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The Taking Of Albany One Senator Two Votes Three Times Under Investigation

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Runaway Senator Pedro Espada Grabs Power, Hijacks NY Senate

New York State Senator Pedro Espada, who last Monday stole the presidency of the Senate, only to find himself in a dead-even tie when his under criminal-investigation counterpart Hiram Monserrate flip-flopped back to the Democratic party, yesterday announced, “I can have two votes!” Yes, the most-American idea of one man, one vote, to Pedro Espada, a man under numerous criminal investigations by numerous bodies, has decided that he can re-interpret the rules of the New York State Senate to give himself two (count ’em – TWO) votes; one vote for being a senator, one vote for being the “acting” lieutenant governor. Never, never in the history of this country has one man ever legally had two votes. As a matter of fact, when the president invokes the 14th Amendment, and there is no Vice President, the Speaker of he House has to resign before taking the oath to be the President of the United States temporarily. Perhaps Senator Espada should consider that alternative.

We all know Espada. You knew him as a kid. He’s the neighborhood bully. Unchecked, figured out at an early age that rules only apply if you get caught. Figured out at an early age that most people are too afraid or too busy or too powerless – or think they are – to stop someone who thinks they’re unstoppable. The problem is that this game of his has gone on far too long. And we, the citizens of the Empire State, are paying a dear price. (There’s a joke floating around Twitter right now about Espada: “Senator Palpatine called- he’d like the New York Senate back.” Only, it’s not funny.)

In fact, Espada is playing a game of chicken right now. Instead of saying, “Oh my God, I’m in trouble. I’m being investigated left and right,” Espada is taking the offense and filing a complaint with State Inspector General Joseph Fisch for “prosecutorial misconduct and selective prosecution.” PolitickerNY reports, “Espada hasn’t rebutted any of the charges against him, focusing instead on his record of public service and the fact that his constituents have elected him.” Well, that’s a strategy, and we’ll take a look at Espada’s career of corruption. But this quick note, first:

Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., is the author of the gay rights bill sitting in Albany, awaiting a vote. He claims tirelessly he wants to see a vote on it, calling it his “signature legislation.” I don’t care. I certainly care about marriage equality and about LGBTQ rights. But I care more about good governance and the reputation of the people of New York State than I can about a bill, even a gay rights bill. So, in the interest of good governance and pride in my state, I will continue to work to expose Senator Espada for the fraud and offense to the people he claims to represent, because New York deserves better.

But it’s not just the gay marriage bill that is affected. The New York Times reported yesterday,

“The Assembly has passed dozens of bills in recent weeks that would allow counties to charge additional sales tax. But those bills have been bottled up in the Senate, which has not taken action on a single piece of legislation since June 8.

“That’s the thing that I think is being missed by most people,” said Joanne M. Mahoney, county executive for Onondaga County, which includes Syracuse. “I don’t know if they realize this has very real consequences for us on the local level. This pays for our schools, our public safety. It’s $40 million for our budget.”

And yes, you absolutely can blame Sneator Espada, more than any other Senator, for this disaster.

So, what’s Senator Espada up against? He’s being accused and/or investigated for the following:

Espada is accused of not living in his district, although he claims he does, and is required to as terms of his being a State Senator. The Bronx DA is investigating. He could lose his Senate seat for this issue alone.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating Espada’s use of his Soundview Health Clinic for personal political reasons.

Espada owes more than $60,000 in fines because he refuses to file campaign finance reports. The New York Times notes, “It is not the first time he has run afoul of the State Board of Elections: His 2000 Senate campaign was fined for failing to submit finance reports.”

Speaking of interesting campaign contributions and pandering, Espada is chairman of the Senate Housing Committee. He has effectively squashed a bill that would have cost landlords and the New York housing industry billions of dollars, and saved his constituents and many renters in New York billions of dollars.

And to all this, Espada replies, “They hate me because I’m not perfect.”

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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

Watch:

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender

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A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.

“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.

“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”

Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.

That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.

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