You might remember a curious bit of Joe Bruno news from April: Around his birthday, a series of ads appeared in the Albany Times Union, exhorting the public to “Thank Joe Bruno” for lots of things, like “Tens of thousands of new jobs for our children.” The ads were hilarious in their unabashed brownnosing, but the real kicker was that nobody would say who placed them. The politician — the state’s top Republican, who always seems an inch away from a massive scandal but never quite makes it over the edge — swore up and down it wasn’t him. Well, there’s something going on between Bruno and Times Union. Now, reports the Times, Bruno is going on the offense and asking the county D.A. to investigate the newspaper for extortion. According to the senator, the Times Union pressured him to take out more ads in its pages in exchange for favorable coverage. We just want to know what the paper threatened if he didn’t comply — to keep reporting on the myriad federal, state, and county investigations against him?