tv QA CSPAN July 3, 2016 11:00pm-11:59pm EDT
preminger david cameron taking questions from members of the house of commons. -- trade representative talks about the global economy and pending trade agreements. ♪ >> this week on wednesday, part one of a two-part interview with former public interest lawyer and politician mark green. mr. greene discusses his book, "bright infinite future" and the memoirs on the progressive ratel. --progressive right. >> you say on your book, that when you were running for mayor of new york city about that you
made 30,000 phone calls to raise money? mark green: yes. once you decide you want to be the mayor of new york city it is a marathon. i have to make 80 phone calls a day reach 20 people a day get 8 commitments a day. they put up calls i have in front of me. he gave $5,000 to schumer, $10,000 to clinton. he likes waterskiing. so i call and say "hey brian, how's the waterskiing?" if you don't do that you can't run competitively. i didn't know that i would end up running against the richest man in world history to run for office, michael bloomberg.
i wasn't pained making these phone calls because it's the ticket eventually. brian lamb: in 2001 september 11 was the day of the primary. give us a little bit of the flavor what that was like. mark green: i have never spoken about that because i lost an election in part because of that. 3000 people lost their lives. it sounds so whiny and self-centered, but the statute of limitations has run. when you write a memoir you have to be candid. two years before september 11 i had an apartment in east 90th street right near gracie mansion. i said i'm going to run for mayor. i have a record of recognition.
there's a very good chance i'll win. unless there's an external event that upends the cart. a racial shooting in bensonhurst. that affected the koch-dinkins mayor's race in 1989. when david won. two years later the night of september 10, 2001 the same apartment i turned to my wife and i said there have been no external events. nothing to upset the apple cart. so it looks like i will win the nomination or get into a runoff. jews have an expression for it. kinahora is a jewish expression that translates to knock on wood. that morning i went to vote and i'm supposed to see that night,
john o'neill. bill bratton has been a supporter of mine. he is the famous new york city police commissioner then and now. he said well, you meet john o'neill. he handles the security and heads up the bin laden task force. i said i want to spend time with my wife on election night but i'll see him later. at 8:46 a.m. i'm on 11th street in manhattan. i made the last handshake of the whole campaign. i said let's go back to the apartment. a woman was walking by me when she gasps. it was a perfectly clear blue sky. everybody knows what i saw. so i saw it live. i was not able to interpret it
for television commentators. i had no experience with anything like that. movies.e hard" it affected everyone. it affected the world and my city. it affected the election and me , least of all. but it shifted the conversation. from education and housing in traffic to one issue. security and rebuilding new york. it changed the conversation in the campaign. it affected me as well, a lot. brian lamb: that was primary day. it asn't general election. who are the people are you running against? mark green: there were four of us. all four of us were known citywide officials. none of us were fdr.
none of us were jerks. none of us were super famous. but we were running under a campaign-finance system where you get the same amount of money. so it's even money. i was running against freddy ferrer, the borough president from the bronx, alan hevesi the city controller, and peter vallone the city council speaker. i was called the public advocate. in new york city we have a rule they have to get over 40% in order to win the nomination. is a good rule, because otherwise you could have some weirdo get 41%. everybody that is mainstream and normal gets 59%. you want make sure that person gets a majority. i was in a runoff with freddy ferrer, a rising latino star, the borough president of the bronx. brian lamb: we've got some video
from a documentary that was made by your son. this is 2001. explain what jonah was allowed to do with this documentary. mark green: he was very precocious. he was 17 years old at the time. very good writer. he had a school project. i said i will film my dad. he's running for mayor. y and i go,eah sure. -- and i go, yeah sure. it was a relatively boring election until 8:46 a.m., september 11. then it got not only interesting but historic. he ended up having inside access to a candidate. the war room we now know with james carville and george stephanopoulos was what happens with the top aides and staff of the major candidate. then-governor clinton. allow me, this is a great film on what it's like for a family to run for high office.
the highs and lows. every day you live a lifetime. jonah shot and finished it and sold it to sundance. which airs it on a reel with a film called "the perfect candidate." that was about oliver north. the reagan aide who ran for senate in virginia. after the election, the chaos, jonah said, dad, sorry about 9/11 and that he lostby 2 points, but it made for a better film. i said, anything to help. brian lamb: they can watch the whole thing on youtube. mark green: if you go to jonah green.com you can access the film. brian lamb: is logically than you can fill in the blanks.
