Updated 09/24/2009 08:50 AM
Democratic PA Candidates Face Off In Runoff Debate
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With the Democratic runoff set for next Tuesday, the remaining pair of contenders for city public advocate squared off in their final televised debate Wednesday night on NY1.
Former Public Advocate Mark Green, who held the post when Rudy Giuliani was mayor, began the debate by attacking City Councilman Bill de Blasio over a private business contract linked to the working families party and ACORN.
City comptroller candidates John Liu and David Yassky will take part in a final debate this Thursday. NY1 will carry the debate LIVE beginning at 7 p.m.
"The Working Families party and ACORN put $30,000 in his pocket, so when they come and visit him at City Council who is he working for? You or his employers?" asked Green.
He says though de Blasio got clearance, he hasn't been entirely forthright about the dealings.
De Blasio, however, says Green was blowing the contract out of proportion.
The Brooklyn councilman retorted that Green has overstayed his welcome on the political stage, after mounting a series of failed attempts for office.
"Mark is reverting to form and reverting to attacks and I don't think the public is going to buy that in general and they certainly are not going to buy that he's not an insider given that he has been running for office most of the last 30 years," de Blasio said.
Green was also asked about his role in the startup of 311, despite evidence to the contrary.
During the lightning round where candidates were limited to a yes or no answer, Green admitted he didn't have a library card while de Blasio did. Both supported stadiums in the city and want the Nets to move to Brooklyn.
"The issue is who can you best trust to be on your side fighting for you in the bureaucracy and over City Hall. I think a known trusted advocate should hold the advocate's jobs, not just a skilled politician," Green said.
"I want to be a strong public advocate, who can stand up to the mayor whoever the mayor is, who can organize communities for change," de Blasio said. "I want to work with whoever's mayor, when they're right. But when they're wrong and ignoring the will of the people, I want to take that mayor on."
As for Governor David Paterson's new clean-shaven look, Green says it will help him politically. The goateed de Blasio, of course, said no.
Neither candidate received the required 40 percent in last week's primary. De Blasio edged Green 33 percent to 31 percent.
A new poll released Wednesday shows the race in a dead heat ahead of Tuesday's runoff election.