Last week, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum criticized the Public Advocate's budget being cut from $2.8 million to $1.7 million. She even claimed the reduction was "political payback" from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, because Gotbaum opposed extending term limits. Yesterday, the five candidates who wish to succeed Gotbaum—and one of whom will have to deal with a 40% smaller budget—appeared together to protest the cut which goes into effect on July 1. The NY Times reports, "The issue was not food stamps, or reproductive rights for women, or child abuse, or any of the other topics the public advocate’s office is generally involved in...The cut, [the candidates] concurred, was so draconian that it threatened the existence of the office, which functions, as mandated by the City Charter, as a government ombudsman and watchdog." Former Public Advocate Mark Green, who is running again, asked, “Why has only the watchdog over City Hall been cut 40 percent?"