jonah: my father had been in the lead for months. that would be easy. so the most prominent city democrats were vying for the nomination to succeed rudy giuliani, who could not run again because of term limits. freddy ferrer was the bronx borough president. alan hevesi from queens was the city comptroller. peter vallone had been speaker of the city council since 1985. there was also michael bloomberg. a democrat turned republican and a billionaire and a political novice. and last there was mark green. brian lamb: who is mark green? mark green: my grandparents came from poland and russia. my parents were first-generation jewish americans. my father was a lawyer but smalltime landlord owner. my mother was a kindergarten teacher.
she had five miscarriages before i was born. when i was born i was considered , a miracle child. i do want to get too far into this. my parents treated me like wow, he's here. i have an older brother stephen l. green who is well-known in new york. he is the funny older brother that i kept teasing. he grew up, and is now the owner of the largest commercial real estate property in manhattan. it has a market cap of $14 billion. my brother is an extremely influential mentor in my life. we live on long island. we lived in brooklyn originally and moved to long island. i am the son of a suburban family a conservative, it hit
my family was rockefeller -- republicans. a conservative, it hit the earth and killed off these moderate republicans. they were moderates. i'm sure they voted for nixon over kennedy. i go to cornell and harvard law school in the 1960's, and that is my incubator. i became very progressive. very antiwar. very pro-civil rights. i was immersed intellectually in several of the huge movements that characterized the 1960's. argue, in bright infinite future, tapping the shoulder of 2016 at the same time. civil rights, antiwar, gay rights, consumer rights. i leave harvard law school in
1970. i was the editor-in-chief of the harvard civil rights civil liberties law review. it's not the harvard law review itself. they emphasized the word "the." this was the alternate law review. the more progressive one. on the most done with this 1 -- [laughter] i have a job lined up with mayor john lindsay. fetching coffee for him. brand name: was he a republican than? >> he won as a republican for mayor in 1965 and that he won reelection in 1969 as an independent. because the republicans wouldn't give him the nomination. he was a moderate liberal. i got a phone call from ralph nader, we had never met. but i admire him from afar. he was a super famous, cover of newsweek, which was a magazine that was published in the 1960's. [laughter] photoshop onto a
knight costume. he asked if i would consider working for him. nader said, do you want to make coffee or do you want to make history? ralph was a very persuasive person. i ended up working for him for 10 years. i am off and running. to this time, it was the most influential period of my life. every night for 10 years ralph would call me and we would talk about what he did that day and what i did. on the phone, it sounded like two peers. we weren't peers, he was ralph and i was a lawyer. i was learning from the master of the craft. brian lamb: let's go back to the mayor's race. i am not a new yorker, so i don't know, but did alan hevesi run into some corruption
problems? mark green: he then ran successfully for state controller. he was a very smart, capable guy, who accepted a big contribution from an interest that gave him a free flight to israel. it was regarded as a quid pro quo. he was prosecuted and convicted and jailed. for corruption. he is now out and rebuilding his life. brian lamb: what happened to freddy ferrer? mark green: he later ran for mayor himself in 2005. i was not running then. he won the democratic nomination. i endorsed and campaigned for him. and he lost by 15 points to the incumbent michael bloomberg. brian lamb: here's some more from your son's documentary.
>> focusing on the twin towers of my candidacy, educating children, protecting families, laying out my program, that will take me to victory. [yelling] >> are you going to vote on tuesday? [applause] this is ground zero of politics, the upper west side. brian lamb: what is your reaction when you're in front of crowds like that? when they want your autograph -- does it ever get in the way? mark green: well, first, the clip you showed had me saying before 9/11 the twin towers of my candidacy and now this is ground zero of politics on the west side. my reaction that is eerie. , i used to be an athlete.
second, and when you're playing a sporting event in the crowd screaming you kind of block it out. it can affect your performance. but it's one thing to shoot a ball in a group. it is another thing trying to communicate to the crowd that is solemn or excited. bill clinton is good at it, donald trump. they can read a crowd and feed off it, the key is to be yourself. the public, be it viewers of tv or candidate, they can smell a phony. a lot of people said you might , as well be yourself because everyone else is taken. i tried to be candid and blunt. you like it when people are cheering. i once learned this -- governor mario cuomo was campaigning for me when i ran for the u.s. senate in 1986.
