Frequent Candidate Asks Tough Questions

This just in from Horowitz from the New York Law Journal AG debate at the city bar association offices on West 43rd Street:

After 45 minutes of mostly substantive debate between Mark Green, Andrew Cuomo and Sean Patrick Maloney, the forum devolved into a shouting match with a familiar dynamic: Green attacks Cuomo’s public record, Cuomo attacks Green’s attacks.

During the first part of the debate, the candidates talked about everything from the merits of MySpace to enforcement of the environmental code.

But the personal hostility between Green and Cuomo, who sat next to each other, came out during the closing remarks, which Green used as an opportunity to call into question Cuomo’s record fighting housing discrimination at HUD, to bring up a lawsuit by Eliot Spitzer against HUD over the use of pesticides in federally funded housing, and to keep Cuomo under pressure over yesterday’s Village Voice story on his profitable relationship with Andrew Farkas.

Cuomo asked for an extra minute to respond, during which he went after Green for being a frequent candidate and for waging damaging negative campaigns.

Green visibly flipped out, dipping repeatedly back into his chair to make eye contact with the helpless moderators to beg for time to respond to the response.

Green got his time, sort of, but it turned into a two-way argument over Green’s negativity during which the candidates talked over each other and Green actually tried to shush Cuomo.

There was at least one substantive question that showed a difference between the candidates: a theoretical proposition asking whether an attorney general should prosecute cases he believes to be either unconstitutional or immoral. Cuomo and Maloney said that the AG has to do the job even when it conflicts with personally held opinion. Green effectively said that the AG had the right to refrain.

— Josh Benson

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