Friday, May 6, 2016
Mayor de Blasio personally sought donations from folks with business before the city, it’s not just his aides who could be in deep trouble — but Hizzoner himself. The left loves extortion
If Mayor de Blasio personally sought donations from folks with business before the city, it’s not just his aides who could be in deep trouble — but Hizzoner himself.
Developer Don Peebles says de Blasio personally called him and another real-estate insider in 2014 and asked for contributions to the mayor’s Campaign for One New York, DNAInfo reported Wednesday.
At the time, Peebles was about to ask the Landmarks Preservation Commission to OK plans to turn a building his firm owned into condos. “It’s hard for a business person who has business interests in New York City to tell the mayor no,” Peebles said.
He wrote a check — and Landmarks soon OK’d his plans.
Peebles, a possible candidate for mayor, might have a motive for smearing de Blasio. But Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis also says the mayor personally asked him to give, to the Putnam Democratic Committee. He forked over $50,000.
None of this may count as a quid pro quo. But the law bans officials from even asking for money from people with matters — or who likely will have matters — before the city.
And numerous donors have been treated suspiciously well by the city around the time of their “gifts.” NY1 found 60 donations to CONY from unions or others with city business. A developer who gave $10,000 won a variance. SEIU Local 1199 chipped in $250,000 and got a nice contract.
Alexis Lodde, a Texan, sent $100,000 to an upstate Democratic account as Team de Blasio was raising funds for upstate Senate candidates. That was just two months after the mayor pushed through a $42 million grant for drivers at school-bus companies, including one linked to Lodde.
And the shoes keep dropping. Thursday, DNAInfo said, the feds are looking at “straw donor” abuse in his 2013 campaign — and cited several cases of “donors” who sure look like illegal cut-outs.
Now prepare to get really angry: To handle all the probes, City Hall just hired two powerful law firms — Debevoise & Plimpton, and Carter Ledyard & Milburn — to defend it.
That’s right: The taxpayers will be shelling out for Team de Blasio’s defense.