Watch the debate
The four major candidates for public advocate debated once again Tuesday night in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. They were all posed a hypothetical question about succession, in which the mayor suddenly resigned and the public advocate automatically succeeded him. “If a special election were held several weeks later, would you try to stay on as mayor?” Mark Green was the first to answer.
GREEN: I presume yes. If you care about making sure senior centers stay open, if you care about making sure that domestic violence victims keep their jobs, the mayor can have better say and sway than even the public advocate.
But Eric Gioia said he’s only interested in being the public advocate.
GIOIA: I’m not running to climb the next rung on the ladder. That’s not what this race should be about, and that’s not what this race is for me.
Bill de Blasio refused to answer, saying it was a hypothetical question. Norman Siegel said he would not run for mayor, and said the city comptroller should be first to succeed the mayor, not the public advocate.
The issue of eminent domain came up – and Bill de Blasio said he supports its occasional use.
DE BLASIO: There are times when in the interest of creating affordable housing and jobs for local residents it is appropriate to use eminent domain, only if we are sure we are going to get a very substantial community benefit.
But Norman Siegel disagreed, directing his response at De Blasio and Mark Green.
SIEGEL: Mark and Bill have been on record supporting Atlantic Yards with the abuse of eminent domain. They talk about affordable housing, but you can’t ignore the constitutional violation of the government taking private property and giving it to a private developer.
Eric Gioia sided with Siegel.
Listen in on the entire debate between Bill de Blasio, Eric Gioia, Mark Green, and Norman Siegel: