According to the New York Post, campaign bundlers for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are now cashing in. Approximately two-thirds (or 67 out of 102 supporters) of de Blasio supporters are now reaping the benefits of their political favors since the Big Apple’s mayor was sworn in.
According to the Post, “some of those bundlers wound up with appointments to various political committees, like lawyer Jay Eisenhofer and Broadway Stages CEO Gina Argento, whose husband has charged she was pressured to donate and raise money.
But four of de Blasio’s top 10 bundlers were lobbyists and advocates for the taxi industry and got private sitdowns from the new mayor, who then pushed a crackdown on Uber and other app-based ride-hail companies that compete with yellow cabs.
Another was the mayor’s cousin, the co-founder of a hotel workers union that has been aided by a similar de Blasio crackdown on Airbnb apartment rentals.
Yet another big bundler, Charles Hocking, got the most obvious favor: $146 million in city contracts for his engineering firm since de Blasio took office.”
If this all was not enough to cast de Blasio in a shady light, the FBI and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara have the NYC mayor under investigation for campaign fundraising activities that deal with how de Blasio solicited campaign cash from various industries under former campaign treasurer, Ross Offinger.
Granting political favors for campaign contributors is nothing new. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have granted access and traded power for campaign cash. The problem for de Blasio is that the transactions appear contrary to the intent and spirit of the laws which are meant to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption. In fact, in another investigation, de Blasio’s nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, allowed the mayor to avoid campaign finance restrictions, where wealthy donors gave to the tune of $3 million. This was essentially a slush for the NYC Mayor.
Like a lot of politicians that state they are for the little guy, de Blasio is just another example of someone that did not legally cross a line, but ethically blew it out of the water.