we were on a street corner in lower manhattan. hey, how are you? a guy comes up i hate you , governor cuomo. you did this, that, and the other thing. i was a rookie candidate. and he says, nothing. thank you sir for your views. he was a very animated guy who had a temper. so you have to stay calm. people who overreact, like trump who struts while sitting down. they said that of mussolini. or if you're too cool then people can't connect with you. i try to keep an even keel. which annoys my family. because when good things happen, i would go, okay. it's not humanistic look appealing, but politically necessary. [laughter] brian lamb: other than jonah you've got two women in your family.
mark green: my wife i have been married to for 39 years. that is a personal best for me. she was in public affairs. working for people for the american way and a public affairs company called robinson leer. my daughter is the mother of our two grandchildren and a lawyer. she went to nyu and works for a not-for-profit educational firm. putting kids and technology together. brian lamb: this might be painful for you to look at. the number of elections you have lost. there it is. if we missed one let me know. go back to the 1980 election. mark green: i worked for ralph nader for 10 years.
i loved it. but i'm really a new yorker. i was lobbying congress after i had written "who loves congress?'and i thought, can i combine my odyssey, and his and skills-- might -- my with public office? i decided to go back to new york and run for the house against an incumbent. bill green, a very effective low key moderate republican. in the year of reagan,, i won the nomination, and he won the election 57 to 43. brian lamb: what was it like to lose? mark green: it's ok. [laughter] in my book i say i have a big defect. i was born without an insecurity gene.
if i think something i can do it. this is good and it's bad. i didn't have self-doubt. then enters 9/11. i was an underdog i had lived in washington. i was not really a native of the east side of manhattan. it's called the silk stocking district. it was a famous district because ed koch and john lindsay had represented the district. i went all out. it was a sprint. when i lost i said many people lose their first races. i am ok. i went back to washington to run public citizen. i said, i want to see what i can do in new york. i wasn't crushed. i was young, it was a formative learning experience. brian lamb: you mentioned your
brother stephen. i'm just going to say this, and you can react in any way, i suspect that stephen al green has made a lot of money. have you ever made any money? relatively speaking, mark green: no. my father and i were growing up, he is a realtor in new york. he is not running for president like another realtor in new york. growing up we divided up the , world. steve, you take the private sector and i took the public sector. so he gets paris and i get baghdad. [laughter] he is a very generous, older brother. seven years my senior. the deal as i don't tell him what to do in the private sector but he gets to tell me what i
should think of the public sector. i am all ears because i want to learn from everybody. he started out as a moderate republican. he switched to the democrats so you can vote for his kid brother when i ran house and senate and mayor. brian lamb: did it ever matter to you, did you want money? mark green: no. looking back, i don't not want money -- brian lamb: i'm talking about lots of money and living the high life. mark green: no. it never occurred to me. i grew up with parents who were not wealthy but were comfortable. i grew up eventually in a north shore suburb called great neck. egg in the "gatsby" novels. i never felt the urge to make
money. what turned me on in the as an 1960's admirer of the kennedys was to make policy. that was what drove me. i went to law school and i worked with nader. lamb: in 1986, you ran for the senate will stop who did you run against? mark green: i had a primary against a man named john dyson. a very wealthy man. the head twice been in the governors cabinet. so he was close to mario cuomo. cuomo wanted dyson to run because he could self finance. but he stayed neutral because he did not want to dictate to the primary voters. but he stayed neutral because he didn't want to get involved in the primary. so i said it was the mark of dimes campaign. kind of a pre-bernie sanders
vibe. $700,000 in increments of under a thousand. he wrote one check to himself for $7 million. when i heard that in august, i said what? if i had known that, i would know that i can't win. but i won 54-47. i was more of a street activist progressive level democrat, and he was more of an elitist. i had played off of that. i ran against senator al d'amato. who himself had won an incredible primary victory against jacob javits back in 1980. by 1986 he was the chairman of the senate banking committee. he had millions of dollars coming in. at the time i called him a walking quid pro quo. there were a lot of wall street journal-new york times articles about giving to get.
