Sunday, December 24, 2006

More on Joe and his Pony Friend

On December 23rd the NYTimes ran an article about unions and politicians rallying around the corrupt New York State senate majority leader Joseph Bruno. The piece may have well used smiley emoticons and called Bruno a "bff." Today the NYTimes is running an editorial calling Bruno's relationship to Jared Abbruzzese what it is: dirty. From today's piece:
In 2000, Mr. Abbruzzese helped finance a company called Evident Technologies Inc. in Troy, which is part of Mr. Bruno’s Senate district. In 2002, Mr. Bruno sent the company $250,000 in state money as a grant, and he arranged for another $250,000 grant in 2004. That same year, Mr. Abbruzzese’s wife bought a plot of land for $90,000 from a partnership that included Mr. Bruno. Since 2002, Mr. Abbruzzese’s companies have contributed more than $100,000 to Mr. Bruno’s campaign committees. And while he ended up losing money on the deal, Mr. Bruno invested in a company that was about to merge with one of Mr. Abbruzzese’s enterprises.

Mr. Abbruzzese has also invested in a group called Empire Racing Associates, one of three operations competing to run the state’s lucrative horse racing franchise. In an earlier round, Empire came in second, but Mr. Bruno told reporters in Albany last week that he thinks all the contenders should be given another chance when the new governor comes into office. Meanwhile, the state lobbying commission is investigating Mr. Bruno’s trips on Mr. Abbruzzese’s airplane.

On December 16th, I wrote about another article in the NYTimes that detailed more of the Bruno/Abbruzzese relationship. There are even more details of the relationship in a McIntire piece from December 21st.

Bruno is being investigated by the FBI. Bruno's firm, Capital Business Consultants, has been subpoenaed. In Joe's own words (from the first article linked):
Asked about his consulting work for Mr. Abbruzzese, Mr. Bruno said: “Everything that we have done has been disclosed properly. I’m a businessman, and what I do as a businessman — we’ve followed the letter of the law.”
Bruno is a business man busy with a federal investigation. I can't see how his business activities or his necessarily intense focus on an investigation benefit New Yorkers and let him honor his responsibilities as senate majority leader. It's time to go Joe.