Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You can make a difference

As you read this, people are dying in Haiti. They’re starving. They’re sick. They’re scared. And that was before a 7-magnitude earthquake ripped through the capital of Port-au-Prince.

This poverty-stricken Caribbean nation was in bad shape long before concrete and timbers started raining down on them. Years of inept leadership left them with a nation mired in abject poverty. With exception to a very few corrupt despots, this is a population entirely bereft of even a modicum of prosperity.

And that’s exactly why you should consider giving money to the legal relief fund of former state Sen. Joe Bruno. He was there in our time of need, now we need to be there in his. For a measly $1,000 –less than the monthly lease payment on a 2009 H2 –you can buy a ticket to Hollywood Joe’s fundraiser at the Desmond in Colonie and help fund the best legal defense team money can buy.

See, unlike the Haitians, Bruno isn’t sick or starving, and he certainly didn’t seem scared when a trial jury found him guilty of federal corruption charges last month. And that’s exactly why affluent New Yorkers need to help him out. In short, this is a man who knows prosperity and can’t afford to lose it. He’s got plenty of fight left, and he plans to use every last bit of it to polish his larger-than-life image.

In contrast, the starving Haitian who spent three days buried beneath the ruble of a poverty-stricken nation’s ruined capital is probably going to die anyway. Even if he or she beats the odds and survives the aftermath of the quake thanks to a modest donation, that person will then need to subsist on the standard $2 the average Haitian earns per day.

Besides, they’ll likely fall prey to the lawlessness that will inevitably descend upon the country once the world stops paying attention to it in a few weeks and all those earnestly given dollars donated to the so-called cause will be lost in an anonymous grave. Or even worse, the aforementioned individual will lash some sub-standards rafts together and then join several dozen friends on a 700-mile sojourn across the Atlantic to Miami. Under these circumstances, it’s highly probable those donated dollars will end up feeding sharks, which is hardly the intended purpose, right?

Then there’s Joe. True, he’s already 80 years old. But he’s got lots of life to live, and it’s unlikely he’ll be able to do that living behind the confining bars of a federal penitentiary. Even worse yet, the taxpayers will have to pay for Bruno’s stay at Club Fed, which simply adds insult to injury from a fiscal perspective.

Of course, there are some wingnuts out there who think it’s not right for the disgraced senator to be soliciting money for his legal defense, which has cost $742,000 over the last six months and left the Committee to Re-Elect Senator Bruno fund more than $1,000 in the rears. These stinking hippies somehow think it’s wrong for multimillionaires like Nigro Company President John Nigro and Albany Med CEO James Barba to throw a lavish shindig aimed at raising money for a lawmaker who many view as the epitome of what is wrong with the system. Talk about wet rags.

Update: The Times Union reports a veritable who's who of shameless...um...philanthropists were among "the notable attendees" at Bruno's bash, including "banker Daniel J. Hogarty Jr.; lobbyists James Crane and James Featherstonhaugh, who was the first witness called by the government at Bruno's trial; lobbyist David Dudley, a former Rensselaer County Republican chairman and former Senate counsel to Bruno; Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola; and ex- state Sen. Mike Hoblock...Robert Mujica, a Senate budget specialist; former Senate counsel Michael Avella; Abe Lackman, an ex-state Senate finance secretary under Bruno; state Senate GOP spokesman John McArdle; ex-Senate secretary Steve Boggess and Jack Casey, a Senate lawyer." The fundraiser was also attended by Price Chopper President Neil Golub, who for some reason entered through a side door. Fancy that.

Seriously though, Bruno and his supporters have a lot of chutzpa to carry on this fiasco in wake of the most deadly natural disaster this hemisphere has seen in modern history. To say it's in poor taste to host such an event is sort of like saying it’s in poor taste to piss on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier during a Veteran’s Day observance.

Were Bruno and his followers to have even a teaspoon of tact, they’d do an about-face during this event and donate all the proceeds to the relief effort. The gesture would be both a show of class and a display of humility amid a tragedy that has wrought untold misery on our continent. Or better yet, this whole crew of plutocrats could forgo the fundraiser’s merriment, hop aboard one of their jump jets and go lend a hand down there. After all, sometimes a helping hand is worth more than a donated dollar.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear ya. I bookmarked this site awhile back along the same lines:

It's the best way to donate to the Uncle Joe Defense Fund, using negative dollars!


11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched ch 13 coverage of the fundraiser and found it very funny that the two men asking people to support Joe during the fundraiser were the two lawyers.

Also, i love when anyone has the audacity to question E Stewart Jones or his friends, in this case Jon Nigro, he turns it around and claims how insulting that criticism is.

Let's see, there is Jones, Nigro, who else from the SPAC Board of Directors attended?

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Lackman also involved with SPAC also not to mention Marcia White was appointed by Bruno?

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Let's see, there is Jones, Nigro, who else from the SPAC Board of Directors attended?"

Nigro's girlfriend Marcia ?

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, i hear Lackman is on the SPAC BOD and he was there too

Bruno should donate that money to the Haiti relief fund

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't the guy who organized this thing on the legislature's ethics committee?

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baba-booey! Baba-booey!
Howard Stern's penis!

and oh yeah: F*** the DFC, Ron Kim, the Scare-a-togian, Scirocco and Jasper.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe you posted on Haiti and Joe Bruno. Don't you know Donna Buckley wants her job back? The City Attorney threw an envelope at Skip? Why hasn't he resigned yet? McTygue is pulling the strings of the Mayor?

Hey, weren't we talking about some water line and using Saratoga Lake as a water source?

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:11 - Skip's handling of his so-called assault is the least of his problems. His department is falling apart and the union he crawled into bed has wet the mattress – a real mess.
What is your obsession with the previous DPW commissioner? Should we be reading about the previous Mayor or the previous DPS commissioner? Where is it written that when people leave politics that they should leave town and shut up?

The Skippy years will pale by comparison to those of Tommy.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can feel your pain.

You post on one subject, and.....wham !....we have been invaded by the bloggers known as "spit and spat".

Tighe and Demroc have an ongoing feud, but I hope they contain their spitting and spatting to their respective blogs.

10:21 AM  

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