Saturday, January 24, 2009

JOE BRUNO AND THE MAGIC MONEY


So, I'm reading this breaking news about Joe Bruno. Funny stuff. Imagine Joe abusing his public position to enrich himself. Say it isn't so!

The AP is harping on his inability to hide the $3 Million in consulting fees he received over the last dozen years while playing Majority Leader in the NYS Senate.
The charge comes from the US Attorney for the Northern District of New York and they claim he used his position to steer contracts and grants to businesses that paid him these exaggerated fees.

Since his departure from the Senate, his successor Dean Skelos has presided over the remaining days of majority only to witness Malcolm Smith and company take the leadership.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Baxter stated: “Bruno exploited his office by concealing the nature and source of substantial payments that he received from parties that benefited from his official actions and the resulting conflicts of interest."

I know what you're thinking...All politicians do it while in office. Actually, you have to
want to do it. Granted; public servants at the low end of the food chain , like Aldermen and Town Boardies, aren't in any position to steer contracts and projects, but that doesn't mean we all will succumb to the temptation that some of these cowards do.

Of course Bruno pleaded not guilty. That would be protocol. He then held a press conference to denounce the investigation as a politically motivated “fishing expedition that smells really, really bad.” [and he was supposed to say something different?]

Note to Joe: You've got to work a little harder to make these "gifts" look like you earned them. Come on: $80K for a lame horse?

Needless to say, Joe Bruno will be in the press again as he doggedly tries to fight these charges. It's going to be fun to watch, considering what the Press did to Spitzer for his adultry and hooker scandal.

The charges, if they stand, could land Joe in jail for a few years and may relieve him of some of the assets acumulated as a result of the "magic money". Will this have an affect on how we perceive the ethics of our State Legislature? Forget it. It cant get any lower.

3 comments:

Jeremiah said...

Who ever dug this up did a good job and should keep going. I suspect that there is a lot more of this in Albany and Washington. Kind of like the lobbyist paid for vacatio...... I mean "Fact Finding Trips" that our representatives go on, and then the places that these lobbyists represent just by chance happen to get what ever they want.

Or like Gov Blago selling a US Senate Appointment which apparently is wrong. But the "gang of three" in the state senate selling their majority leader votes for chairmanships and control of future votes on the senate floor.... oops, that was deemed legal I guess.

Anonymous said...

Being a Republican myself, my first reaction should be "Let the system run its course and don't pre-judge Mr. Bruno". However, this is a Federal indictment and the investigation was conducted during a Republican admistration in the White House. So, I cannot logically suspect that these charges are political.

It is disappointing when any politician is charged with misdeeds in office and it is especially disappointing when it is someone of one's own party. We in New York have had plenty to be disappointed about on both sides of the aisle in recent years.

Anonymous said...

i was on the Board of Directors for The EGG, in ALbany, for a few years, & whenever we were thinking about an Arts Day or some such event to subsidise our State $$$, it always came back to " honoring " Joe Bruno, in some way or else he would torpedo our existing funding or the day's event.

The local - in the know Albany players on the Board, all said, to a person, "nothing will get done without Bruno's hand in the pie".

Take that with whatever much salt as you like,, but it is the emmis !