Bruno’s rear view
It is with great sadness that I read and listen to comments from many people about the conviction this week of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno on two corruption charges.
In essence, they contend that because Bruno used his political clout to funnel millions of dollars into local hands for projects from playgrounds to firehouses to business facilities to anything that could bear his name (*), it was OK for him to line his pockets in exchange for being such a benefactor with taxpayer dollars.
That is known as situational ethics. Lawbreaking is OK if everyone else gets theirs. Bruno’s attitude and daily play-by-play commentary on his own trial, along with such reprehensible forgiveness of his transgressions by people who like what he did for them, are a major factor in nourishing New York’s dysfunctional, pathetic political climate.
Bruno says he’s disappointed at the jury’s decision, even though he was found not guilty of several other counts. He should be disappointed in how his own greed and misfeasance led to him becoming a convicted felony.
Bruno, who among many pursuits is a lover of race horses and has been involved in that field, once was asked what he thought about criminal charges against two organizations he had long supported with my tax dollars — the Institute for Entrepreneurship and the New York Racing Association. He gave this thoughtful, statesmanlike reply:
“It doesn’t make sense to look up a dead horse’s rectum. You want to look up a dead horse’s rectum, go ahead; it’s not something I’m going to do.”
In light of the court results, he now might prefer that view than having to look us in the eye.
(*) Joseph L. Bruno Town Park in Hoosick Falls, Joseph L. Bruno Family Resource Center of the Commission on Economic Opportunity for the Greater Capital Region Inc., the Joseph L. Bruno Scholarship from the New York State Summer School of Orchestral Studies, the Joseph L. Bruno Theater in the Arts Center of the Capital Region, the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium at Hudson Valley Community College, the Joseph L. Bruno Pavilion at Saratoga Spa State Park, the Joseph L. Bruno Biotechnology Development Center at Albany Molecular Research, the Joseph L. Bruno Lobby in the Greenbush Area YMCA … . I can’t go on.