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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trial and Tribulations

- Reader jk mentioned Monday's developments at Joe Bruno's trial, which is entering its third week. The Albany Times-Union has a dedicated site, a blog I suppose, set up to cover the trial, and it's an excellent resource with which to follow it if you are so inclined. Whether or not this will indeed prove to be a cautionary tale to lawmakers making decisions such as the one regarding Aqueduct as jk contends remains to be seen. The legal concept under which the prosecution is operating is considered to be a murky one, so the outcome, and the ultimate lesson, in certainly in doubt. The prosecution has presented a wide array of witnesses to bolster their accusation that the former Senate Majority Leader used his position and influence to earn some $3.2 million as a private consultant, thus depriving the public of his honest services. And some feel that testimony such as this and this, though it may not have impressed the judge, has already provided a window into the squalid doings in the state capitol, no matter what the verdict turns out to be.

I've been struck that many, though not all, of the witnesses called to testify against Bruno seem to have such lucid memories of events that date back as far as 10 years ago or more. You know how sometimes people conveniently just can't seem to recall things on the witness stand. Made me think that maybe some people don't seem to care for Joe....and then on Monday there was the story that jk linked to about Patricia Stackrow, his former secretary's, telling the court that she stole from Bruno in “retaliation for the way he treated me at the time,” calling it demeaning and degrading. As I mentioned in the comments section, I don't understand why the prosecution would want to introduce that; seems like fodder for the defense to impugn her testimony on the grounds that she bears a personal grudge. (I'm thinking that maybe she's not alone.) Her testimony of how she spent ample time on his consulting businesses would, I believe, be particularly damaging given that the judge has emphasized the matter of Bruno's alleged mixing of his private business with his senatorial duties as a key part of the case. And the precedent would seem ominous for Bruno as well.

With the legislature in special session as Governor Paterson prods them to agree on a deficit reduction plan (and with Albany dysfunction on full display), one might think that further developments on the Big A are unlikely at this time. On the other hand, perhaps the decision will come when we least expect it?

The governor's approval ratings actually inched up, to 33% from 27%, in the latest Siena poll; but, on the other hand, he now trails Andrew Cuomo in a hypothetical primary race by some 59 points, wow. The margin had been 50 points -- 70 percent to 20 percent -- between the two Democrats in the last Siena poll a month ago. [Buffalo News]

The Times reported on Monday that the Attorney General is already considering his options for a running mate. I was rather surprised to read that he would consider William Thompson as was reported. The City Comptroller may have run close to Mayor Bloomberg, but he brought absolutely nothing to the table in my opinion. I believe that the close margin was almost entirely due to anger over the Mayor's term limits ploy. Thompson ran a campaign that many considered to be, on second thought, maybe he'd fit right in.


Anonymous said...

New York is broke.

alan said...

>>New York is broke.

The governor has been saying that for weeks, but the Senate Democrats don't want to listen. And yet he's the one that gets portrayed as a clown, why is that?

Anonymous said...

When is the prosecution scheduled to call Jared Abbruzzese to the stand? He, or one of his companies, are involved with I think 5 of the charges against Bruno. His name is coming up during the discussion of Bruno's horse partnerships.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

Word is, there is, big news, coming out tonight, about SL Green.

I assume only, it is connected to also their Aqueduct bid.

Will you all keep your eyes open.

Probably that the Indians have been replaced by Wynn's re-entry.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by New York is broke? California probably announces a $21 billion deficit today and I live in Michigan so please tell me what a New York broke is?

Anonymous said...

NY has a hole in its upcoming budget that is easily repaired with cooperation. They are not broke (bankrupt).

There are about ten states that are legitamately bankrupt, NY, in part due to Pattersons intransigence last year, is not one of them.

The Accidental Gov gets a bad rap, if he continues his strategy of taking on the legislature the next few months his numbers may continue to rise.

Term limits for all pols!! The only possible solution.

Anonymous said...

Wynn would partner with Hard Rock then? Hard to believe.

steve in nc said...

How about a trainer opinion, Alan, since you're a George Weaver fan. In AQ race 6 today, Flying Dismount has been gelded, second start for GW. Whadya think?

Anonymous said...

Budget deal coming sometime the night of 11/18? Maybe a concurrent announcement on Aqueduct?

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

Wynn replacing SLG's Indian's
- that part, off course it's a continuing Wynn joke

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

can one go short in SLG ?
Looks as though major news coming out, maybe negative, one hurdle too many, perhaps.

If so, shame, apart from their Indian factors, as they along with AEG, Pebbles, have strongest NY based affiliates & NY employment agenda's, if successful.