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Joe Bruno’s trial shows overall corruption in Albany

Linked at Elizabeth Benjamin’s “Daily Politics” blog at the same newspaper…

(excerpt from) The Daily News
Joe Bruno, Albany sleaze: His trial has already convicted Capitol’s squalid doings
/ Editorials / 11-14-2009

Whatever its outcome, the trial of former Senate boss Joe Bruno has torn the lid off the cesspool that is Albany.

Testimony elicited by prosecutors may or may not prove Bruno guilty of a crime. But the evidence reveals how business gets done, and money changes hands, in the Capitol’s infamous back rooms.

It shows that Albany is a place:

Where Bruno could secretly moonlight as a salesman for money-management firms, pitching their services to labor unions that were lobbying him as a senator.

Where Bruno could make a sales call to a labor leader one week and slide him a huge government grant the next.

Where Bruno had power to distribute millions of tax dollars – sometimes in the name of other senators, as if to cover tracks.

Where, after unions signed on the dotted line, he could usher their legislation to Senate passage…

Where the only check on these activities was a legislative Ethics Committee, appointed by Bruno, that never made a peep…

Despite these largely undisputed facts, Bruno claims all transactions were permissible under the state’s ethics laws.

And the nauseating truth is that Bruno has a point. This is business as usual at the Capitol.

It’s anyone’s guess how the federal jury will come down on Bruno’s behavior. But as for the Albany environment he manipulated so well, the verdict is in: Guilty as sin.

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