It's believed that State Senator Pedro Espada Jr.'s central motivation for helping Republicans overthrow his fellow Democrats was his party's refusal to let him toss $2 million in pork to some dubious new non-profit groups with zero track record. So there's a certain grotesque poetry in the news that after paralyzing the State government for weeks, Espada was ultimately rewarded with that $2 million in pork-barrel spending, approved during a 3 a.m. session yesterday. Most of that money will be going to the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce, a "business advocacy group" that seems ill-prepared to distribute the largesse, considering its annual budget is usually $200,000. Espada says the money will go toward adult literacy classes, after-school programs, housing advocacy efforts, etc., but the group has never done anything like that before. The Village Voice made a noble attempt to figure out just what the hell the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce does, but all reporter Tom Robbins found was a brochure about their cocktail parties and golf outings. Reviewing Espada's allocation of the money, a Senate finance aide sent out an alarmed email to colleagues worrying, "I sincerely hope this doesn't come back to bite us."
Senator Espada Gets His Pork
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"It puts more of a burden on New York — puts more of a burden on 49 other states."
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