It looks like two local reporters, Michele Bolton and Bob Port, have committed the unforgivable crime of...."investigatory journalism." We refer to the stories that appeared in Thursday's Times Union about a Bruno-to-Bruno money deal, whereby Bruno gave Bruno a gift that then became a loan so Bruno could repay Bruno the loan that was a gift when Bruno divorced his wife so Bruno didn't have to be deposed.....At the end of the story I wasn't sure if Bruno gave the money to Bruno or vice-versa, but I do know I wouldn't cash a check for either one of them.
It's an intriguing story and we have a feeling there's more to come. We'd like to commend the writers for going beyond press release journalism.
Since the article is there for all to read we won't rehash the facts. We will raise certain points and perhaps speculate (we know, we know, if we speculate too much we'll grow hair on our palms and go blind).
1. How does one build a 5,000 square foot house on waterfront property with a loan of less than $340,000? The property and house have to be worth more than $800,000 and that's a conservative estimate. Was this done through one of those real estate infomercial programs? If so, which one?
2. How did Ken Bruno become $600,000+ in debt? Just curious? A Pokemon Card habit?
3. Did the contractor(s) who built his stately pleasure dome have any involvment in building Joe Bruno Stadium?
4. Did the cost of this entire project include landscaping? The aerial shot in the TU shows some pretty bad landscaping. Ken should get some money back for that.
5. When did First Niagara begin this great loan program? Why haven't they advertised? "Credit problems? Delinquent on mortgage payments? Don't worry. Come on down and get a $50,000 unsecured loan at 5%." Is this available to everyone?
6. Why isn't the ex-Mrs. Bruno getting her share? What's the holdup? Just take out another loan.
Now, Republicans will run to their defense. We know this because that is what partisans do. We know it probably won't happen but we hope the man or woman who is a Republican and works two jobs just to make ends meet finally realizes that this is how their masters live. Men of the people.
And just to show we aren't complete partisan hacks, the most memorable quote in the article comes from a Democrat:
The ranking minority member of the Senate Ethics Committee also refused to discuss ethics rules, refused to discuss past ethics cases and refused to discuss any hypothetical questions.
"We don't talk about ethics," said Sen. William Stachkowski, D-Buffalo, the ranking minority member on the committee. "Everything we do is secret."