Two weeks ago, a man named Alexis Lodde made a $100,000 donation to a Hudson Valley Democratic account. It was an exceptionally large gift, particularly for a Texan who until recently had never given money to a New York political campaign.
The donation came less than two months after workers at certain busing companies, including one owned by Mr. Lodde's firm, had gotten an unprecedented windfall from New York City government: a $42 million grant pushed through by Mayor Bill de Blasio to raise wages at low-paying private bus companies with city contracts.
Employees at the company owned by Mr. Lodde’s firm are expected to be among the largest beneficiaries, and the company itself will benefit from having a better-compensated workforce without having to pay for it.
Asked whether the mayor’s team solicited the six-figure sum after Mr. Lodde’s workers and company had benefited from the school bus legislation, a de Blasio spokesman said the mayor had not personally requested the funds, but declined to say who had.