Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The End of the Public Advocate?

I just got a little worked up when I read the following:

Will the position of "Public Advocate" finally be eliminated? The recent compensation commission glossed over this. How do you increase the salary of a position that, well, doesn't do much? (The same applies to borough presidents.) If you're the compensation commission, you just simply ignore these minor facts, look at the current salaries, and raise them all proportionately.

In today's NY Post is "Betsy's Car $$: Scramble to Pay Auto Bills." The Public Advocate position is just about done.

Anyone who has read me on Betsy Gotbaum will not be surprised that I responded thusly:

This reminds me of the Bushies staffing the DHS with incompetent cronies. "We believe this agency should not exist, therefore we'll fill it with people who will run it into the ground, and eventually it will be hard to remember a time when the agency actually got anything done, and everyone will want to eliminate it."

It's not the Office of the Public Advocate that doesn't do anything, it's Betsy Gotbaum. The NYT editorial board will spend a couple extra decades in purgatory for endorsing her over Norm Siegel. I mean seriously, what the fuck were they thinking?

Unless you're under the age of 25, you really have no excuse for not remembering that Mark Green was often the only check against Giuliani's excesses and power-grabbing. Norm Siegel could have figured out a new role for the Office in the age of a less fascist mayor. But Betsy? She's more like Mrs. Potato Head: jolly and ineffectual. Exactly the opposite of what a PA should be.


  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Try not to worry about it too much. Barry Popik is kind of a crank.

  • At 4:06 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    I had never noticed his byline before. I hope he's not correct.

  • At 11:39 PM, Blogger Eugene Weixel said…


    "Since Becoming Public Advocate I've Issued Report After Report"

    New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum Gets No Respect.

    New York Cityty Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum Sure Knows How to Issue Reports. The problem is even though she is New York city's lead elected Democrat and even though she is President of The City Council and even though she is an ex officio member of every committee of The City Council, no one who's anyone responds when she complains about ACS. Pretty useless I'd Say...

    Review of Failed Child Welfare System Needed

    Many facts and details come to light when a child is killed, yet
    the child welfare system doesn’t seem to learn the lessons
    that could help prevent the next tragedy.

    The fatal injury 4-month-old Preston Hertzog allegedly suffered
    at the hands of his parents two weeks ago is just the most recent
    example of this failure. ACS, the foster care system, Family Court—all
    at one point or another knew that Antonio Patterson and Tamirra
    Hertzog, Preston's parents, were a danger to their children. What
    was done to protect those children? That remains to be determined,
    but clearly it was not nearly enough to save a defenseless 4-month-old.

    "Since becoming Public Advocate, I have issued report after report
    about the failure of the Administration of Children’s Services
    to protect children from abuse and neglect. The latest report
    from my office, issued just a few weeks ago, uncovers even more
    problems with ACS than we knew about in the past. Lawyer turnover
    rates and high caseloads lead to the Family Courts committing
    “malpractice,” as one former ACS attorney told us.

    It is clear to me that we are running in place. ACS is a failed
    agency, part of a failed child welfare system. Simply changing
    the names at the top is not enough to rescue it. The time has
    come for an independent, public review of the way ACS operates
    and, more importantly, of every single case in the child welfare

    I am calling for such an independent review of ACS and the entire
    child welfare system, including foster and Family Court. "



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