First, it was former State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi pleading guilty in 2006 to defrauding the state. Then scandal felled the governor himself in 2008, when Eliot L. Spitzer got caught in a prostitution ring. Now one of Albany's most powerful figures of recent years – former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno – joins a long list of state Capitol titans consumed by what critics call Albany's culture of corruption. Following Bruno's Monday conviction on two felony charges,” there is little optimism that the shame now worn by one of Albany's “three men in a room” will spur meaningful reform, says the Buffalo News.
They say the laws already exist to protect taxpayers from conflicts of interest such as Bruno's. What's lacking are enough people to quit looking the other way. “If the good-government groups, editorial boards and some elected officials think that changing the law will stop the next Joe Bruno, they're wrong,” said David M. Grandeau, former executive director of the State Commission on Lobbying. “The only thing that will prevent the next scandal is people willing to do the right thing and enforce the rules we have.”