Mark J. Green

Last updated
Mark Green
Mark Green by David Shankbone.jpg
1st New York City Public Advocate
In office
January 1, 1994 December 31, 2001
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded by Betsy Gotbaum
Personal details
Mark Joseph Green

(1945-03-15) March 15, 1945 (age 74)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Deni Frand (1977-present)
Relations Stephen L. Green (brother)
Alma mater Cornell University
Harvard Law School

Mark Joseph Green (born March 15, 1945) is an American author, former public official, public interest lawyer and a Democratic politician from New York City. He worked with Ralph Nader from 1970–80, eventually as director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch, and was the former president of Air America Radio (2007–09). His 2001 nomination and loss to Michael Bloomberg for NYC Mayor is chronicled in the 2002 Sundance Film, Off the Record: The 9/11 Election.

The public interest is "the welfare or well-being of the general public" and society.

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.


He published his 23rd book in May 2016, Bright, Infinite Future: A Generational Memoir on the Progressive Rise (St Martin's Press). He has co-written two bestsellers, Who Runs Congress? (1972) (co-written with James Fallows) and The Book on Bush (2004) (co-written with Eric Alterman). He has collaborated on several books with consumer advocate Ralph Nader (The Closed Enterprise System, 1972; Monopoly Makers, 1974, Verdicts on Lawyers, 1975, Taming the Giant Corporation, 1976, another recent book is Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President, co-edited by Green and Michele Jolin, a transition policy book for President Obama, co-produced by the New Democracy Project and the Center for American Progress Action Fund). [1] He was a Visiting Scholar at NYU College and Law School from 2002-06.

A bestseller is, usually, a book that is included on a list of top-selling or frequently-borrowed titles, normally based on publishing industry and book trade figures and library circulation statistics; such lists may be published by newspapers, magazines, or book store chains. Some lists are broken down into classifications and specialties. An author may also be referred to as a bestseller if their work often appears in this category. Well-known bestseller lists in the U.S. are published by Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Most of these lists track book sales from national and independent bookstores, as well as sales from major internet retailers such as and Barnes & Noble.

James Fallows American journalist

James Mackenzie Fallows is an American writer and journalist. He has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly for many years. His work has also appeared in Slate, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The American Prospect, among others. He is a former editor of U.S. News & World Report, and as President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter for two years was the youngest person ever to hold that job.

Eric Alterman teacher, historian, journalist, author and media critic

Eric Alterman is an American historian, journalist, author, media critic, blogger, and educator. He is currently CUNY Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism at Brooklyn College, the media columnist for The Nation, and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He has also authored ten books. His weblog named Altercation was originally hosted by from 2002 to 2006, moved to Media Matters for America until December 2008, and is now hosted by The Nation.

He was host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Both Sides Now from 2010 - December 2016. which was aired on 200 stations and recorded at IHeartMedia in New York City. The weekly program rotated such regular panelists as Arianna Huffington, Ron Reagan, Bob Shrum, Jonathan Alter, as well as Kellyanne Conway, Mary Matalin, David Frum, and Rich Lowry.[ citation needed ]. In February, 2017, he founded and ran the Twitter handle @ShadowingTrump, consisting of 21 leading national progressive scholars and former officials. It rose to 74,000 followers by the end of 2017.

Arianna Huffington Greek-American author and syndicated columnist

Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington is a Greek-American author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman. She is the founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of fifteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform.

Ron Reagan talk radio host and political analyst

Ronald Prescott Reagan is an American former radio host and political analyst for KIRO radio and later, Air America Radio, where he hosted his own daily three-hour show. He is a commentator and contributor to programming on the MSNBC cable news and commentary network. His liberal views contrast those of his late father, Republican United States President Ronald Reagan.