he won 57 to 41. he had ignored me. i was the underdog. again, i was failing upward. at this rate, having lost the house and the senate so my next option was either pope or president. i had to deliver it for a while. [laughter] brian lamb: you won the race for public advocate in 1993. mark green: every city in the country has a number two. in new york it was always the president of the city council. it was held by people with the names al smith and fiorello la guardia. of course, two iconic figures who went on to become governors and mayors. when the position became available i thought that would be great. it is an ombudsman office. we monitor city services to show
there is no fraud or suspicion. you represent people who don't have a voice. i ran for it. i won easily. one of those that are ran against, i defeated a state senator named david paterson. 15 years later he succeeded governor eliot spitzer as the governor of new york. david said, mark you should've , let me win public advocate then maybe you would be a governor now. david has a great sense of humor. he wasn't being serious. brian lamb: you mentioned al smith. context, you were at a dinner one night in white tie and sales. what is the al smith dinner? and then you are called away to a meeting. to meet with freddie ferrer.
i wanted you to tell what that was about. green: i hope people can follow the time sequence year. al smith was the governor of new york and catholic. he ran for president and was the catholic nominee of a major first party in 1928. he was subject to horrible anti-catholic commentary and the next catholic who got a nomination won, john kennedy. there is a dinner every year for him run by the catholic elite of new york. lamb: we cover that dinner every year so that people can see it. mark green: in 2000 bush and gore came and the tradition is every four years the nominees of both parties come and make humorous toasts at each other's expense. in 2001 i was now running for
mayor. i had been the nominee. i got elected. sorry, nominated. in my victory speech i said what a great race by borough president freddie ferrer. i can't wait to work with him. we are 18 running to take over city hall after eight years of rudy giuliani. he is latino and i am not. he had supporters who got a little excited. these races end up being racial. to some extent. i was a leading white liberal in new york city. marching with sharpton, suing giuliani over police misconduct. strong support in the black and latino community. the freddie ferrer campaign was an alliance with al sharpton.
and he refused to endorse me for a week as they thought that some of my supporters were racially hostile to them. not me, but my supporters. finally he calls back and says i will meet with you tonight, the night of the al smith dinner. incongruously i leave the dinner , in white tie and tails. that was the dress at the dinner, not my nightly normal attire. i go to his headquarters. this is like hillary clinton going to bernie sanders original home in brooklyn and begging him to endorse her for president. after she had been the nominee. but i did it because the goal was city hall. that night i had a meeting with , sharpton and top aides. about the primary that was and the election to come. the next day, i met with borough
president ferrer and his supporters to have a unified party. that sounds familiar now, because republicans are going through it with trump. democrats are going through it >> what about the racial thing. you were attacked, somebody distributed cartoons out of the new york post. >> it sounds ridiculous now. you want the racial campaign, donald trump saying mexicans are racist and a black president is not american, that is it. my campaign, the chair was the first black mayor in new york city. everybody understood i was a white progressive democrat with strong interracial support. the new york post is very hostile to liberals and minorities.
they ran a cartoon of farar kissing sharpton's rear end to get his support. it was an ugly metaphor for what true. he needed a black man coalition to win in a diverse city. somebody, to this day i hardly know who, grafted and handed it as a cartoon. he wanted the party to come together, i denounce reverend did it. whoever did it would never serve or have a role in any administration where i win. it caused a racial fracas. race had not come up at all in the primary and the runoff. then, the kindling of the 9/11
and bloomberg's money lit a flame. kerosene was added by race. race is not a big issue in a city that is tempered some black. -- 10% black. in a city that has a majority white, 40% jewish, 20% jewish now in a minority majority, there was racial tension and we were to racial candidates -- two racial candidates but some of our supporters were not. i often ask, why the heck did you do that? i hated sharpton. sharpton is a double-edged sword. african-americans admire him,
60 point disparity in his poll ratings in new york. if you get him for the upside, you also get the downside. >> there is an ad from the 2005 campaign. this is al sharpton. what you see is all there was to the ad. ♪ ♪ would you explain al sharpton to people out of the new york city area? >> impossible. i have never met anyone in public life is a bigger gap between his iq, eq, their high,
performance skills very high if his character and integrity, very low. as i sought, he could have lied to me. among the reasons, 75% favorable rating among african-americans 15% approval rating among white new yorkers. giuliani racially divided the city. it became his racial anxieties. they became more apparent. when he said of a first black president that he does not love america, of obama.
