fact that Mayor de Blasio’s long shot presidential campaign is so
heavily funded by individuals who have interests before the city is
troubling, particularly because the mayor has a track record of favoring
campaign donors,” said Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of
good-government group Citizens Union. “New Yorkers should feel confident
that policy decisions are made, and contracts are awarded, based on
merit and not because and individual or entity has supported a
Update from THE CITY
Bill de Blasio spent more on his presidential run than he reported in
federal campaign filings this week, an analysis by THE CITY found.
extra support came out of a state political action committee de Blasio
launched in 2018 to help New York Democrats — but which recently doubled
as an exploratory committee for his presidential run.
mayor’s NY Fairness PAC spent $68,000 on pre-campaign polling that
wasn’t reported to the Federal Election Commission. The de Blasio
campaign promised Thursday to amend its federal disclosures after THE
CITY raised questions.
CITY identified another $55,000 that de Blasio’s state PAC paid to a
firm that does digital fundraising and marketing. The campaign said that
a portion of that expense will appear in a future federal filing.
spending underscored what some experts called an unusual approach that
taps a state PAC for presidential expenses amid strictly regulated
federal spending and reporting rules for exploratory committees.
Blasio’s set-up also allows his state PAC to collect donations that
don’t get reported in his federal campaign filings — and don’t count
toward the $2,800 contribution limit in the presidential primary.
because de Blasio campaign officials categorized all the contributions
to the state PAC as donations meant to help elect Democrats in New York
State — not as support for his presidential run.
CITY identified 17 contributors who gave the max to de Blasio’s
presidential run in the first half of 2019 while donating $2,500 each to
his NY Fairness PAC. Meanwhile, the next public filings for de Blasio’s
third fundraising arm — his federal Fairness PAC — aren’t due until
mayor has benefited from donors like Queens real estate developer
Michael Cheng, who gave $2,500 to the NY Fairness PAC on March 31. He
told THE CITY he believed he was supporting de Blasio’s potential
the same time, he hosted a fundraiser at his Flushing home to raise
money for the mayor’s federal PAC. In June, he donated $2,800 to de
Blasio’s 2020 presidential committee, FEC records show.
“He’s doing great things for the city,” Cheng said of de Blasio.
Blasio campaign officials said they know of no donations to the state
PAC that were intended to
support the mayor’s consideration of a White
House run. They added the mayor had been clear in his fundraising
pitches at the time.
mayor was consistent in his public and private comments: He wanted to
ensure the issues affecting working families were in the national
dialogue, and had not ruled out a run — but it would ultimately be a
family decision,“ said campaign spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie.
His "private comments"? Is that suppose to be a defensive take on Hillary Clinton's notorious philosophical trope on having public and private positions
exposed in the Podesta emails by Wikileaks?