Robert M. Shrum is the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at the University of Southern California, where he is a Professor of the Practice of Political Science in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He is a former American political consultant, who has worked on numerous Democratic campaigns, including as senior advisor to the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004 and to the Gore-Lieberman campaign in 2000. Shrum wrote the famous speech Ted Kennedy gave at the 1980 Democratic National Convention conceding to and supporting President Jimmy Carter. The Atlantic Monthly described him as "the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party." Shrum served as speechwriter to New York Mayor John V. Lindsay from 1970 to 1971, speechwriter to Senator George McGovern's 1972 Presidential campaign and speechwriter and press secretary to Senator Edward M. Kennedy from 1980 to 1984 and political consultant until 2009.

Green was New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner from 1990–93 and was twice elected New York City Public Advocate, in 1993 and 1997. He won Democratic primaries for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and Mayor of New York City and in each case lost in the general election. Additionally, he has lost campaigns to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, the Democratic Nominee for New York Attorney General, and the Democratic Nominee for New York Public Advocate eight years after finishing off two terms in that position.[ citation needed ]

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), is an agency of the Government of New York City.

New York City Public Advocate citywide elected position in New York City

The office of New York City Public Advocate is a citywide elected position in New York City, which is first in line to succeed the mayor. The office serves as a direct link between the electorate and city government, effectively acting as an ombudsman, or watchdog, for New Yorkers.

Primary elections or often just primaries, are the process by which voters can indicate their preference for their party's candidate, or a candidate in general, in an upcoming general election, local election, or by-election, with the goal of narrowing the field of candidates. Depending on the country and administrative divisions within the country, voters might consist of the general public in what is called an open primary, or the members of a political party in what is called a closed primary. In addition to these, there are other variants on primaries that are used by many countries holding elections throughout the world.

Early life and education

Green was born to a Jewish family [2] [3] [4] in Brooklyn, New York. He lived in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn until he was three and then moved to Long Island, first to Elmont, New York and later Great Neck, New York. Both his parents were Republicans; his father, a lawyer and residential apartment landlord and his mother, a public-school teacher. [5]

American Jews Ethnic group

American Jews, or Jewish Americans, are Americans who are Jews, whether by religion, ethnicity, or nationality. Today the Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90-95% of the American Jewish population. Most American Ashkenazim are US-born, with a dwindling number of now-elderly earlier immigrants, as well as some more recent foreign-born immigrants.

Bensonhurst, Brooklyn Neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City

Bensonhurst is a large, multiethnic neighborhood in the southwestern part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, in the United States. It is bounded by 14th Avenue to the northwest, 60th Street and McDonald Avenue to the northeast, 86th Street to the southwest, and 25th Avenue and Avenue P to the southeast. Bensonhurst's adjacent neighborhoods include Dyker Heights to the northwest, Borough Park and Mapleton to the northeast, Bath Beach to the southwest, and Gravesend to the southeast.

Elmont, New York Census-designated place in New York, United States

Elmont is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located in northwestern Hempstead in Nassau County, New York, United States, along its border with the borough of Queens in New York City. It is a suburban bedroom community located on Long Island. The population was 33,198 at the 2010 census.

He graduated from Great Neck South High School in 1963. [6] He graduated from Cornell University in 1967 and from Harvard Law School in 1970, where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. [7] He has one brother, realtor Stephen L. Green, [5] founder of SLGreen Realty Corp.

Cornell University Private Ivy League research university in Upstate New York

Cornell University is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's founding principle, a popular 1868 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

Harvard Law School law school in Cambridge

Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1817, it is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. It is ranked first in the world by the QS World University Rankings and the ARWU Shanghai Ranking.

Stephen Lawrence Green is founder and Chairman of SL Green Realty Corp., which claims to be Manhattan’s largest owner of office buildings.