after that, a democratic nominee with black support. sharpton blew that up. i decided, i will not answer his endorsement because he is so unpopular but my voters. i will treat him with respect because he is an african-american civil rights leader. some of wife and i invited him and his wife to see the opening night of the nuremberg. we enjoyed it and had dinner. i decided not to answer his endorsement. as a strategy, if you will. two months later, he said mark we beg me for my endorsement. he would constantly be dancing around. before trump, there was
sharpton. saying something different every day. a moth to the flame of the media. like the 13th time of the clock. raises questions about everything the clock did before. when he lied about me then, i realized that is what he does. i could never trust him again. because i stood up to him, he constantly attacked me and when i lost to mike bloomberg, a very substantial, smart, successful guy. not racially wrong in any way. sharpton said, i'm glad we beat mark green because like paul o'connor, we have to be respected. what? he cannot come me a racist. this is the kind of divisive personality that you don't want to see at the presidential level and you don't want to see at the mayoral level.
>> president obama has got close to him? >> i don't know. i so admire barack obama. i don't to take up time with your audience, but i tell my children, we will never again have a president like this guy. to this day, i can't believe that such a diverse, cool calm really brilliant, very urbain intellectual became president. he has his own politics. when jesse jackson, the reigning civil rights leader dissed barack obama as a candidate privately and publicly, al sharpton was smart enough to say i am from you and i always will be with you. and he became the jackson-sharpton leader and
obama and valerie jarrett, his top aide over the course of his life constantly have sharpton over. as for the net plus or minus, i second-guess barack obama. you ran to the senate 98 again. who did you run against? >> looking back, that was a mistake. i had run for the senate when i 66-16 in the first poll. just keep going. 97, i had a choice, i was than the elected and well-known public advocate.
i could have run against giuliani for mayor or i could could have waited and run for mayor in 2001. i decided not to run against giuliani which was an iffy race. he and i were tied in the polls. then i fell in love with the senate. we would take hikes. i would read and caused during pause during the hike. two other people who were unheard of rain. congressman chuck schumer and
geraldine ferarro it was a strong lineup. it was only me who realized that al d'amato was honorable. -- vulnerable. lost to chuck schumer. i ended up working against and with so many freaks of nature like chuck schumer. and look, he has merited himself to the brink of being the senate majority leader. >> why do you say he is a better politician and what does that mean? >> that is a very good question. lbj like, not only knows the gene that, but we know it when we see it. chuck was that and i was that.
we see it with ralph nader and advocacy. second, have a talent that is relevant. chuck had a legislative talent that he fought legislatively, had a lot of laws he enacted on consumers, guns, banks. he was tough. he did what it takes. that is not criticism of him. because of it in my stupid coverage or poor shot selection, i ended up running against chuck andrew,, the deblasio and they did what it takes to win. do whatever you have to win so long as you don't get caught.
these people generally are tough as nails and they do what it takes to win and there are moments in my public life where i had to either do something that was edgy ethically and when i listen to my inner ralph nader who is an uncompromising purist, i'm neither. i ended up being more nader than cuomo. a couple decisions that were not politically smart at key moments. what i mean by that is, i feel like a natural advocate. this goes to be an advocate and a politician are often similar. smart and hard-working, but in advocate is someone who pushes a moral vision and moves towards it like nader.
a politician is someone who nets votes because he raises money to get ads and when an election. there are very few advocates who end up in great politicians. ron wyden was a nader like white panther. represented senior citizens who were poor in his home state. house and senate and one. one of the few examples. ran for house and senate and won. one of the few examples. when that video came out, it was 2001 for the race. when did it hit the sundance air waves?
there was one thing that i begged him to cut and he did. as a footnote, primary night for mayor when i won the runoff. when i got into the runoff, i'm sorry. i called peter valone. a very formidable city council speaker and chatted before returns were known and he said he may get into the runoff. i get on the phone and say to someone, he is creating his own reality. i say only because i have to say everything now 15 years later. it was ungenerous and it was not relevant to anything.
