I want you all to prepare yourselves for some shocking news. Take a seat or get close to a fainting couch. Pass out smelling salts to those who may be prone to sudden collapse under duress. I realize you’re probably not prepared to absorb something this serious which shatters your previously held image of the world we live in, but a major New York City Democrat may be on the verge of being embroiled in a serious corruption scandal.
(I’ll just give you all a few moments to recover from the blow.)
Michael Goodwin at the New York Post came out with a bold prediction this weekend, claiming that Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio was about to “go down” to a series of campaign fundraising and money scandals which are now being examined by the New York State Board of Elections. This may be a bit premature in terms of a victory dance on Michael’s part, but it certainly looks like there’s enough smoke here to indicate a real fire underneath it all.
Less than a week ago, Mayor de Blasio was offering aid to Ecuadorians after the earthquake there. Now a political earthquake is rocking City Hall and the mayor is the one who needs help.
The report from the state Board of Elections that accuses him and his team of “willful and flagrant” violations of campaign-finance laws immediately changes everything.
The veneer of business as usual is shredded. Never again can de Blasio wave off questions about the mushrooming investigations of his administration. As revelations pile up day after day, allies will desert him and the Putz will find himself a very lonely man.
There is no way to sugarcoat the facts: de Blasio is in trouble. Maybe very big trouble.
Describing the Mayor’s office as being the seat of a criminal enterprise, Goodwin tells a few tales here which include some very serious allegations which could indeed spell the end of de Blasio’s tenure if the Board of Elections takes him to the mat. The more recent events deal not with the Mayor’s own election, but the 2014 state senate races. He raised in excess of $40M, largely based on his own direct fundraising meetings with union leaders, real-estate developers, law firms and consultants. The money was allegedly channeled into nearly untraceable slush funds where it could be distributed as needed.
Even worse, the allegations include charges that Mayor de Blasio was busy making promises of favors in exchange for the donations. The charges appear to be serious enough that the board referred them to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who recently teamed up with a familiar name around these parts… US Attorney Preet Bharara. Yes, that’s the same guy who took down Sheldon Silver along with several other prominent New York politicians and was, for a time, thought to be going after the Governor himself. (That tree has thus far not born any fruit.)
All of this is on the heels of three previous scandals which were already under the magnifying glass.
The mayor’s 3 strikes:
Bill de Blasio loves talking about income inequality, and if these reports bear out he’s been actively working to redistribute quite a bit of that income. Unfortunately for him, a few of those moves may qualify as felonies.