Joe Bruno is No John Sweeney

(Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

Who among us will ever forget the sight of Joe Bruno striding across State Street to have dinner at Jack’s after his sentencing yesterday? He is the embodiment of arrogance and entitlement.

Say what you will about John Sweeney, but at least he had the guts to stand up in court and take his licks.

It takes a man to admit he did something wrong, and for all his tough guy posturing, Joe Bruno doesn’t have the stuff. Up until yesterday, it seemed hard-hearted to send an old man to prison. Not anymore.

18 thoughts on “Joe Bruno is No John Sweeney

  1. Sweeney also has a pretty serious disease that, while not excusing any or all of his actions, certainly contributes to the general strife in his life. Joe’s just typical political hubris.

    I held on to the belief that all the good he did for the area somehow justified all the actions he took, infractions, and perks he accepted. But in thinking on it, I really can’t justify it as none of it was part of any means to an end so much as Uncle Joe cashing in.

    Did they wait until he was no longer useful to prosecute him for doing the same thing many other local politicians with his power and position have done for years? You betcha. Doesn’t make it right.

  2. I think you both should hold off til the Federal Gov’t addresses the issus of Honest Wages. In the mean time I will cease reading your blogs.

  3. I completely agree. Some of these public officials (former, in the case of Bruno) have no dignity or humility. If this had happened to you or me, we’d be embarrassed and contrite — at the very least for putting our loved ones through hell. Bruno just continues strutting around like a peacock. I hope the judge pays attention when deciding on a facility for the former Majority Leader.

  4. Rob…Comparing Bruno and Sweeney, are you taking something for your problem? There is no comparison. Bruno is a successful businessman who went into politics. Sweeney spent his entire life on the public payroll. Bruno, like him, envy him or hate him, never to my knowledge made an ass of himself in the public arena. No college girls in his lap when being stopped for driving errotically, no babes on his arm in a college bar in the early am in Schenectady. Never a charge of spouse abuse and on and on. Gee, how many times was Bruno stopped by troopers for suspected DWI and let go. Maybe you are miffed at not getting an invite to Jacks for din din!

  5. The federal ” honest services ” law used to convict Bruno
    is fuzzy and not likely to withstand the US Supreme Court.
    I had a lawyer friend tell me it is the equivalent of
    disorderly conduct, which any local cop can use to arrest
    someone for just about any reason, including talking back
    to a cop. Sweeney is the loud ,stupid frat boy. Bruno is
    the pompous college dean. Both brought themselves down,
    and deserve little sympathy

  6. “He is the embodiment of arrogance and entitlement.”
    Well said, Rob. Unfortunately I’m afraid he’ll never spend a day in
    jail. Observer, I knew him through my job years ago, and let’s just say he was no saint!

  7. Mustang – I cannot and will not apologize for forming and expressing an opinion on unethical behavior (much of which he was convicted of in a court of law) of a trusted public official.

    I am sorry, however, that you would honestly close your eyes and ears entirely and permanently to an entire blog simply because of your disagreement on a single matter.

  8. Since the statue of Joe at the airport is inaccessible to pigeons, would I be breaking any laws if I brought in a stepladder and crapped on it?

    Sigh…sort of kidding.

  9. Mustang: You shall be missed.

    Observer: I’m not defending Mr. Sweeney’s behavior, just pointing out that he has enough character to admit he did something wrong and has a problem. Maybe that’s not fair, because it looks like Joe Bruno doesn’t understand that what he did is wrong.

    I find it easier to forgive someone overtaken by his personal demons than someone who knowingly used his power and influence as a public official to line his pockets with cash. And even if he walks free, he’s still unethical.

  10. Erin’s Dad: That bust at the airport is a joke, but it sums up Joe Bruno. What sort of person goes along with having monuments erected in his honor while he still walks the earth? That’s the sort of things you see dictators doing.

  11. ROb, there really is no difference between the two. They were both drunk with power (and Sweeney a bit adult beverages). Sweeney said what he said because E. Stewart Jones told him to Bruno hasn’t said anything, because his attorney told him to.

    The next time Sweeney talks from the heart, will be the first.

  12. I have very limited sympathy for Sweeney. Alcoholism doesn’t excuse spousal abuse, or not seeking a designated driver, or just not going out at all when he knew he wanted to drink. it certainly doesn’t excuse his efforts in trying to obtain a light sentence for his bully of a son.

    I totally agree about Joe Bruno and the monuments!

  13. Rob – The only thing I saw in that photo were the backs of Joe and Ken Bruno’s heads. I didn’t see any “striding”, arrogant smugness, etc. I just saw a father and son going to have something to eat on what had to be a pretty rough day for both of them. I was a cop for 30 years and have what I believe is a fair grasp of state and federal law…and I still don’t get this “theft of honest services” thing…it’s really very vague. I don’t get why guys like you and Paul Vandenberg are so quick to judge and see something in a photo that’s not there. Let’s wait for the Supreme Court to make its ruling before we throw around those adjatives. – Garry Slyke

  14. Garry: Thanks for commenting.

    I should have been more specific in my writing. It was on TV that I saw that image, and I did not mean for the picture I used to represent the idea of Mr. Bruno striding across the street.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on whether he committed a crime, but you’re right, the Supreme Court may throw the whole thing out. And besides, this is America, where we should applaud Mr. Bruno for working the system for his own financial gain

  15. LOL. I’m actually a big fan of Talk 1300 and all of its hosts. But, I read enough of the Albany Eye to figure that Rob won’t be exactly puffed up about that particular pairing.

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