After Attorney General Cuomo found that Governor Spitzer's staffers were using state police records to attack rival Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, everyone agrees on one thing: It's very bad for Governor Spitzer.

In a nutshell, Spitzer's aides, including communications director Darren Dopp, leaked information about possible misuse of state aircraft by Bruno to the Albany paper, the Times Union. Spitzers' aides later claimed that they were investigating Bruno's use of state aircraft because of a Freedom of Information Law request from a paper, when it really seemed to be part of a campaign to discredit Bruno. From the Daily News:

Gov. Spitzer's crew began e-mailing each other about gathering itineraries and schedules documenting Joe Bruno's travel - information they would later claim was released because reporters asked for it - more than a month before the first actual media request July 1.

Spitzer Communications Director Darren Dopp sent a May 23 e-mail to the Secretary to the Governor Richard Baum, musing about the Senate Republican leader's travels and "a new and different way to proceed re media."

On June 3, Dopp e-mailed Baum about Bruno's troubles with a federal grand jury saying, "Think a travel story would fit nicely in the mix."

The Times Union published their story about the investigation into Bruno's flights on July 1, having filed a FOIL request that was responded to unusually quickly. When the Post contacted Dopp, he claimed that conservative party head Michael Long complained about Bruno's use of state aircraft. Long denied saying such a thing, and then Dopp backtracked and said he never said anything about Long, only for the Post to send Dopp emails where he said as much. Yes, it's very confusing and Byzantine (not to mention crazy) - the NY Times has a nice graphic that sort of lays out a timeline of events.

The Daily News' opinion piece says, "So it goes as Eliot Spitzer discovers - to his naive surprise - that you can be smart, which he certainly is, and right, which he often is, without also being wise in how you go about advancing your causes. In fact, you can be pig-headedly, self-righteously dumb." The NY Times' editorial says, "this episode has the smell of an old-fashioned dirty trick." The Times Union has an editorial, "the Freedom of Information Law has become, on Mr. Spitzer's watch, a means to embarrass the governor's rivals. State Police were instructed to produce records -- a political dossier, in effect -- in response to a FOIL request that had never been made." And the Post has an editorial stating, "One thing is clear: Eliot Spitzer is going to be a very long time living this one down."

Spitzer suspended Dopp and shuffled around other aides, saying he knew nothing of this information gathering and misuse of the State Police. He apologized to Bruno, the State Police, and the people of NY, and said, "There were absolute improper judgment calls made and there is no excuse for that. My administration I believe stands for — will continue to stand for — ethics, integrity, and we will be measured not only by the inevitable errors that are made but more importantly how we respond to those errors." But there is irony in the fact that the evidence found by the Attorney General's office seemed like information Spitzer would have collected when he was AG, going after corporate bad guys. The NY Times' analysis: "Mr. Spitzer's adminstration has been knocked on its heels."

Senate Republicans want to launch their own probe into the matter; State Senator Marty Golden of Brooklyn said, "What did the governor know, and when did he know it? There should be a further investigation into the inner circle. Somebody signed off on this. I urge the governor to get to the bottom of this." And Bruno, who was cleared of any allegations of misusing state aircraft, since he did attend to state business on trips to fundraisers, is likely to get even: A GOP strategist tells the News, "You don't pick a fight with Boxcar Joe and expect he's not going to hit back."

Update: NY Magazine's Daily Intelligencer reports that Lieutenant Governor David Paterson passed out on a flight between LaGuardia and Buffalo. The press release says tests so far have come back negative.