Tim Wu: An Independent Lieutenant Governor & Policy Entrepreneur

The office of Lieutenant Governor in New York state is one of wasted potential. A constitutional office with its own powers, including the Presidency of the Senate, the office has too often merely served a ceremonial and symbolic role. Despite a separate primary election, the officeholders have tended to act as little more than an adjunct of the Governor.

Tim Wu is running as an independent Lieutenant Governor. He sees the position as encompassing two main roles: advocacy for the public and policy entrepreneurship. As a public advocate, he will support the Governor when appropriate, and be critical when necessary. As a policy entrepreneur, he will use his position as President of the Senate to try to bring the best ideas and research to New York state policymaking. Wu’s position offers a clear contrast with his opponent in the Democratic Primary, Kathy Hochul, who made clear she would play the symbolic role. As she said recently “I would not be making policy…. I am there to support the administration.”

In Wu’s vision, the Lieutenant Governor would rely on the power of ideas and the bully pulpit to make a difference for the State. Wu has a long track record of working for the public and bringing innovative policy ideas to public and political attention. He is best known for pioneering the Net Neutrality movement, which has brought unprecedented attention to the public’s interest in Internet carriage. At the Federal Trade Commission, he focused the agency on rising competition and privacy problems in the technology sector. Wu has repeatedly been recognized as one of the most influential policy entrepreneurs in the United States and would bring this record to work in New York.

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