The fight between Governor Eliot Spitzer and Senate Majority Joseph Bruno gets more and more unbelievable. Yesterday, Bruno claimed that the Times Union, the Albany newspaper, tried to shake him down for money and today the Post says Spitzer had Bruno tailed by the state police! Hopefully the next news will be that the Legislature is selling tickets to a fight in the boxing ring.
Over the weekend, the Times Union reported that Spitzer was investigating Bruno's possible improper use of state helicopters and state troopers to travel to political fund-raisers in Manhattan. Now Bruno, a Republican, has asked the Albany DA - the one Spitzer has asked to investigate Bruno - to investigate the Times Union, claiming a TU ad sales rep asked him to buy advertisements to counter negative coverage. The Times Union denied that, saying the ad sales rep was asking Bruno if he wanted to buy ads to counter negative ads running on the site from the state Democratic party. The Times Union's publisher told the NY Times, "To imply any breach of integrity by The Times Union strikes me as an unfair attempt by Senator Bruno’s office to redirect attention from recent public reports toward the media company responsible for the initial reporting."
As for the reported surveillance on Bruno, Spitzer's spokesperson explained to the Post, "There was an incident late last year in which Mike Long called to complain about Joe bringing armed troopers to [Long's] fund-raising event. Long thought it was highly inappropriate, and it probably was. Recalling that incident, the [State Police] made some changes... and, yes, [started] keeping basic records, i.e. logs." Using state employees to drive, fly or escort for unofficial business (like fund-raisers) is a no-no, as we were reminded with the Alan Hevesi incident last year. The only thing, conservative party head Mike Long said he never complained about Bruno's entourage and wants an apology from the Governor. And now Spitzer's spokesman says the Post story is totally wrong!
Man, we're waiting for this fight to somehow embroil Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver! To that end, the NY Times has an editorial telling Spitzer and Bruno "to give their highly public differences a rest and get down to business."