If you think the State Senate has backed off the Spitzer-Bruno dogfight ever since Roger Stone made an unbelievable idiot out of himself (and spoiled Frost/Nixon for the rest of us), you’re sorely mistaken. Judging from the few recent developments, we suspect the Albany Republicans are just getting started. Senators are expected to vote today to subpoena State Police superintendent Preston Felton, a figure central to the accusations against Spitzer (which, for those of us who prefer not to litter our brains with such trivia, involve the gov’s using state troopers to spy on Joe Bruno’s use of state helicopters). No acting NYS top cop has ever been subpoenaed before. Once they’re done with Felton, the GOP panel is planning to give the same treatment to Richard Baum and Darren Dopp, the two former Spitzer aides who refused to testify under oath earlier.
This makes for quite a shift from late July, when Spitzer’s spokesperson, Christine Anderson, claimed that “the State Senate lacks the constitutional authority to conduct investigatory hearings into the internal operations of the governor’s office.” We’re no constitutional scholars, but the subpoena itself registers as a major defeat for the Spitz. Or is the Senate overstepping its authority in investigating whether Spitzer overstepped his authority in investigating whether Bruno overstepped his authority?