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And nothing but the truth

"Truth, that's all."

So went Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno Wednesday about what he hopes a Senate investigations committee will discover at its second hearing scheduled for tomorrow into the campaign by top aides to Gov. Eliot Spitzer to use the State Police to track Bruno's travels using state aircraft.

On tap to testify at Thursday's hearing is state Inspector General Kristine Hamann, a Spitzer appointee whose office earlier this summer sided with a report by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that found no laws were broken during the smear campaign. Senate Republicans have questioned how hard the inspector general's office handled its investigation, and were threatening to subpoena Hamann if she didn't agree to testify in public today.

The IG's office is charged with investigating public corruption.

Bruno on Wednesday declined to confirm or deny a report in the New York Post this week that the Senate would be looking into millions of dollars in loans by Bernard Spitzer, a wealthy Manhattan real estate developer, to his son, the governor, during his 1994 and 1998 campaigns for attorney general.

But Bruno said a whole slew of Senate committees are being activated to look into everything from the condition of state bridges to ethics laws. "We need daylight. That's what we're up to,'' Bruno told reporters after an event near Albany.

"Stay tuned,'' Bruno said when asked if the Senate would be investigating the campaign loans made by the elder Spitzer to the governor.

Before ending his session with reporters, the Legislature's top Republican sought to bring the whole matter into a sort of Big Brother perspective. "The danger for the citizens, for the 19 million citizens of this state, is that people in powerful positions are out to get you. They don't like what you're doing? They're going to get you. Not just beat you. Destroy you,'' he said.

Besides the Spitzer administration monitoring of his travels, Bruno has been under investigaiton for about a year by the FBI, which is looking into his private business dealings.

--Tom Precious

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