Espada and Diaz Back Down After Paterson Says He Won’t Respond to ‘Threats’


After talking a big game about refusing to vote for another David Paterson emergency budget bill, Pedro Espada and fellow Bronx Democrat Ruben Diaz Sr. are backing down a bit on their threat, after some fighting words from Paterson this morning.

I’m not going to respond to any threats, any thug activity,” Paterson said at a summit this morning. “I’m not going respond to any black mail in that respect,” referencing Espada’s comment Tuesday that he didn’t want to “resort to name calling.”

Today, Espada said he might not have an issue with cuts to mental-health and human-services programs, though he still managed to get in a pointed jab.

It need not be the line in the sand, but I have to see what else he puts in there,” Espada said. “If there are unacceptable budget cuts in these unilateral actions by the governor — a governor that is now a lame duck governor that New York State has lost interest in — that I cannot support that [sic].”

Diaz, though, seemed more revved up by the back-and-forth: “The language that the governor used to describe me doesn’t help,” he said. “It makes it difficult for me to draw back. Bye-bye.”

Senators throw cold water on Coup II [Knickerbocker/NYP]