Personal life

Green has been married twice. His first marriage to Lynn Hinerman, whom he married while in law school, ended after eighteen months. [4] In 1977, Green married Deni Frand, [8] who later became the director of the New York City office of the liberal interest group People for the American Way, [9] as well as a senior associate at AOL-Time Warner and the Citi Foundation. The couple has two children, Jonah and Jenya. [4] [9]

Political career


Mark Green at a Ralph Nader speech in New York City Mark Green 2 by David Shankbone.jpg
Mark Green at a Ralph Nader speech in New York City

In 1967, he interned for Jacob Javits and while in law school in the early 1970s, Green was a "Nader's Raider" at Ralph Nader's Public Citizen [4] where he worked on a lawsuit against the administration of Richard Nixon after the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.[ specify ] After law school, he returned to Washington D.C. and ran the Congress Watch division of the consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen from 1977-80. [4]


In 1980, he returned to New York City and won the Democratic primary election to represent the East Side of Manhattan in the House of Representatives; he lost the race to Republican incumbent, Bill Green (not related). [4] In 1981, Green, with songwriter Harry Chapin, founded the New Democracy Project, a public policy institute in New York City. He ran it for a decade. During the 1984 presidential election, he served as chief speechwriter for Democratic candidate Senator Gary Hart, [4] who ran second in the primaries.

In 1986, Green won the Democratic nomination for the Senate against multimillionaire John Dyson, spending just $800,000 to Dyson's $6,000,000. [4] Dyson remained on the ballot as the candidate of the Liberal Party. Green lost the general election to Republican incumbent Alfonse D'Amato who was supported by then mayor Ed Koch; [4] Green filed a formal ethics complaint in the Senate Ethics Committee against D'Amato that resulted in the Senator being reprimanded by the United States Senate after media reports that suggested that nomination of D'Amato as a chair of the Senate Committee of Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs had been tainted by illegal financing of his campaign to the Senate. [10] [11]

During his Senate campaign, Green refused to accept money from special interest groups' political action committees (PACs) - which had accounted for 25% of all campaign spending in Congressional campaigns in 1984 [12] - denouncing PACs as "legalized bribery." [13] His opinion mirrored the stance of Common Cause, the citizens' lobby which organized to abolish PACs over fears of "special interests" buying votes. [13]


In 1990, he was appointed the Consumer Affairs Commissioner of New York City by Mayor David Dinkins. [4] In 1993, he was elected the first New York City Public Advocate, [3] and re-elected in 1997. In that office, Green led investigations of HMOs, hospitals, and nursing homes which led to fines by the New York State Attorney General.

A 1994 investigation on the Bell Regulations ("Libby Zion Law") to limit resident working hours and requiring physician supervision—and follow-up study prompted the New York State Department of Health to crack down on violating hospitals. He led an effort against tobacco advertising aimed at children, enacting a law banning cigarette vending machines and released a series of exposés and legal actions against tobacco advertising targeted at children—concluding that R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was engaged in "commercial child abuse"—which culminated in a 1997 Federal Trade Commission decision that ended the Joe Camel ads.

As Public Advocate, Green first proposed the 311 complaint help line that Mayor Bloomberg later implemented. He wrote laws that matched small donations with multiple city funds, created the Voter Commission, upheld the legality of the Independent Budget Office, barred stores from charging women more than men for the same services, and that prohibited companies from firing female employees merely because they were victims of domestic violence. He started the City's first web site, NYC.Gov, which he later gifted to City Hall, where it is still in use.

One of his most high-profile accomplishments was a lawsuit to obtain information about racial profiling in Rudy Giuliani's police force. As Green told the Gotham Gazette , "We sued Mayor Giuliani because he was in deep denial about racial profiling. [After winning the case, we] released an investigation showing a pattern of unpunished misconduct ... [and] the rate that police with substantiated complaints are punished went from 25 percent to 75 percent." Green was reportedly one of the first public officials to draw attention to racial profiling by the NYPD.

Green ran for the U.S. Senate again in 1998, when D'Amato was seeking a fourth term. Green finished third in the Democratic primary behind the winner, Congressman Charles Schumer, and 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. Despite Green's personal ties to Nader, he did not support Nader's presidential campaigns.