>> that was painful. >> a lot going on. >> that was the day of that i won the runoff to be the nominee. it was true until michael bloomberg came along with money. the nominee would be the mayor. blackberries, you know what those are. [laughter] >> long time ago. >> there was an exit poll that showed me ahead by eight. i ended up winning by two. when i saw that, it look like i would be the nominee and effect de facto, the mayor. my son was filming that and i was unconscious that he was there.
>> what if this business about it is hard for you not to be arrogant or something important -- self-important? >> every politician has a rap. that have a negative and positive rap. the negative on me was arrogant and i know it all. cocky. that was two thirds true. i do not have self-doubt, i was optimistic. i thought i could do what i set out to do. bill clinton is smarter than hell and will bite his lip and paused to convey humanity when his brain was 10 steps ahead. the arrogant thing is untrue. i never felt i was better than people.
that is not a small d democratic temperament. a great guy in his 80's, support me. he said you were not arrogant, you just appeared to be arrogant. [laughter] i have to live with that. >> when you ran against mike bloomberg, close the outcome? >> he won by two points. closest mayoral election in 100 years. mark melman called me and says, i have good news and bad news. good news you are 20 points ahead, i never had a client lose when they were 20 points ahead.
bad news, mike bloomberg is spending $1 million a day slamming you and advertisements and is catching up a point a day. we had 20 days left and 20 points ahead. i did the math and said oh. when an opponent is doing something successful, you have to have some antidote. i had no antidote. i could steal his money. move his money. mike bloomberg did not win nearly because of his money. a lot of things were going on. 9/11 changed the election. the sitdown strike was not helpful.
when i think of bloomberg then and now, i'm reminded of bing crosby's famous comment. frank sinatra comes around once every couple of generations, why did it have to be mine? when i was planning my race, i did not anticipate a multibillionaire study $100 a a vote. i did not anticipate osama bin laden. bloomberg's ads ribbed giuliani went down from a nixon like popularity. when he got giuliani to endorse him, david garth, the late great media guru said that bloomberg
>> this is not a time to take a chance on someone who has never spent a day in government service. >> one of the interesting things about that is he is not the governor of virginia. some of these things come back to haunt you, obviously not he was successful. >> that was a unity dinner three days before the general election and so stewart and valid and the clintons and the cuomos. it was great except we go back to the unity point which is one of the major themes of 2016 for
both parties, ferrer would not come. they were still angry about the primary and the distribution of literature and so the new york times was not that party can came together. but ferrer a no-show at green's unity dinner. >> your wife periodically in the the last race. you say it is it. he went on to run for attorney general and you lost. >> 2006.
the analogy, michael jordan quits basketball. then he comes back. the attorney general office was to be opened in 2006. andrew cuomo had been embarrassed by a bad race for governor in 2002. he was bruised and i would talk to him throughout that race to improve his spirits. he said the 2006 race was his redemptive race. i saw the 2006 race as my ability to get back into public life.
robert f kennedy junior, who was his brother-in-law came this close to running for attorney general but did not because of various family reasons. in the contest of poor people, -- four people, andrew cuomo won. i called him election night and endorsed him. >> one last campaign, you lost your public advocate in 2009. what happened? you are still at it. >> their term limits in new york for public advocate so i served eight years as public advocate. got a lot done. i loved it. and people thought i was adept at that.
when there was a vacancy for public advocate, three people have been running for a year. one of them was told de blasio -- bill de blasio. i decided to run for public advocate late. so i announced late. i started way ahead because i was well known. de blasio was less well but had locked up labor support. he is a founder of the work and family party. he is married to an african-american woman. he gets mixed race children. he ran ads saying look at my family. he did extremely well among white liberals as i did but
extremely well among african-americans because of his story. he wins. i support him. that is my last race because i was a fugitive of the law of averages. enough playing against these superhero politicians. four years later, bill de blasio run for mayor and the public is tired of michael bloomberg and he wins easily. >> by how much? >> he won the general election against a smart republican 73-27. currently mayor and in his third year. >> our guest is mark green and the book is called bright, infinite future.
this is part one and we have a lot more to talk about. ♪ ♪ for free transcripts or to give us your comments, visit us at qanda.org. they are also available at -- as c-span podcasts. >> this is part one of a two-part q&a with author mark green. you can watch the rest of the interview with him starting right now on c-span2. during question time this past