Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Real New York City Tale of Two Cities AMAZON

A Real New York City Tale of Two Cities: New York's Leaders Bring the Out of Town Techies into NYC, Pushing Out New York's Poor and Middle Class that Voted for Them and Build Out Great City

Politicians who signed pro-Amazon letter now oppose city's deal (NYP)

n a case of be careful what you wish for, politicians who signed a boosterish Dear “Mr. Bezos” letter last year urging Amazon to come to New York City now oppose the deal as a giveaway.

The flippers include Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the frontrunner to become the city’s next Public Advocate.
Queens lawmakers Michael Gianaris and Jimmy Van Bramer, now campaigning to scuttle the deal, also signed the enthusiastic letter to Amazon’s CEO.
Another signatory, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, now calls the deal “a scary precedent for every neighborhood.”
Bronx Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr., who supports Amazon, accused the supporters-turned-critics of “hypocrisy.”
“Last year, I signed onto a letter encouraging Amazon to consider New York City as a site for its new headquarters. This was intended to be the beginning of a conversation,” Williams said in a statement.
Melissa Mark-Viverito, who signed the letter when she was Council speaker, tweeted, on Wednesday “$1.2 billion to lure a company that exploits working people and destroys organized labor. This is #debezosnewyork”.
State Sen. Gianaris, who represents the Long Island City, said, “When that letter was signed, many of us thought that the jobs would be good. We never contemplated that public dollars would secretly be given to Amazon to get that deal.”
Gov. Cuomo, who worked in tandem with Mayor de Blasio to negotiate the Amazon package, said the flippers are ignoring the benefits of snaring Amazon.
“I’m old enough to remember when these pols thought 40,000 direct jobs, a 107,000 total job impact, $27.5 billion in revenue and a 9 to 1 return on investment was 

Corey Johnson rips Amazon's plans for private helipad(NYP)

As Mayor de Blasio touts Amazon as savior for nearby public housing, tenants shiver without heat once again (NYDN) 

City Council looking into legal ways to challenge Amazon deal(NYP)


The anti-Amazon opportunists: Pols complaining about subsidies are really just upset they didn't get a seat at the table (NYDN)


Paddling up the Amazon: Elected opponents are in no position to complain (NYDN)

New York lawmakers who last year said they'd be thrilled to see Amazon land in Long Island City lead a chorus of outrage greeting Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio's deal to bring as many as 40,000 high-end Amazon jobs to Long Island City.
They might as well shout at themselves, for leaving the door wide open for the retailing giant to hack the state's generous economic development programs.
Queens Sen. Mike Gianaris, a leader of the new Democratic majority, headlined a protest condemning $3 billion in state and city subsidies, about half of which comes at Cuomo's discretion.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson and local Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer shout about a planned detour around routine city land use reviews that include a Council vote.
If the critics are so concerned about the tax breaks bestowed on one of the biggest and richest companies in the world without outside review, they should have given a hoot more than a year ago, when New York joined more than 200 other municipalities to compete, if not many years ago, when such disbursements to attract companies began.

Nearly $900 million in Amazon's benefit haul comes automatically, just for setting shop outside midtown Manhattan. Another $400 million is autopilot property tax reduction — both under state law Gianaris made no move to change in his eight years in the Senate, but now says he wants to completely overhaul.
As for $1.2 billion in Excelsior tax credits Cuomo promises: The state previously awarded Amazon up to $45 million under the program for 4,800 new jobs, including at a Staten Island warehouse, and has doled out hundreds of other such breaks to companies in the five boroughs. Crickets.
As for Johnson and Van Bramer, they proved they can be little trusted with make-or-break power over transformative development when Van Bramer nixed a worthy affordable housing project in his district with Johnson and the rest of the Council's assent.
The protesting politicians squandered power. Amazon wielded it savvily. Calling for a do-over doesn't change the outcome of the game.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

One Party Rule New York City

Speaking Truth To Power Under One Party Rule

One of the more famous axioms of the Democratic Party is the importance of speaking truth to power, but what happens when that truth becomes the power?

Like Russia or any other country in the world under one-party rule there can be small differences of opinion, but there is no room for anybody outside the ideological tent. Question one and you question all. Try to compromise with the Republican Party for the good of your constituents or come up with a mix and match ideology, cherry picking the best of both parties, and you’re cut off like a bad arm.

 But politics, like war, is a winner take all game. For better or worse the Dems won, along with their ideological belief in modern liberalism including bigger government, social and economic equality, and increasingly in identity politics.

So knowing that try to say something good about the GOP. Maybe that they care more about small businesses and entrepreneurship and the American ideal of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. That maybe Malliotakis has a reasonable plan regarding this city’s inequitable and skyrocketing property taxes.

