September 13, 2005
There's a Democratic primary in New York today. I didn't know there was such a thing as a Public Advocate in New York City until I started hearing about Andrew Raseij, but now that I do, he'd get my vote if I were there. He's done some thinking about the lessons of Katrina and how they relate to the office he seeks, which I think are worth your time to read. Check it out, and if you're in the City, please go and vote.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 13, 2005 to Election 2005
The Public Advocate position was created as part of the City Charter reforms (best known for the creation of term limits for most elected city positions) of the early 1980s. It was created to remove the power of the head of the City Council (at the time, Peter Vallone) and create the equivalent of an ombudsman for the city.
Unfortunately, your candidate does not have a very good chance of winning, since Betsy Gotbaum is established in the position, is a career politician, is running in a primary where winning guarantees victory in November, and most importantly is running in a primary where a very low turnout is expected. What's worse, the Democratic mayoral primary is expected to produce a runoff, and the winner is expected to lose heavily to Mayor McCheese (Bloomberg) in November in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-1.
Public Advocate is what the City Council President got converted to in the charter revision of the early 1990s. It's second in line to the mayor, though Giuliani arranged for a charter change so that there's a special election within a year if that happens. Mark Green was PA at the time, and Rudy hated him.
Steve Gilliard has a good blog to read if you care about NYC politics. He's also been good lately about the hurricane.
BTW, it's Rasiej. Don't ask me how it's pronounced.
The incumbent won: