There have been three public advocates in the short history of the office: Mark Green, Betsy Gotbaum and Bill de Blasio. All three used the office’s powers to scratch out a presence in city government, enabling two of them, Mr. Green and Mr. de Blasio, to become serious contenders for the city’s top job. Mr. Green didn’t quite get there; Mr. de Blasio still might.
So the public advocate is an important position, even if it has few responsibilities and a paltry budget of slightly more than $2 million per year. We think State Senator Daniel Squadron is the best-qualified Democrat seeking nomination for the office.
Last time Reshma Saujani ran for office, it didn’t go so well. The former deputy public advocate and Girls Who Code founder spent more per vote than billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but finished with just 19 percent in her 2010 primary challenge against Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
And even today, she continues to face flak for taking on a popular incumbent, which was painted most recently by one of her opponents as an anti-feminist move.
But Ms. Saujani, 37, said this time around, as she campaigns for public advocate, it’s a very different story.
It’s never too early to start speculating about the next election cycle. So we’re calling it, less than a month into the new year: 2013 will be New York tech’s debut as a political force.
Tech moguls and politicians have always been willing bedfellows, of course. Last year, technophiles in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area outpaced “Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street moguls” in funding President Obama’s reelection campaign, according to a report from MapLight.com. On the other side of the aisle–like far, far to the right–Facebook investor Peter Thiel “almost single-handedly” funded Ron Paul’s super PAC. After his fringe candidate dropped out of the race, Mr. Thiel donated $1 million to Club for Growth Action, a Tea Party super PAC.
Vice President Joe Biden is slated to spend this afternoon in New York City, heading to an event for the Democratic National Committee and then a fundraiser for east side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in two separate events.
The Maloney event at The Sheraton is in honor of her birthday–which was, in fact, February 19–and guests Read More
This morning Diana Taylor joined G.O.P. Senate hopeful David Malpass as he stumped for votes in the bowels of Penn Station, after spending yesterday’s morning rush with Democratic congressional hopeful Reshma Saujani on the Upper East Side. Far more commuters greeted her by name there than in the region’s central commuter hub.
Malpass and Read More
Straphangers hoping to make it through to the 86th and Lexington subway stop today had a longer than usual commute. Besides making their way through the throng of newspaper hawkers, there were small crowds of political canvassers plying their wares: attorney general candidate Kathleen Rice had people there, as did Ryan Brumberg, running for Congress Read More
Tomorrow looks like a big day for politics for the First Couple of New York. Earlier it was announced that Mayor Bloomberg will endorse G.O.P. comptroller hopeful Harry Wilson tomorrow afternoon. Now the Reshma Saujani campaign is out with an announcement that she will be campaigning alongside Diana Taylor, the mayor’s companion.
Taylor’s support of Read More
It’s the season of pre-election parties, and Reshma Saujani is hosting her’s at Hudson Terrace, which is billed as a luxurious rooftop bar on the west side of Manhattan. All of which is fine, except that Saujani is running for a seat on the east side of Manhattan.
The event is billed as Read More
More On That
This has been a summer of discontent, locally and nationally. The economy remains lackluster at best, demagogues are exploiting the nation’s anxieties and politicians seem either overwhelmed or clueless.
Locally, confidence in state government is (or should be) at rock bottom. The Legislature remains a laughing stock, and Governor Paterson simply is the wrong man Read More
Earlier today, Reshma Saujani hedged a little bit on the question of whether or not she would back Carolyn Maloney in the general election if she lost the primary next week.’
Saujani’s campaign quickly sent out a press release clarifying her remarks, and saying that of she would back the nominee of the Democratic Read More