The New York Daily News - Editorial - November 23, 2009
Before that, a Senate lawyer testified that Bruno ignored his warnings to stop mixing public and private affairs. Before that, jurors learned that senators are routinely advised to hand-deliver financial disclosure forms to the Legislative Ethics Commission - the better to avoid federal mail fraud charges for any lies they might contain. Before that, Bruno's longtime secretary testified that she handled all the senator's personal bookkeeping - not to mention Christmas shopping - out of his Capitol office. In fact, the trial has made clear that Bruno treated his government digs, and his aides, as appendages of private enterprises. He took meetings with clients there. He received his "consulting" checks there. Government secretaries sitting at government desks opened his business mail. Government lawyers drafted his business contracts. He even named his firm "Capitol Business Consultants." What more evidence does anyone need that "Albany ethics" is a contradiction in terms? Bruno didn't just skirt the laws barring profiteering from his public office and abuse of government resources. He apparently blew right through them. And the small army of enablers surrounding him knew exactly what was going on but held their tongues. And now virtually every member of the Assembly and Senate have joined in the silence. Where are the outraged press conferences to denounce gross abuses of the public trust? Where is the rush of proposals to ban private business from government offices, to require full disclosure of legislators' outside incomes, to finally create a truly tough, truly independent ethics watchdog in Albany? Where is Joe's Law?