New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising practices received a lot of scrutiny earlier this year, and he was eventually not charged after the investigation.
At that time, de Blasio promised a list of money people who were seeking a lot of quid pro quo. His attempt to do so today left his critics unmoved.
After federal and state prosecutors began investigating his fundraising practices more than a year ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio promised the public he’d disclose “a stunning number of donors” who sought favors from City Hall and didn’t get them.
On Friday, de Blasio said he made good on that vow with an op-ed piece in Medium, an online publishing platform. Yet he cited only four unnamed donors who gave unspecified amounts of money. They didn’t get everything they wanted from City Hall, he wrote, and the media reported his campaign fundraising with “undeserved cynicism.”
At least one New York good-government group was unimpressed. “This is not the list of donors seeking attention that the mayor promised to produce to show without question that no favoritism was shown to donors,” said Dick Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union. “By not doing what he said he was going to do, he invites even more questioning.”
Four people is not a “stunning number” by any stretch of the imagination. Keeping them anonymous is hardly an exercise in transparency either.
Of course, New York City politics has long been rumored to be less-than-honorable, but its reputation has gotten better in the last couple of decades. De Blasio may very well be completely blame-free, but the optics here are pretty bad.
And while he wasn’t charged with anything, it was exactly done with praise for a job well done:
Even as it cleared him, though, the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office said it had found a pattern in which de Blasio and his associates repeatedly sought donations from donors with business before the city, and contacted city agencies on their behalf.
Hizzoner may want to dust off some names soon.