Just a few short months ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted Governor Andrew Cuomo for allowing special interests to influence how the administration handles its business.
“Follow the money,” hizzoner said, referring to hedge fund donors and other wealthy types who are perceived to have too much sway in Albany.
Now it appears special interests have a good amount of sway over de Blasio’s administration as well – to the tune of nearly $4 million.
Via Politico New York:
City Hall is open for business.
After the 12-year mayoralty of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, whose wealth afforded him level [sic] of insulation from campaign donors, a more transactional style of politics has taken hold through an organization Mayor Bill de Blasio set up to promote his policy agenda.
Since its inception on Dec. 12, 2013, the operation known as Campaign for One New York has accepted $3.87 million from dozens of real estate developers, unions and others who do business with City Hall. The setup allows the mayor to raise money outside the regulations of the city Campaign Finance Board.
The contributors to his group include individuals and firms seeking approvals for their projects, and they often donate through limited liability companies that obscure their identities.
In some cases, donors gave money right before or after getting a city-granted benefit, according to a POLITICO New York review of $1.71 million in individual contributions that poured in during the first six months of 2015.
At least 46 of 74 donors listed in the latest six-month filing — 62 percent of them — either had business or labor contracts with City Hall or were trying to secure approval for a project when they contributed, public records show.
Of the others who don’t actually have business before the city, George Soros’s name pops up for contributing $250,000 to the organization.
Soros and his son Jonathan, have been hypocritical crusaders against money in politics.
In 2012, Jonathan Soros pledged to spend more money in future New York campaigns to prove a point about too much money in New York campaigns.
Confused? So were we.
Soros made this statement on the heels of helping the campaign of Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, to which he donated over a quarter of a million dollars:
The lesson both in this election and elsewhere is that it’s not having a ton of money that makes a difference, but it’s having enough to get your message out and be heard.
The campaign account for de Blasio stands in stark contrast to the mayor’s battle to eradicate unlimited donations to political action committees.
Cross-posted at the Mental Recession