In New York, Sucking Up to Union Bosses is a Bipartisan Affair

New York State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R) likes to fancy himself a representative of the taxpayers, but the New York Post knows a phony when they see one:

New York’s largest public-sector union, the Civil Service Employees Association [CSEA], is picking the lock on the state treasury.

And cynical Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno is happy to help.

CSEA, among others, is trying to shield public-sector retirees from even the slightest touch of budget pain – no matter how much everyone else in New York has to suffer.

The Post notes that the union is pushing a bill that would lock in public-sector retirees’ health benefits for at least a year, with every expectation of annual repeats . . . forever.

No wonder the New York State Association of Counties “strongly opposes” the bill, saying it “eliminates potential cost savings options of local governments desperately seeking” to make ends meet.

No wonder the Business Council of New York State, representing taxpayers, is likewise sounding alarms. The bill, the council says, tells officials that their “only choice going forward is to raise taxes,” rather than “find reasonable ways to reduce the costs.”

Bruno does not escape responsibility for this mess:

He and his Senate GOPers pretend to be the taxpayers’ champions, but – facing a tough November election – they’re just as ready to do the union’s bidding as are their Democratic peers: The Senate is set to pass the bill soon.

Bruno should tread carefully. Why, after all, would Republican voters back him and his GOP cohorts – when they’re no better than Democrats?

If the Senate does pass the bill, Gov. Paterson needs to follow the example of his two predecessors, Democrat Eliot Spitzer and Republican George Pataki, and veto it.

Instantly and without apology.