From Noticing New York:
Different Kinds of Elections: When It Is Wise to Vote For the Best candidate and When It Isn’t
After voters figure out which candidate’s deeds in office might actually comport with their campaign rhetoric they still have to figure where their votes can be effective. There are two kinds of elections going on this primary. Citywide elections will result in run-offs if no candidate receives more than 40% of the vote. City Council District primaries are decided by mere plurality.
Starting with the Easy Avella/Thompson Race: We like Avella
The primary election between Thompson and Avella is a straightforward matter for the voter: Just vote for the best candidate, or if you feel that Bloomberg is destined to win the upcoming general elections because of the hundreds of millions he is spending on the election, vote for the Democratic candidate who will send the clearest message to Bloomberg. Avella is clearly the best candidate.
Running Off to the Public Advocate Race: We Like Siegel
In citywide races with multiple candidates, the voter first must guess whether a runoff is likely. If a runoff election is expected or likely, a voter can send a clear message by voting for the candidate who is actually best. For instance, a runoff is likely in the race for Public Advocate. We think that voters should therefore vote for Norman Siegel since he is best suited for the job.
Of all the candidates for Public Advocate Mr. Siegel is the one who has essentially already started the job. The budget for the Public Advocate office has been substantially cut and Mr. Siegel is surely the best suited to be able to do a lot with a little. He already does, partly by knowing how to use the law.
One way or another this election is going to be about those who will be able to take on Bloomberg and restore a balance of power. For instance, Eric Gioia did an excellent job at the kind of thing that Public Advocate will have to do when he championed opposition to the Dock Street approvals. We think Mr. Siegel is most likely of all the candidates to be able to do that kind of job well and dependably. We note that Mr. de Blasio, like Mr. Siegel, joined in the lawsuit to challenge Bloomberg’s override of term limits. Still, for Mr. de Blasio the Office of Public Advocate is just a stepping stone to another office and the office doesn’t seem to really suit his temperament. It was not his first choice. Originally he wanted to run for Borough President.
Suitable candidates for Public Advocate (and for Comptroller) should all have shown their suitability by coming out in opposition to the Atlantic Yards and by criticizing the recent MTA giveaways. Norman Siegel did that and he has been consistently fighting eminent domain abuse. While Mr. de Blasio has expressed reservations about Atlantic Yards but as the project had grown significantly worse de Blasio has been waffling and inexcusably hiding out. Mr. de Blasio has also never opposed eminent domain abuse.
Running Off to the Comptroller Race: Liu or Yassky?
The Comptroller’s race is another race likely to go to a run-off election. Noticing New York readers worried about Bloombergian-style development and manipulation should NOT vote for Melinda Katz. Candidates Yassky and John Liu both oppose Atlantic Yards and are both likely to do well in the election. As both are able, what should be the deciding factor? It has been complained that Yassky should have opposed Atlantic Yards earlier and he likely could have been more strongly in opposition quite recently. Liu has many principled votes to his credit where he has often been heroically in the minority to oppose Christine Quinn-led Council Vote fixes. Where Liu shown commendably and Yassky behaved inexcusably was on the vote to overturn term limits. Yassky should never have supported Bloomberg’s power grab and the power garb has left the city multiple problems that will now be much harder to address.