Both of our tabloids place Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno’s surprise retirement announcement on the front page. The Daily News devotes one-and-a-half pages to the bombshell and the Post gives the story most of page two. Both chose to go with a straightforward article and an analysis piece, along with a “timeline” sidebar of Bruno’s life and career.
The Daily News also includes a retrospective on the scandals that have plagued the Republican State Senator. Bruno is under investigation by the FBI for his horse-breeding business and some a questionable land deal. Bruno has denied any wrongdoing. The Post alludes to “some political insiders” who “suspect Bruno, whose party holds just a one-seat majority in the Senate, decided not to seek re-election as part of an arrangement to avoid indictment by the Northern District US Attorney’s Office.” Bruno’s aides deny the implication.
Even more interesting is some of the speculation that Democratic Gov. Paterson had hoped Republicans would hold a majority in the Senate next year so that he could continue to work closely with Bruno. Frederic Dicker reports that Paterson yesterday was accused of “offering a Democratic senator who barely own a special election in February a lucrative state job in an effort to vacate his seat so that Republicans could recapture it in November.”
This isn’t the end of this story. Soon we’ll have retrospectives on Bruno’s career, along with greater analysis of What This All Means in the grand scheme of Albany politics. Wait until Wayne Barrett takes a crack at it. His last Bruno piece was quite entertaining.