In the 2000 campaign he praised Nader's work as a consumer advocate but endorsed Democratic nominee Al Gore, who narrowly lost the election to George W. Bush. [14] In 2000, he assisted the successful Senate campaign of first lady Hillary Clinton, coining the phrase "Listening Tour" which guided the candidate through a state she hadn't previously lived in. In 2004, Green was co-chair of Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign in New York.

2001 race for Mayor

Green ran for Mayor of New York City and won the Democratic nomination in 2001 but lost to Michael Bloomberg 50%–48% in the closest NYC mayoral election in a century. Green had narrowly defeated Fernando Ferrer in the primary, surviving a negative contest that divided the party. The two other candidates were Council Speaker Peter Vallone and City Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks occurred on the morning of the Democratic primary and contributed to Green's loss. Also, Bloomberg spent an unprecedented $74 million in his campaign, especially on TV ads and direct mail. Rudy Giuliani, who suddenly had an extremely high popularity publicly endorsed Bloomberg. [15]

The Economist wrote, "The billionaire businessman [Bloomberg] is usually seen as one of the post–September 11th winners (if such a word can be so used): he would probably have lost the mayoralty to Mark Green, a leftish Democrat, had the terrorist strike not happened. Yet it is also worth noting that his election probably spared New York City a turbulent period of score-settling over Rudy Giuliani's legacy." [16] Chris Smith wrote in New York Magazine in 2011, "Many old-school Democrats believe that Bloomberg's 2001 victory over Mark Green was a terrorist-provoked, money-soaked aberration." [17]

Green was criticized by the Ferrer campaign for the actions of supporters in the run-off that were construed as racist, involving literature with New York Post caricatures of Ferrer and Al Sharpton distributed in white enclaves of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Green stated that he had nothing to do with the dissemination of the literature. An investigation by the district attorney of Kings County, New York, Charles J. Hynes, came to the conclusion that "Mark Green had no knowledge of these events, and that when he learned of them, he repeatedly denounced the distribution of this literature and sought to find out who had engaged in it." [18]

The incident kept Ferrer from endorsing the Democratic nominee and is thought to have diminished minority turnout in the general election which helped the Republican candidate win in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. Green wrote an article about the campaign a decade later in the 9/11 anniversary issue of New York Magazine. [19] in which he reported that Bloomberg told him in 2002 that "I wouldn't have won" without Ferrer's late campaign opposition to Green.[ citation needed ]

2006 race for state Attorney General

Green ran in the Democratic primary for New York State Attorney General in 2006. He faced former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, former White House Staff Secretary Sean Patrick Maloney, and former lieutenant governor candidate Charles King in the primary. Green did not receive the required 25% at the state Democratic convention to earn a spot on the primary ballot and therefore had to circulate nominating petitions statewide to be on the September ballot.[ citation needed ]

He was required to submit at least 15,000 valid signatures; on July 13, he submitted more than 40,000 signatures. He held several endorsements of note, including former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the New York Times , and the New York Daily News .[ citation needed ]

On September 12, 2006, Green lost to Andrew Cuomo in his bid to secure the Democratic nomination to succeed then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. [20] On the evening the results came in, he vowed to reporters that "I won't be running for office again. But I'll continue to advocate, write and teach." Cuomo beat the Republican candidate, former Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro.[ citation needed ]

2009 race for Public Advocate

On February 10, 2009, Green announced that he would again run for the office of Public Advocate. [21] His policy director was Benjamin Kallos (who later was elected to the New York City Council), with whom he worked on "100 Ideas for a Better City". [22] [23] [24]

As one of the top two finishers in the Democratic primary, Green qualified for the September 29 runoff, but lost to City Councilmember Bill de Blasio who went on to win the mayoralty in 2013. [25]

State and city campaign tickets

Mark J. Green has appeared on these slates:

