OMG! It's worse than I thought!
New York Times has a killer report on what the Senate Democrats are finding out as they assume the reins of power in Albany from the Republicans.
They recently realized there are some 75 employees working at the Senate’s own printing plant, a plain brick building on the outskirts of Albany. On Long Island, they found a small television studio, which had been set up — all with public money, with two press aides on hand to help operate it — for the exclusive use of Republican senators to record cable TV shows.
Democrats also came across what they are calling the “Brunomobile,” a $50,000 specially outfitted GMC van, with six leather captain’s chairs (some swiveling), a navigation system, rearview camera and meeting table. Joseph L. Bruno, the former Senate majority leader who was recently indicted on corruption charges, traveled in the van after his use of state helicopters sparked a feud with the Spitzer administration.
Then there are the parking spots, always at a premium near the Capitol. Democrats had been given roughly one spot per senator — there were 30 Democrats last year — and guessed there were perhaps double or even triple that controlled by the majority. Instead, they have learned, there are more than 800.
And Democratic leaders must determine what to do about 45 workers toiling away in a building close to the Capitol who appear to have been engaged in quasi-political research for the Republicans.
Of course, the report has promoted righteous indignation from Dean Skelos, who, I guess, would have gotten the keys to the Brunomobile had the GOP hung onto control of the Senate.
Reports The New York Daily News:
Skelos called the article "dumb" and rejected the suggestion that employees were "hidden," insisting that anyone who bothered to read the spending reports regularly released by the Senate majority would have been able to see where the money was going.
According to the minority leader, who was egged on by the Post's Fred Dicker during an interview on Talk 1300 AM, the real story is how the Senate Democrats aren't living up to their pledge to be more fair and equitable in treating the minority now that they're in power than the Republicans were when they ruled the roost.
(Somebody find me a video clip, please! I'm coming up empty.)