Sunday, December 31, 2006

His Omnipresence May Show His Clout, but Now Bruno Is on the Defensive

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

A bronze bust at Albany International Airport depicts Joseph L. Bruno, the State Senate’s Republican majority leader.

Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

A bobblehead doll in Senator Bruno's likeness was given out at a stadium named for him.

"ALBANY, Dec. 29 — To get a sense of the celebrity and clout wielded around here by State Senator Joseph L. Bruno, the silver-maned Republican majority leader, consider this: One night last summer, minor league baseball fans who visited the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium across the river were given Joseph L. Bruno bobblehead dolls.
Over at the Albany International Airport, a bronze bust of Senator Bruno greets arrivals from the airport’s observation deck. In Troy, people can catch performances at the Joseph L. Bruno black box theater. And at the public television station, WMHT, producers scurry about in the new Joseph L. Bruno Broadcast Operations Center. The area is full of projects and buildings for which Mr. Bruno secured state aid.
And his clout inside the Capitol building is even greater. For 12 years Mr. Bruno has been one of the three men who have effectively controlled state government, and he is poised to become the most important Republican official in New York State now that Gov.
George E. Pataki is leaving office.
Mr. Bruno’s ascension has a silver-lining aspect to it; he was simply the last man standing after
Republicans were routed at the polls on Election Day, leaving them without a statewide office for the first time in decades. The State Senate is now the party’s last, and shrinking, power base.
But at what should be his crowning moment, Mr. Bruno finds himself on the defensive as never before. The
F.B.I. is investigating his business ties, newspapers are exploring his financial relationships with people seeking help from the state, some Republicans are grumbling that he is tarnishing their troubled party, and for the first time, a member of his conference, Senator John J. Bonacic, a Hudson Valley Republican, is calling on Mr. Bruno to step down. "

Bruno was quick to call for Hevesi's the shoe is on the other foot....Bruno is even starting to sound like Hevesi as well.....

“It gets me a little bit excited, because they all want to moan and groan and point to Evident,” he said in his office. “Evident is one of the most worthwhile projects to be funded that I have funded. Now the fact that a friend of mine, it turns out, that I had a financial relationship with — too damn bad. What am I, a second-class citizen? Is he a second-class citizen? We vetted that through the whole process, O.K.?”
“I’m getting crucified,” he said. “And you know something? Tomorrow, if I had that situation to do over, I’d do exactly what I’ve done.”

Let's see if the FBI Folks feel the same here..for the rest of this Times story..........andy


A bit irrelevant to this post, but I had occasion to recommend your blog to someone all the way in the UK. I did it gladly. You really are producing good work.

It's in the comment section of my post Elliot Spitzer and the Garbage Plate
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