New York politician switched parties because he needed a pay raise
New York state Sen. Jose Peralta bolted from the Democratic Party because he needed a raise. The Corona lawmaker announced Wednesday he would join the Independent Democratic Conference, which is aligned with the GOP to control the Senate.
He didn’t publicize that he’s been making child support and college tuition payments for his children, and had between $30,000 and $90,000 in credit-card and loan debt, according to sources and public disclosures.
“That’s a double whammy,” said one source close to Peralta. “He’s going through a lot and the lack of a raise was devastating.” Gov. Cuomo nixed a $30,500 raise for state lawmakers in December.
Peralta’s debt has risen in the past three years, according to his 2015 state ethics filings. He owes between $20,000 and $50,000 on Citibank and AT&T cards, between $5,000 and $20,000 on a car loan for a Mercedes, and his wife owes another $5,000 to $20,000 on a Discover card, records show.
By switching his political loyalties to the IDC, he is now in line to get a new leadership position — and a stipend of up to $27,500 that comes with it. A state senator’s base pay is $79,500 per year.