Or try challenging the one-party Democratic machine. Question for instance the possibility that it is the Democratic Party in power and not market forces that is spurring gentrification and driving the working class and poor out of the city.

Or dig even deeper. That it’s the institutionalized Democratic Party that is redistributing generational wealth in the black and brown communities, taking fully paid off and owned properties under highly questionable circumstances, and giving them to favored non-profits and for-profits in the name of affordable housing.

Or perhaps question how it is the city and state can offer millions of dollars in subsidies to bring Amazon, Facebook and Google to NYC with their high-paying jobs for the newly educated, while refusing for years entrance to Wal-Mart with its cheaper goods and working-class jobs.


Perhaps it is these types of policies, and not ignorance or racism, which is the reason why rural America just doesn’t get Democrats.
But in the afterglow of the Democrats finally achieving one-party rule in all of New York things like this are better left unsaid.
Unless you are serious about speaking truth to power.

The Real BOE Story: The Political Party Bosses Vs the Voters

Board of Elections Says Extra Machines Were Not Deployed on Election Day (NY1)

State Assembly Holds Hearing on Election Day Issues

The state assembly held a hearing on election refor

Committee holds seven-minute meeting after widespread Election Day complaints.
If members of the New York City Board of Elections were concerned about the broken machines and long lines on Election Day that turned some New Yorkers away from exercising their right to vote, they sure aren’t showing it. The ten-member board’s first public meeting since Election Day lasted just seven minutes and 20 seconds, and voters’ woes weren’t even mentioned – except for when a board member piped up to defend much-maligned BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan.

True News (The Bund): Brooklyn Democratic Boss Seddio 

More about Special Elections  

Today's Queens Democratic machines still use the Surrogate Court (True News)   

True News (The Bund): Bronx Lobbyists MirRam Group 

True News (The Bund): Queens Corruption and District Attorney 667

The Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine

More About Stany Schlein
More About Global Strategy Group
Campaign Lobbyists Control A Secret Shadow Government 

True News (The Bund): NY Corrupt Party Boss Crowley 7896

Three lawyers control Queens Democratic Party ... - NY Daily News


De Blasio allies oppose Board of Election fixes (nyp) 

Mayor Bill de Blasio will have to go up against political allies if he wants to overhaul the city’s widely criticized Board of Elections.
Brooklyn Democratic leader Frank Seddio and his Bronx counterpart, Marcos Crespo — who help pick the commissioners who run the board — told The Post they would oppose de Blasio’s push to remake the embattled agency.
“Why isn’t [the BOE] considered professional now? Even Michelangelo needed a hammer and a chisel to make his statues,” Seddio said last week in Puerto Rico for the annual Somos political conference.
“If the legislators don’t give the board the tools it needs to make the election process function properly, the only blame that should be held is up on top and not on the workers who do their best with the resources they have.”
The agency has come under heavy attack following widespread voting issues at polling stations Tuesday, including the breakdown of hundreds of ballot scanners.
Seddio said a combination of finicky machines and a two-page ballot — all crammed into a single day of high-turnout voting — had put too much strain on the system.
The board has been criticized before for other mishaps, including the purging of tens of thousands of Brooklyn voters from the rolls ahead of the 2016 national election.
De Blasio last week reiterated his call for Albany lawmakers to pass bills that would restructure the agency and grant its executive director, Mike Ryan, power over hiring and firing decisions.
Those duties currently reside with the commissioners appointed by the Democratic and Republican leaders of each borough, which has led to perceptions of the BOE as a patronage mill.


Fix the vote: Tear down the terrible city Board of Elections

It's a depressing-as-hell comment on people whose job it is to collect and count ballots: Leaders of the New York City Board of Elections always hope for low turnout, because they simply can't handle large number of voters coming out to exercise the franchise.
Which is why when New Yorkers, bless them, turned out in droves for Tuesday's midterm election, the system broke down at polling place after polling place.
Scanning machines jammed and were taken offline for hours, apparently because some ballots had a little water on them. (Who'da thunk it might rain? On planet Earth?)
Paper poll books, as usual, dragged out the check-in process. (You want an electronic database of voter names? Sorcery!)

