It's time for more fighting fun with Governor Eliot Spitzer and State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno! Last week, Newsday reported on how Bruno, a Republican, told the International Union of Operation Engineers, "Nobody said when they did the constitution and they did all of the amendments ... that you are going to have an executive who dictates, who runs everything and who steamrolls over everybody. By his own description he is a '-- steamroller,' OK? He got the first part right."
Ha! That prompted Spitzer's spokeswoman to tell Newsday that Bruno's language "wasn't "proper when dealing with one's colleagues." Wait, but didn't Spitzer actually tell Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco that he as a "f---ing steamroller"? Anyway, the NY Times dubs Spitzer and Bruno a "dysfunctional power couple" and, beyond entertaining people, it's preventing Spitzer from meeting some of his goals. And the budget negotiations brought their relationship to a new low. Here's how people who heard an argument between the two describe a fight:
“You are calling me a liar!” Mr. Spitzer exclaimed in anger about comments Mr. Bruno had made on the radio that morning. “You are disparaging the office of the governor!”
Mr. Bruno shouted back, “No, you tell me one thing and do another!”
“I’ve been dealing with rogues and thugs my whole life,” Mr. Bruno added. “I haven’t been intimidated by them and I’m not going to be intimidated by you.”
Mr. Bruno was expressing frustration that Mr. Silver had not taken a more assertive role in the budget talk — “Every time I mention your name he wets his pants,” he told the governor — and that the Senate minority leader, Malcolm Smith, often seemed to be a proxy for the governor.
After Mr. Bruno made a lewd anatomical reference to the close political relationship between the governor and Mr. Smith, the governor stormed out of his own office.
At the heart of their fight may be their party differences, polar-opposite upbringings (Spitzer had a silver spoon in his mouth while Bruno was poor and a streetfighter) and Spitzer's interest in trying to take the Senate back for the Democrats. Our view is if they aren't going to get anything done, can't they at least televise it?