Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pots And Kettles Show Up For NYC Controller Debate

To David Yassky, John Liu, Melinda Katz and David Weprin's credit, at least they showed up to debate each other. Yet since all of them have a chance at winning, it is simply politics 101 that a candidate attend events that gives free public exposure. Yet when as the Daily News points out that all four Controller hopefuls have similar viewpoints, these debates can get ugly, as they did last night.

This exchange about what races they've run for was quite amusing:

"I emphatically see the controller job, not as a steppingstone but an unbelievable opportunity to change city policy," said City Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn).

Councilman John Liu (D-Queens) scoffed that Yassky recently ran for Congress and Brooklyn district attorney.

"Dave, you've got to admit that this is like the fifth office you've run for in a number of years," Liu said.

But Liu was himself a late entry to the controller race after campaigning much of last year for public advocate.

He infuriated fellow Queens Dem David Weprin when he changed races, and Weprin wasn't about to let that slide.

"I just wanted to point out, since Councilman Liu brought it up about Councilman Yassky, that Councilman Liu was actively running for public advocate for a long period of time prior to announcing, only after Mark Green entered the race, that he was now running for controller," Weprin said.

Weprin agreed with Liu that Yassky had run for too many offices.

When Yassky insisted he had never run for district attorney, and had merely considered a run, Weprin said he attended a DA fund-raiser for Yassky.

"I was supporting you!" he said.

The comedy writes itself, but really, it is sad when four elected officials resort to calling each other out on being stereotypical politicians. Most voters are aware they are this way and for the most part, have accepted it. What they should be talking about is how they'll be effective controllers who will stand up to the overpowering office of the mayor. Though according to the Daily Gotham, you can at the very least cross Katz and Yassky off that list. At least Weprin and Liu have some relevant experience. Perhaps they can talk more about it and over the petty accusations of who has the most slime on their record.