Television and radio

He was a regular guest on Crossfire on CNN, and also on William F. Buckley's Firing Line , Inside City Hall on NY1, and Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

On March 6, 2007, Green's brother, New York real estate magnate Stephen L. Green, purchased majority shares in Air America Radio. Stephen served as chairman, and Mark as president. [26] Stephen sold Air America Radio in 2009 to Charles Kireker. Mark continued as president. [27]

Green was co-host, with Arianna Huffington, of the syndicated talk show 7 Days in America , which aired on the network. from 2007-2009. He was the host of Both Sides Now, nationally syndicated on 200 stations and recorded at WOR710 AM in New York City; the program ended in December 2016. [28]

On February 27, 2017, Green founded and ran the Twitter handle @ShadowingTrump [see]"to daily debunk Trump and propose progressive alternatives." His "Shadow Cabinet" of 21 included such national progressive leaders as Larry Tribe as AG, Robert Reich as Economic Czar, Diane Ravitch as Education Secretary, Rashad Robinson as "Secretary of Justice Issues, Marielena Hincapie as Immigration Secretary. It had 74,000 followers within its first 10 months, generating 54 million "impressions".[ citation needed ]

Selected publications

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  1. Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President,; accessed October 28, 2016.
  2. Green, Mark. "The Right-Wing Smears OWS With Anti-Semitism",, October 25, 2011.
  3. 1 2 Mitchell, Alison. York Times: "For Giuliani and Green, It Might as Well Be 1997" June 11, 1994.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Kurtz, Howard. New York Magazine: "Green Machine" January 28, 1991.
  5. 1 2 Lipton, Eric. "Different Lives, Different Politics, But Greens Unite in Mayor's Race",, August 13, 2001.
  6. "Great Neck Alumni",; accessed February 8, 2017.
  7. The Huffington Post: Mark Green retrieved June 24, 2012.
  8. Haberman, Maggie. "Wives Fear Gracie Spouse Trap – They Say Mrs. Mayor Needs Zone of Privacy",, July 23, 2001.
  9. 1 2 "Jenya Green, David O'Connor",, May 4, 2008.
  10. "Syracuse Herald Journal Newspaper Archives, Jul 18, 1989, p. 53". 1989-07-18. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
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  12. Topics; Investments Returned; UnPAC , May 1, 1986, The New York Times.
  13. 1 2 Edward Tivnan, The Lobby; Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy, 1987, p. 193; ISBN   0-671-50153-4.
  14. Ramirez, Anthony (September 1, 2000). "Metro Briefing". The New York Times .
  15. Nagourney, Adam. "Bloomberg Puts Eggs In a Basket: Giuliani's", The New York Times , October 28, 2001; accessed December 31, 2007.
    "Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's decision to endorse Michael R. Bloomberg at City Hall yesterday provides Mr. Bloomberg with perhaps his greatest hope for victory as he moves into the final days of what his supporters describe as a troubled campaign."
  16. "New York's Difficult Year". The Economist . September 12, 2002. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  17. Smith, Chris (November 7, 2011). "Who Will Win the 2013 Mayoral Election?". New York Magazine. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
  18. Katz, Nancie L., "Green Cleared In Campaign Flap", New York Daily News , July 22, 2006; retrieved 2011-06-28.
  19. "Green, Mark".
  20. "Clinton, Spitzer, Spencer, Cuomo Advance In Primaries" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine ,; accessed December 31, 2007.
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  28. "Both Sides Now". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Elizabeth Holtzman
Democratic Nominee for U.S. Senate (class 3) from New York
Succeeded by
Robert Abrams
Preceded by
Ruth Messinger
Democratic Nominee for Mayor of New York
Succeeded by
Fernando Ferrer
Political offices
Preceded by
Newly Created Position
New York City Public Advocate
Succeeded by
Betsy Gotbaum
Preceded by
Andrew Stein
President of the New York City Council
(as Public Advocate)

Succeeded by
Gifford Miller