A public advocate debate about personal finances, and Bloomberg

James and Squadron. (screen grab via NY1.)
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The two remaining candidates for public advocate engaged in a contentious and personal debate on NY1 last night, in the hopes of winning over any undecided voters who might turn out for the city's lone run-off election next week.

Councilwoman Letitia James and State Senator Daniel Squadron each accused the other of withholding from the public aspects of their personal finances, and of being overly supportive of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Squadron said James "hid her rental income," and "failed" to tell the public she is a landlord. He called on her to release her tax returns by this morning.

James, seeking to portray Squadron as rich and out-of-touch, said she would, "just as I hope you would release the fact you have a trust fund. I mean, you have lived on a trust fund for a very long time."

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James amended her financial disclosure forms earlier this year to include income from a rental property in Fort Greene, after being asked about the property by a Crains reporter, and she had promised in an earlier debate to release her tax returns.

Squadron's father was a prominent media attorney, but the candidate has said his family's fortune was lost in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. (The issue had also been raised during the primary by Reshma Saujani, who finished third, and is now supporting James.)

Later, the candidates argued about who was a closer ally of Bloomberg.

James said Squadron failed to endorse Bill Thompson in 2009, when he was the Democratic mayoral nominee running against Bloomberg. Squadron said he had just been elected at the time, and was focused on establishing his office.

Squadron, in turn, said James voted "98 percent of the time" with Bloomberg while she was in the Council. 

Neither candidate, it appeared, saw a benefit in portraying themselves as a pro-Bloomberg candidate heading into the October 1 run-off election, which is expected to draw only the most committed Democratic voters.

Also: The Working Families Party voted to endorse Ben Kallos on Monday night, after Kallos won the Democratic primary for an open City Council seat in Manhattan. The party's state director Bill Lipton said, "Kallos is one of the brightest progressive minds in the city, and the clear choice for working families in the 5th district." The endorsement comes after the deadline for the W.F.P. to formally switch their ballot line, which will include Assemblyman Micah Kellner as the party's candidate. This item was corrected to reflect the fact that Kellner will still appear as the party's candidate on general election ballots.

Quote

“It is just a form of governmental terrorism.” — Rep. Peter King

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"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in Albany."

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12:30 p.m. New York City Comptroller John Liu visits a senior center at 137-44 Northern Boulevard, in Queens. @JohncLiu

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2 p.m. De Blasio gets endorsed by the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York, at FDNY Hook and Ladder Company 8, at 14 North Moore Street, in Manhattan. @DeBlasioNYC @UFANYC #EndorsementTour

2 p.m. Critics call on Rep. Tom Reed "to promise to pay his business' taxes on time," outside Reed's district office, at 401 East State Street, in Ithaca.

4 p.m. Bloomberg joins a panel discussion about climate change at the Clinton Global Initiative, at the Sheraton Hotel, 811 Eighth Avenue (between 52nd Street and 53rd Street) in Manhattan. @MikeBloomberg #CGI

5:30 p.m. Communication Workers of America, Cablevision workers and elected officials perform the protest rap song "Dear Mr. Dolan" at Cablevision Brooklyn Garage, at 9502 Avenue D (at East 96th Street) in Brooklyn. @CWAUnion #MrDolan

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7 p.m. On "The Road to CIty Hall": Republican city comptroller nominee John Burnett. [NY1] @RoadToCityHall @JohnBurnett2013

7 p.m. Liu attends the China AIDS Fund Anniversary Gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, at 80 Columbus Circle, in Manhattan. @JohncLiu

8 p.m. Vice President Joe Biden gives Bloomberg the Leadership in Public Service Award, at the Clinton Global Initiative, at the Sheraton Hotel, 811 Eighth Avenue (between 52nd Street and 53rd Street) in Manhattan. @MikeBloomberg @VP #CGI

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A recap of that very contentious debate. [Zack Fink]

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