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New York Lawmakers Weigh in on Spitzer Scandal

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The state's top lawmakers broke their silence Wednesday and spoke out about what the Spitzer scandal means for the immediate future of state governance.

Lawmakers took the high road, responding to what is being called Spitzer's personal and political tragedy. His resignation means Lieutenant Governor David Paterson becomes the state's top executive on Monday. It also makes Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno second in charge.

He will assume the responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor, including a vote on the floor of the senate. Bruno said he finds no joy in the ironic turn of events that brought down his chief nemesis.

Bruno said he looks forward to working with Paterson as Governor. Bruno said they shared an excellent relationship and partnered on many issues when Paterson was Senate Minority Leader. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver echoed Bruno's enthusiasm for the state's future governor. Silver said he believes Paterson has the intellect, charisma and humor to become one of the state's finest governors.

But Silver was also quick to defend Spitzer's record as governor.

He said he accomplished much during his short tenure, including workers compensation, budget - and even ethics reforms. New York's senior United States Senator Charles Schumer said the scandal should not mean an end to those ideals.

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins agrees. He said the important work on behalf of New Yorkers must, and will continue.

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