This “Troopergate” scandal just keeps getting more and more convoluted. Today’s latest is just adding fuel to the fires. Some people, some offices, and some newspapers just don’t know when to shut up and fact check before going public with statements.
So here’s what’s transpired today. First off, the Albany Times-Union has a banner headline on the front page telling us that the Albany DA’s office found no wrong doing by anyone in the governor’s office conerning the use of State Police to gather dirt on Joe Bruno. Top third of the front page was dedicated to this. Now, they claimed this was an “exclusive,” which is why no other paper or news outlet in the area had any incling of this. Case in point, the Schenectady Gazette has no mention of this at all, in any section.
But the story doesn’t end there. Seems that David Soares, the DA, has determined no such thing. In fact, he’s released statements repudiating the “facts” in the TU article. Uh-oh. This is where things get interesting. There are two possibilities here. One, an overzealous employee of the DA’s office doesn’t know when to shut up, or has an agenda. Two, someone in the TU, not only the reporter but the editorial staff, are more concerned with causing damage to Joe Bruno than in reporting facts, and going where the story leads rather than where they want it to.
What Soares has said is that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s investigation was incomplete. No kidding. Between the governor’s counsel advising those under suspicion not to cooperate with the AG’s investigation, and the Inspector General’s conflict of interest, the AG was never going to get the full story. Which is why the State Senate is launching an inquiry. And though there is tepid Democratic upityness over it, I suspect they will all participate.
Side note here. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been awfully quiet on this whole matter. Sure, he’s feuding with Spitzer, and Eliot is still smarting over his defeat in replacing the disgraced Alan Hevesi. Still, I would have expected a political opportunist like Silver to take as advantage as he could. He could be a very important wild card in whatever is about to transpire.
Meanwhile, Spitzer is getting flak from some powerful or at least influential supporters. Mainly, and most importantly, both Mario Cuomo (ex-governor) and Ed Koch (former mayor of NYC), have both stated that Spitzer should testify under oath on this matter. Prior to this, Spitzer was refusing to do so under any circumstances. But since this “advice” from Cuomo and Koch, Spitzer has changed his tune.
So where does this leave us? A governor who is disgracing himself at every turn, a previously worthy paper has fallen into tabloid “journalism” (more like rumor mongering), a State Legislature that will be caught up in investigating this, and the people of NY sighing “here we go again,” while pundits around the nation have a good chuckle at us.