De Blasio Gets the Times, Nadler Does the Robocalls

Bill de Blasio scored a coup this weekend, winning the endorsement of The New York Times for public advocate over Mark Green, who The Times endorsed for mayor in 2001 and attorney general in 2006.

Hours after the endorsement came out on Saturday, de Blasio’s campaign put out a robocall featuring Jerry Nadler, who reads part of the endorsement.

The endorsement would seem to solidify de Blasio as front-runner for the not-Green spot in a possible run-off.

The line of the endorsement that stuck out most, to me at least, was the one acknowledging Green’s and Norman Siegel’s strong record of opposing former mayor Rudy Giuliani, but adding that “the city and its politics have changed considerably under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

Bloomberg’s people have made no secret of their dislike for the office, and their contempt for the people running for it, who they feel will be running for mayor shortly after Election Day. (The only candidate they sort of like seems to be Norman Siegel, who has said that he doesn’t want to run for mayor, and argued that the comptroller, not the public advocate, take over if the mayor is unable to serve.)

Interestingly, The Times inadvertently provided an illustration of what critics of the office say is an ill-defined reason for its existence: The editorial says that among the public advocate’s responsibilities are “casting tie votes at the City Council.” Actually, according to the City Charter, “The public advocate shall have the right to participate in the discussion of the council but shall not have a vote.”