Saturday, November 01, 2008

Why Is Bill de Blasio Running for Public Advocate?

Why Is Bill de Blasio running for Public Advocate, rather than for a third Council term or for the Borough President seat he had been running for prior to the Mayor's power grab? We don't know.

We understand that he is afraid of Marty's war chest and popularity, though if Bill de Blasio thought he was the right man for that job prior to the power grab, presumably he'd think so now regardless of Marty's love in parts in of the borough.

If he was the man for the Public Advocate job prior to the term limits fight, then why wasn't he running for that office then? And if he wasn't the man for that open seat then, why is he the man for that open seat now? He's not.

His explanation sheds little light on the question. He told the Courier Life chain of papers (not on line yet):
"The reasons (for running or public advocate) are straightforward and a lot of it is the experience I just went through in my leading the efforts against Mike Bloomberg extending term limits. It points out we need elected officials who stand up and express viewpoints of the people."

"The safe thing would have been to stay in the Council, but I think I have something to offer in the public advocate job, and we need people who can stand up to the mayor and I've proven I can do it. That's how I look at the world. To organize the people to defend their interest."

Well, we don't remember Bill standing with the people, or organizing the people other than his leadership on the term limits fight (and even that can be considered self-serving and political gamesmanship.) Standing with the people, we think, would mean challenging the obnoxious Markowitz despite the risk of defeat.

Sure, de Blasio has at times expressed tepid criticism of Atlantic Yards, but overall through the years he has been an unconditional supporter, and while he has meekly questioned the project at times he has never "organized the people."

We'll see how he approaches Atlantic Yards on the Public Advocate campaign trail.

He says he can stand up to the Mayor, as the term limits fight proved, but when else has he stood up to the Mayor and how can he stand up to the Mayor when he's afraid to even stand up to Markowitz?

We'll stick with Norman Siegel for Public Advocate, as he has been the shadow Public Advocate for at least the past five years, during which time he has made it clear why he's the right person for the job. De Blasio, on the other hand, just decided he is the right man for the job because he is afraid of Markowitz and because Gotbaum won't run again. Those aren't good reasons.


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