Joe Bruno Plays the Ponies

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Photo: AP


Our nomination for most sweetly quaint sentence ever about an FBI inquiry into the business dealings of a powerful politician: "Mr. Bruno bought two mares from Mr. Mack." The former is, of course, Joe Bruno, the state's top Republican; the latter is Earle Mack, a fellow Thoroughbred enthusiast and a former ambassador to Finland (okay, now it's turning into P.G. Wodehouse). The Albany Times Union followed the money, as today's Times reports: Bruno bought the mares from Mack for $50,000, bred them, and auctioned off the three resultant foals for $425,000 (nice, um, flip?). The buyer of one of the foals, at $105,000, was, you won't be shocked to hear, Mr. Mack. There's nothing illegal about the transaction, of course, except the persistent impression that Mack, a major GOP donor, either (a) is the world's most eccentric businessman or (b) wanted to make Bruno very happy. In either case, here's a question: Why can't all political scandals be about horses? Let the noble animal, at least, confer some dignity on the participants.

Bruno Inquiry Scrutinizes Thoroughbred Transactions [NYT]