Monday, September 20, 2010

Fight The Power... What Power?

Time for a brief civics lesson on the Stoop. A local separation of government powers FYI that may be of interest.

In New York City we have the Mayor, the City Council, the Comptroller the Public Advocate. They make up city government and are elected by the public.

The City Council passes legislation, the Mayor signs it into law and executes it, and the Comptroller audits the books.

In a nutshell, that's how it works.

And that leaves the Public Advocate.

What are the powers delegated to the Public Advocate?

None. Zero.

New York City Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio should be made to wear a Robert Parish jersey every time he walks into the office.

When I say the office has no power, I mean that literally.

It can't enforce any law or regulation.

It has no power to make budgets.

It cannot subpoena any city agency.

It cannot investigate city government.

It has no function; its very existence is a monument to liberal excess and how they really don't care about our tax dollars.

Now you may think that the Public Advocate has a function in city government because you always see the Public Advocate mentioned when something goes wrong in the city.

Last week, on election day, there was a big screw up with the electronic voting machines.

The Board of Elections fucked up big time.

So here comes the Public Advocate to the rescue.

Here is the New York Times on the actions Bill Deblasio took:

In a letter sent to board officials on Thursday, Mr. de Blasio identified several areas of concern, including specific data about the new electronic voting machines, the level of interagency coordination, the recruitment of poll workers, and voter privacy. He said he expected answers in two weeks so that remedies could be developed before the general election on Nov. 2.

Notice that Deblasio "expected" answers in two weeks. He did not demand them, or send a subpoena.

You or I could have written the same letter, and it would have the same legal effect.

The Board of Elections can choose to answer DeBlasio, or it could ignore the request.

He can't compel a response.

It is a ceremonial office with a liberal feel -good name: "Public Advocate".

And it should be abolished pronto.

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