Real structural changes, however, won’t come until the New York City Board of Elections is demolished and rebuilt anew as a nonpartisan entity.
To fix New York City’s election mess, Albany needs to create a nonpartisan body.
Politicians responded, speaking up for their constituents. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for New York City Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan to resign. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a hastily scheduled press conference to call for a series of reforms, including an immediate investigation from the state and city into voting problems, better-trained poll workers and different technology.
 New York City’s chronically mismanaged elections long predate Tuesday’s midterm. In the September primaries, longtime voters showed up to find their names were no longer on the voting rolls. In just the most egregious example from the previous election, 200,000 voters were illegally purged from the rolls in 2016.
Relatively few New Yorkers understand that the Board of Elections’ failure to administer elections properly is a function of its design; party loyalty has long been prized over competence. The mayor and City Council have relatively little say over how New York City’s board operates. It’s an arm of the state Board of Elections, and therefore governed by state law.
The administration of the city Board of Elections is the worst in the state, in part because it is entirely political. It is the last bastion of political patronage in city government, a remnant of the machine era.
Ten commissioners – one Republican, one Democrat per borough – govern the board. The 10 commissioners get together to appoint an executive director, who is now the aforementioned Michael Ryan. Ryan, a Staten Island Democrat who has run for office before, was appointed in 2013. The City Council makes appointments with recommendations from local political parties.

Staffers at the Board of Elections do not pass a civil service test or face the vetting of a typical city employee. They are chiefly tied to the local Democratic or Republican party, and poll workers are recommended for jobs by party officials or elected officials. There is virtually no way to land a job at the Board of Elections without a political connection of some kind. Office staffers are hired through commissioner recommendations and connection to county political machines.

An estimated 48.1 percent of eligible voters cast ballots

City officials can’t promise smoother voting experience in 2020(NYP)

Fix the Board of Elections before trying to change how New York votes (NYP)

 Elections chief concedes ballot scanners were not up to the task on big turnout Election Day (NYDN)

After a Chaotic Election, City Leaders and Watchdogs Call for a System Overhaul (NYT) 

The two-page ballot, necessitated by stupid ballot questions and stupid judicial elections, meant twice as much paper for the scanners to scan. (Newsflash: An eight-year-old device designed solely to scan paper can't do it consistently.) Expect an even bigger mess when the machines' warranty expires in 2020, just when the next presidential election comes around.
It's all par for the course from the boss-run patronage pit, where borough party chiefs pick the commissioners.
This terrible status quo persists even as New York's supposedly enlightened citizens tsk-tsk about electoral dysfunction and shenanigans in Georgia, Kansas, Wisconsin and other states. Shame on us.
The state Legislature must dismantle and rebuild the city's Board of Elections.
And it can wait no longer to offer in the Empire State what is already law of the land in 37 states: early voting.
It's egregiously undemocratic that single parents, people working hourly wages and any number of other would-be voters who have a hard time getting to the polls on a Tuesday have no other way to cast a ballot. Especially when Election Day snafus throw wrenches in the works.
The real role of each commisisoner is to help the party leader that appointed him or her.  It is very curious that the good government groups are not demanding changes from elected leaders, who have done all they can do to hid from responsibility of the corruption and incompetence of the BOE and are the only ones who can make real changes at the board. Pols only care about one thing getting reelected. The BOE is their flu shot against challengers. They will not change the BOE without a strong public protest.


Election Day Angst: Voting Machines Crash All Over NYC (NY1)

Ballot Scanner Breakdowns Plague NYC Polling Places

What Went Wrong at New York City Polling Places? It Was Something ProPublica

'This Is Inexcusable; It Rains in NY': Brooklyn Borough President ... NBC

10 Areas Where DOI Can Investigate the BOE


BOE History of Corruption and Incompetence Timeline

The BOE was designed by Boss Tweed and his success to keep party leaders in control of who gets elected. Over time the city's establishment has made peace with the bosses and joined there control star chamber.  The BOE is filled with a bunch of patronage appointments by the county leader.  Friends, relatives and political supporters who have demonstrated that they cannot count or run elections.


To fix the board of elex (NYP, 2012)
The city Board of Elections is taking it on the chin once again, this time for its alleged mishandling of the vote count in the race between Rep. Charlie Rangel, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and three others.
Did you think that there was no way to botch an election in this age of electronic voting machines and paper audit trails? Unfortunately, with the Board of Elections and the state laws that govern it, snafus are built-in.
It looks like the Election Night problems in this race were a result of a bizarre city BOE rule — but this controversy is a good chance to see the mess the whole agency has become.
Yesterday, I watched the BOE properly conduct the count and certification process in The Bronx and Manhattan. While the Espaillat camp has every right to contest any number of issues, the scandal here is not about supposed Bronx bunglers.
The city Board of Elections is best understood as a pyramid built upon the Peter Principle (the rule that people tend to be promoted to their level of incompetence).
From its top managers all the way down to the Election Day poll workers — the public face of the agency — everyone at the Board is a political appointee.
Government agencies are usually headed by political appointees with little specialized knowledge of their agencies — but they typically have an experienced, professional deputy to run things.
Not so, the city Board of Elections or its borough offices. Many staffers are competent and dedicated workers — but not enough. The dominant role of political patronage is why BOE is lucky to get B-team talent; add in wounds inflicted by state law, and you’ve got real, systemic problems.
One start on fixing things would be to give the mayor control of the BOE, with City Council approval required for appointment of any chief clerk, executive director or deputy executive director.
That way, we’d be able to hold someone to account when things go wrong.
Another improvement — in a bill from Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and Sen. Martin Golden — would modernize and streamline the Election Night canvass procedure and other poll-closing tasks. End the requirement to manually transcribe results onto tally sheets, and let voting-machine memory sticks be used to report unofficial tallies to news organizations.
That bill passed the Assembly but the Senate failed to act. If it had become law, we’d have avoided the time-consuming and error-prone process that produced the Election Night snafu in this race.
Other ideas might work.

