him -- that Espada is in a good position to be re-elected for another two-year term.

And why wouldn't they?

  • With all the institutional and political endorsements going to challenger Gustavo Rivera, Espada is able to paint himself as the underdog, despite having an enormous campaign war chest bankrolled mostly by the real estate industry.
  • His refusal to debate his two challengers is looking increasingly like a shrewd political move. During a debate on BronxTalk on Monday night, which Espada didn't attend, candidate Dan Padernacht continually attacked Rivera for his lack of community involvement and for playing dirty politics in trying to get him to drop out of the race. While Rivera focused his criticisms on the incumbent, Padernacht didn't mention Espada once, except to say he worked to get him kicked off the ballot two years ago for residency issues. Padernacht maintains he's not being encouraged or aided by Espada (and there's really no concrete evidence to support those rumors), but regardless, it's clear his presence is hurting Rivera and helping Espada. (Earlier today, Dan Levitan of the Working Families Party, which is campaigning on behalf of Rivera, said they felt it was clear Padernacht's only goal was to smear Rivera on Espada's behalf and that he probably wouldn't attend tomorrow's debate at Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church if Espada doesn't. We haven't heard back from Rivera's campaign staff to confirm whether he would attend or not.)
  • While Rivera and Padernacht are out campaigning and trying to get their name out to voters, Espada is out giving away school supplies, produce and vans. Everyone already knows who he is -- for good or bad. He's also using his status as a working senator to hold press conferences about hot-button issues like immigration and marching for civil rights.Never underestimate the power of incumbency.
Espada may be the most demonized candidate in New York, but he knows how to win elections.

Update: About the signs, Espada spokesman Franck Laboy said he couldn't comment.We'll look into it.


  1. You mean standing under the giant photo of himself that he illegally installed on Bainbridge Avenue, right?

  2. You mean standing under the self-advertisement he illegally blighted our neighborhood with, using our own hard-earned tax dollars, right?

  3. wait so rivera is going to back out of a debate because he got his ass kicked by padernacht on gax's show? very courageous leadership. it looks like rivera is showing himself to be a pretty bad candidate. what a cono.

  4. What debate did you watch? Rivera was poised and had actual answers to real problems of the people in the district. Padernacht looked like a scared school boy and all he did was attack Rivera with Espada's talking points.

  5. Espada knows how to win a certain kind of election with certain tactics. He'll get his 25% or so of the votes that way. But he will lose many because he knows nothing about other forms of campaigning. Have you checked out his campaign site? It is so bad it is almost comedic http://voteespada.com/

    Let's remember he is a freshman Senator in this district. He barely squeaked into office running against an indicted incumbent whom we all knew was going to jail. Even if you're not a big fan of Gustavo Rivera -- we all know he a much better opponent that Efrain Gonzalez.

    Fruit, notebooks and ugly signs with his mug on them will not be enough to win.

    Don't get me wrong -- those of us who want Espada ousted need to do everything we can to get our family, friends and neighbors out to vote. But have supreme confidence in the general intelligence of the people of the 33rd. We can not be bought with a bag of fruit and notebook.

  6. if rivera doesnt show and decides that he can't handle padernacht then he should bow out and put his support behind him.............

  7. Hey anonymous at 10:18, where you drinking while watching the debate? What answers did rivera provide!?! How can he claim to be an outsider working for the community when he practically aspires to be an Albany insider, given his laundry lists of endorsements (which is all I heard). Pendejo...

  8. Rivera is starting to look & sound like Espada Lite (minus getting hand stuck in the jar). Let's see:

    Millionaire sugerdaddy...
    Rivera (Samuels) | Espada (Golisano)

    "NYC via" Carpetbagging connection...
    Rivera (Florida) | Espada (Mamoreneck)

    "I got the..." narcissitic complex...
    Rivera (Endorsements, endorsements, endorsements!!!) | Espada (Money, money, money)

    Delusions of granduer...
    Rivera (I am the best candidate!) | Espada (G-d is on my side!)

    Backup pandering plan...
    Rivera (WFP, or whoever else he can milk) | Espada (Republicans, or whoever else he can milk).

    So, in the spirit of Bradjolina, I hearby pronounce this not-so-odd couple, "Espera" as in "Wait" for another candidate!!!

  9. BNN said,

    "While Rivera focused his criticisms on the incumbent, Padernacht didn't mention Espada once, except to say he worked to get him kicked off the ballot two years ago for residency issues."

    Really? I hardly believe that was the synopsis everyone took from the debate, especially considering the various comments above. Please clarify?

  10. A Kratz wrote:

    "...it's clear his presence is hurting Rivera and helping Espada."

    Really? How clear? Maybe it is the other way around. Or maybe they have to prove who they are in a district that is very skeptical.

    Please keep your opinions and thinly-veiled endorsements out of the news.

    Additionally, Dan Levitan and the Working Families Party are another bunch of hacks who don't care about the Bronx, only about increasing their influence in Albany politics. Referencing him as a source only goes to show the lengths you will go to try and endorse Rivera...

    Let the people decide!

  11. voteespada.com/
    Really. Which of the people that will be voting for Espada Will actually be reading his site. Have you even seen the people on the lines to get the school supplies and produce?


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