Sunday, January 14, 2007

Strippers, Private Jets and Joe Bruno

There was once one 'Joe' that provided me with constant frustration and ridiculous behavior (a certain Senator in Connecticut). Now I need to differentiate between Lieberman and Bruno. Joe Bruno can't stay out of the news these days. First the F.B.I. starts investigating him, then it turns out his son is tangled in his web of corruption and now it seems the pressure is getting to State Senator Joe.

What is one to do when duty calls and you just don't want to work? Hide away with the comfort of your family, especially with an ailing wife or perhaps just staying in seclusion? When you are Joe Bruno there are much better things calling your name. While a debate over sex offenders was taking place in Albany last year, Joe was off to Florida with some 'friends' for a good time.

From The Times-Union:

It was Jan. 11, a Wednesday, and a bitter political debate over sexual offender laws was unfolding as Bruno boarded the private jet of his friend, Jared E. Abbruzzese, a Loudonville multimillionaire.

The two-day excursion included an expensive round of golf at an exclusive course, The Medalist, designed by Australian golf legend Greg Norman.

The day would end with Abbruzzese bankrolling the senator's visit to a strip club. The trip, the Times Union has learned, has become one of many events being scrutinized by federal authorities in an ongoing criminal investigation of the unusual relationship between the senator and the businessman.

Playing some golf in the warm winter sun of South Florida sounds much more relaxing than working for his constituents up in Albany. Now playing a round of golf is nice, but can you think of something even better for the Senator?

On the drive back from the golf course, the men pulled into Rachel's, a high-class strip club and steakhouse in the heart of West Palm Beach. There, patrons are greeted by overly polite valets who spend much of their time parking Range Rovers and customized BMWs driven by an almost exclusively male clientele.

A source who spoke to the Times Union about the trip said Bruno had no idea what was in store, although a sign outside indicates the club offers "adult entertainment."

Inside, $40 steaks and $90 bottles of wine are delivered by bow-tied waiters in a darkened four-star atmosphere. On two stages in the center of the club, female performers, some fully nude, move fluidly under pulsing strobe lights while tunes from rockers such as Tom Petty and Jimi Hendrix pierce the air.

For those seeking a closer encounter, the women, many resembling Playboy centerfolds, offer private lap dances -- at a $20 minimum -- on a leather-covered bench near a secluded spot in the back.

Now that's what I call living it up! NYBri over at The Albany Project comments on the illustrious Sen. Bruno:

"... in true JB fashion, a high class stripper thing at that. No truck stop, girlie bars for the Republican State Senate Majority Leader, no sir."

Will reporters, or the F.B.I. be asking Joe how many lap dances he had down there last year? Perhaps his wife and family are curious as well. Since this was one lobbyist-paid trip left out of the Senator's official documents, authorities will definitely hunt for all the details from this sordid affair.