Fact-Checking a Heated Public Advocate Debate

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Leticia James and Daniel Squadron during the Campaign Finance Board's Democratic Public Advocate runoff debate. (NY1 Video)

Last night's runoff debate for the Democratic Public Advocate nomination was testy and full of both personal and policy-oriented attacks -- from ties to Bloomberg to questions about contributions from developers and affordable housing at the Brooklyn Bridge Park project. Ben Max of DecideNYC and Zack Fink of NY1 News fact-check the claims and discuss what comes next for Tish James and Daniel Squadron.


Zachary Fink and Ben Max

Comments [17]

Alexandra from Brooklyn

They both came across pretty awfully in this debate; however, I prefer James. I do believe Squadron has more of a pro-corporate, charter school Bloomberg mentality, and I appreciate James' long career fighting for the underdog and background as a public defender.

Sep. 26 2013 07:50 AM
Amanda from Brooklyn

A pox on both their houses. What a waste of New Yorkers' and New York's time and money.

Sep. 25 2013 03:30 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Bob & Edward, I didn't see the NYT photo, but the shots of them on WNYC's home page yesterday made me think for a second that they were armwrestling!

Sep. 25 2013 02:04 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Bob from Pelham, NY


Great point!

Sep. 25 2013 11:12 AM
Bob from Pelham, NY

Did anyone else notice how much the debate picture in today's Times looks like a snapshot of a Saturday Night Live Weekend Update skit?

Sep. 25 2013 11:05 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

One point I heard Squadron make during the debate was James kept mentioning that she was against Bloomberg policies,

and Squadron pointed out that James voted with Bloomberg policies 100+ times.

If that is true, it does undermine James' claims to be anti-Bloomberg.

As a side note, I've read some things about DeBlasio's past and if true would make him a terrible choice for Mayor of NYC. We'll wait and see what comes out.

Sep. 25 2013 11:00 AM
Henry from Manhattan

On body language. yes, there was a striking difference listening to the debate on the radio and then coming home to see the body language of James and Squadron on television.

I don’t expect politicians to be television stars, but they need to practice being on camera a little if they want to win an election.

Sep. 25 2013 10:53 AM
RJ from prospect hts

I was surprised that James did not point out how strenuously she has fought the Ratner plans for the Atlantic yards and the takeover of the neighborhood by eminent domain. Where was Squadron throughout that? It was a lengthy campaign and she was one of the strongest neighborhood advocates.

Re: Squadron's trust fund: The Madoff scheme came to light in December 2008, so he was in fact a trust fund kid throughout his first campaign (which I supported him in as a trade-off for Marty Connor).

Why did Squadron run for State Senate, a messy dysfunctional alleged legislative body that needs smart, energetic reformers, only to leave it after one term? Is that the kind of public official we need? To get in the middle of an entity that needs deep, profound reforms--only to leave?

Sep. 25 2013 10:52 AM
Eliza from Brooklyn

As a member of her district, when i had an issue i contacted her about, she got back to me right away (like in 5 min!), and she helped me. And A LOT of people from my neighborhood had issues with other things and she was on it. I didn't see the debate and not sure how she came across, but I can say this woman takes care of business and cares about her constituents. She is always out in the community and very vocal, she's got my vote!

Sep. 25 2013 10:50 AM
Henry from Manhattan

Was listening on my walk home and ended up watching the rest on NY1.

I voted for James, but I like Squadron too, I liked a lot of the public advocate candidates.

A little disappointed in James on this debate. A little bit too much Bloomberg bashing from both of them when Lehrer and Louis kept asking them to be specific about how they would potentially act under a de Blassio administration.

Sounds like Squadron has patently denied that he lives off of a trust fund and if no one can verify it, then I'll go with that story. Who cares anyway?

Sep. 25 2013 10:46 AM
Matthew from Brooklyn

How about the fact that she keeps calling him Dan, rather than Senator or Mr. Squadron? Seems patronizing.

Sep. 25 2013 10:46 AM
hicoachrich from Murray Hill

it is more relevant that he lost it all to Madoff that will make him a good guardian of others...

Sep. 25 2013 10:46 AM
Tom Crisp from UWS

Come on - FDR "came from wealth" and did more for the common man than any politician in history.

Sep. 25 2013 10:44 AM
antonio from baySide

Both were very cogent, but the body language of councilman James was a detractor....(I watched the debate)
She looked straight ahead the whole time! At times it made her good questions looked pompous! It was so hard to listen to her cause it was bothersome!

Sep. 25 2013 10:43 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I saw some of the debate.

The above picture perfectly captures the body language of the debate.

Leticia James must have had a stiff neck or was frightened because she only looked straight ahead. Daniel Squadron looked toward her to connect with her but that never happened.

I did come away thinking that Leticia James had made good points, but that was a really STRANGE debate.

Sep. 25 2013 10:40 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

It would be tragedy if SIBL were closed.

How about Mike Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison chip in and save the NYC libraries?

How about libraries get corporate sponsors. Citi, Staples, Barclays...

Sep. 25 2013 10:34 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

It was interesting that the subject of the Bloomberg administration's sell-off of libraries didn't come up, something Tish James has been opposing since they were unveiled.

More here:

Monday, September 23, 2013
Sell-Offs Of New York City Libraries Gets Focus In Public Advocate Runoff Race Between James and Squadron

In addition, this will continue this afternoon as candidates come to our rally opposing the sell-offs outside the NYPL Trustees meeting today at 5:00 PM, the Countee Cullen Library at 104 West 136th Street.

Sep. 25 2013 10:08 AM

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