Now we know why Pizza Rat was lugging that large slice of cheese down the steps. It was an unexpected outcome of a donation to Bill DeBlasio’s now shuttered nonprofit.
Mint-X garbage bags are produced by JAD Corp. of America. The New York Post reports the company secured a contract with the city shortly after making a $100,000 donation to DeBlasio’s nonprofit Campaign for One New York:
[Joseph] Dussich spent nearly a decade unsuccessfully lobbying Parks to use the bags, whose non-toxic mint scent is supposed to keep away rats, squirrels and other rodents.
His luck changed after he donated $50,000 in December 2014 and another $50,000 in February 2015 to the Campaign for One New York, which operated outside the campaign finance system, and which the mayor this year disbanded amid scrutiny of its handling.
Ten days after the second donation, Dussich was granted a private sit-down with de Blasio at City Hall, and a month later, JAD was handed the trial contract with the Parks Department.
That trial contract was a success and led to a big contract worth $5.9 million. Dussich’s company didn’t win that contract but the company that did win is buying the Mint X bags from him wholesale and then reselling them to the city. That’s thanks to a contract that one city parks watchdog tells the NY Post says sounds like it was, “tailor-made to guarantee Dussich’s product would be sold to the city no matter what.”
Campaign for One New York was not part of DeBlasio’s campaign. In fact, it sounds like the New York equivalent of the Clinton Foundation, only shadier. The group announced it was stopping all fundraising in March. However the New York Daily News reports it collected large sums of money from various entities that had business with the city:
Steve Nislick and Wendy Neu — the two anti-horse-carriage lobbyists prohibited from donating large amounts to de Blasio’s mayoral campaign because of their efforts to enact a ban — each gave $50,000 to the group in 2015.
That donation came three days after a meeting on horse carriages. The two have given a total of $125,000 to the group since its inception.
Other noteworthy donations included a whopping $350,000 from the American Federation of Teachers — the umbrella union for the city’s teachers — and $100,000 from Two Trees Management, a real estate developer that does business with the city.
The Post reports the trash bag contract is under investigation by “state and federal investigators.” That’s just one of five different investigations surrounding the NY Mayor. The NY Times reports four of the five involve “possible violations of criminal law.”