Say it ain’t so, Joe

Joe Bruno, convicted on two of eight felony counts today. Another nail in the coffin of the Big Man era of Albany politics, or just a prelude to a successful appeal?

The jury entered the courtroom at 4:16 p.m. and as they retunred a not guilty verdict on the first two counts and no verdict on the third count, the mood among supporters of Mr. Bruno who were in attendance became euphoric. But when the jury declared guilty on the fourth count the mood quickly turned. Mr. Bruno became visibly deflated and his normally upright frame sagged.

Mr. Bruno faces up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine on each felony count. He is sure to appeal, and the Supreme Court is preparing to review the controversial “theft of honest services” statute underlying his case.

And speaking of Big Men and “honest services“…

11 Replies to “Say it ain’t so, Joe”

  1. Please refrain from using the term Big Man in reference to either that weasel Bruno or jerk Spitzer. The Big Man is (and will always be) the Master of Disaster, the King of the Universe . . . Clarence Clemons!

  2. i worry that it’s just interchangeable parts. the assembly is as much a secret chamber as it’s ever been. the senate lacks a strongman only because the divide is so slender; let one party really take charge again, and we’ll have another ‘3rd man in the room.’ as for governor, while one hopes cuomo learns from immediate experience (and i’m talking troopergate, not the most interesting link you provide above) it is almost creepy how cuomo is following exactly, exactly the same course to power that spitzer … stay out of the political fray, nail bad guys and bad trends that are unassailable, and be the white knight. andrew has really recreated himself from the broken political figure of four or five years ago, but the run-up means nothing if he becomes governor. as for the legislature, i am sorry to be so cynical, but i see little to indicate any profound change.

  3. Interesting point about Cuomo. People felt good about Spitzer too, so it’s almost like the system won’t work unless there’s at least an illusion of a Great Reformer in the mix. (Yeah, I “just got that”) But it is really all the same system of corruption working in tandem. (However – I’m not the first person to point out that Spitzer had personal qualities – impulsivity, lack of finesse – that made him a poor governor even without scandal.)

    More interesting to me now is how ordinary New Yorkers navigate this system. The people of the state don’t completely lack for political force – the license plate thing is an example. Although the state is going to gradually introduce the plates anyway, they’re not going to force everyone to buy new ones now. Thanks to massive and immediate citizen revulsion with the idea. The corruption of the official system is so longstanding and total, and the citizenry is just becoming a grunting mob in response.

  4. Grunting mob or petchulant dependent…

    I mean the basic freedoms we give away, the higher costs of corruption and incompetence we bear, the sense of loss we all feel upstate (like a lost generation, 30% to 40% of 25 to 40 year old’s that have moved away)…we suffer all this or don’t give it second thought.

    But when the state wants to charge us more for a license plate, we revolt. We deserve whatever Bruno et. al give us.

  5. I don’t know if people would have rebelled over the license plates 2 years ago, though. The economy has a lot to do with that response, and it’s an issue that is easily isolated and emotionally polarized (“the plates are UGLY too!”)

    The statewide good-government groups have always had a problem isolating the issues and polarizing the populace.

    However, I am glad that we don’t have mob grunting enshrined in ballot propositions, like they do in California. That would be a disaster.

  6. About ballet propositions, that’s a tough call. I think I’d rather bankrupt myself, or impose higher taxes, fewer services, or more spending in education, or decide whether things such as the “New York State Environmental Facilities Corp.” even need exist, whether a NYS Canal Corp needs to ineptly cost taxpayers millions in its make-believe role playing as developer of public land. Either that, or we leave it to people like Uncle Joe. And when the veneer of press conferences and complex corporate transactions are pulled back, we shouldn’t be surprised that he’s been stealing for years.

  7. Or that Uncle Joe’s theft bankrupts the state, which means we all pay more for license plates…

    (just to finish that thought)…

  8. I’d happily pay $25 for a license plate made personally by Bruno! I bet thousands of citizens would.

    Ellen I think you just solved the State’s impending bankruptcy crisis!!

  9. This is a spectacular idea! The “Bruno Plate,” commemorating “Bruno Gate.” Motto on the bottom “He got the Empire, but I finally got some of his Honest Services!”

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