Saba Capital Management founder Boaz Weinstein says he doesn’t love publicity. Well, the next year or so could be unpleasant for him—and if things go the way he’d presumably like, for a good deal longer than that.
Now the office of the Manhattan district attorney, one of the most coveted prizes in American law, is again up for grabs -- and the list of contenders is growing to unseat Cyrus Vance Jr. in the polls next year. The latest is Tali Farhadian Weinstein, a seasoned federal prosecutor with an unusual insight into the ways of Wall Street: She’s married to Boaz Weinstein, the hedge fund magnate behind the $3 billion Saba Capital.
When Cy Vance won the coveted post in 2009, he probably thought he’d found a job for life: He was, contra the constant turnover seen on "Law & Order," one of only three people elected Manhattan D.A. since 1941, and his predecessors served for 31 years and 35 years, respectively. Unfortunately for Vance, he sort of sucks at the job—his recent success at the Supreme Court notwithstanding, he’s gone pretty easy on the Trumps, something that Manhattan voters aren’t likely to look kindly upon—and he’s facing an environment in which both older white men and establishment D.A.s aren’t shoe-ins for reelection anymore, certainly not in the fourth most-Democratic county in the country. Progressive challengers have captured the top prosecutorial jobs in Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis and San Francisco; have their eyes on that in Los Angeles and, probably most worrying for Vance, nearly won the D.A.’s office in neighboring—and much less left-leaning—Queens last year. Some seem to think Vance doesn’t even want the position anymore.
Given the above, more than half a dozen people have thrown their hats in from the left, and they don’t seem inclined to consider Farhadian Weinstein one of their own.
“The last thing this race needs is another candidate who is cozy with the rich and powerful and the privileged. She’s not going to go after people she hobnobs with in the Hamptons,” said Eliza Orlins, a public defender who identifies as the anti-Wall Street candidate. “Voters should be very wary of a D.A. who has those types of ties to Wall Street.”
Farhadian Weinstein begs to differ, and even boasts a stint as general counsel to Brooklyn’s unquestionably progressive D.A., Eric Gonzalez.
She said she considers herself a “progressive prosecutor” and would pursue sentencing reform, including legislation to allow prisoners to challenge long sentences, and a broader review of wrongful convictions.
“It’s one thing to say what you would like to do, and it’s another thing to be able to show what you have done,” she said, touting her work on a new law enforcement accountability bureau formed in the Brooklyn DA’s office and a successful federal lawsuit challenging U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests around courthouses.
She supports abolishing cash bail altogether…. Farhadian Weinstein also said she would create a dedicated unit to focus on prosecuting gender-based and domestic violence. “There’s a lot more we can and should do,” she said.
On the other hand,
Tali and her husband are prominent fixtures in the city’s social circuit, splitting time between their Fifth Avenue penthouse and a Hamptons home, and Boaz’s hedge fund is having its best year ever profiting from the market mayhem…. As her husband’s wealth increased, they mingled in the upper echelons of New York’s philanthropic and social circles. That includes her appointment to the board of the New York Public Library, joining a roster that includes Steve Schwarzman and Jim Tisch and attending benefit dinners featuring Steven Mnuchin, Chuck Schumer and Jim Simons.