But drastic reform is necessary, from the state Board of Elections down to the county level. The agency needs a good stock of nonpartisan professional staffers. The election law must be modernized, too.
Bureaucratic and partisan paralysis is the root of the BOE’s persistent problems, which erode public confidence in our elections.
If politicians won’t reform, modernize and upgrade the agency, the voting public should demand it. And Gov. Cuomo could do worse than to make restoring public confidence in the integrity of the election process his next crusade.

True News (The Bund): BOE History of Corruption and Incompetence ...


Sunday, November 11, 2018

What brought the New York Republican Party to death’s door

. has no plans to step away from New York State GOP chairmanship; Flanagan trying to remain state Senate Republican leader

Cox has no plans to step away from New York State GOP chairmanship; Flanagan trying to remain state Senate Republican leader 

What brought the New York Republican Party to death’s door (NYP)

Tuesday brought the state Republican Party to a new low, and the city GOP to the edge of extinction.
The biggest change has been a long time coming: Republican control of the state Senate has been at risk for decades now, preserved by extreme gerrymandering and the votes of renegade Democrats.
And while the chamber’s GOP members fought off the occasional tax hike and other progressive priorities, its members have mainly focused on what bacon they could deliver for their districts or favors for special interests.
Notably, then-Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno went right along in 2002 when Gov. George Pataki struck his squalid bargain with 1199, the health-care workers union, showering its members with huge permanent raises in exchange for its support in a single election cycle.
Above all, they failed to fundamentally alter New York’s high-tax, high-regulation approach to . . . everything, which has gradually eroded the upstate economy to dust — leading to the depopulation of the state’s most rocked-rib-Republican areas.
Long Island’s economy has done better, but the GOP machines there turned too utterly venal, with misgovernment and outright corruption turning the party brand into a sick joke. The main legacy of these machines will be massive debt, high electric rates, insanely paid cops and white elephants like the Nassau Coliseum.
That’s the other main leg of state Republican power gone.
And the New York City GOP, after generations of not really standing for much of anything, is a walking corpse. With Rep. Dan Donovan’s loss, the city will now send no Republican to the House of Representatives for the first time since the party’s founding back in 1854. Thanks to Staten Island, it still has members in the Assembly and state Senate . . . for now.
Some would like to blame state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, but the simple fact is that he lacks the power and cash to make much difference: Factions like the GOP Senate leadership and the Long Island machines have kept the chairmanship close to ceremonial for years now. Bill Powers was the last strong state chairman, back in ’90s under Pataki.
Frankly, Sen. Al D’Amato, though two decades out of office and regularly aligned with Democrats, may well have more influence in the party than Cox. And lots of Republicans resent that: One reason Marc Molinaro had trouble raising funds this year was that many donors turned cold after he turned to D’Amato- and Pataki-aligned consultants.
And that’s the state of the New York party: scattered factions; some principled, some venal, some just holding on to their ever-smaller club.
The only good news is that there’s nowhere to go but up: to learn and grow enough that Republicans just might possibly be ready to lead when Democrats, now in total control, fail badly enough that voters have to turn somewhere.
If the GOP remnants look to the future, they might be able to have one.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Democratic Senate and Big Money

Republicans went from a one-seat advantage in the State Senate to a 15-seat minority

Albany's first order of business post-election is pay hikes(NYP)



Real Estate Group Steps Up Donations to New York Democrats

Real estate interests hedge their bets by boosting support of state Senate Democrats as debate over rent regulations looms and some see a ‘blue wave’
With a legislative debate over rent regulations looming in New York, real estate interests are hedging their bets in the closely divided state Senate, boosting their contributions to Democrats who are bullish that a blue wave will sweep them into control of the upper chamber.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

NY's Voter Suppression Election Law

With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 6 Anti-IDC Candidates Primary Victories the Voter Suppressive NY Election Law No Longer Does It Job of Protecting Incumbents
The Empire State ranked 48th out of 50 states in 2014 with a participation level of just 29%, due in part to Election-Day-only voting and tough absentee ballot rules. “In a state where you have a plurality of Democratic voters, Republicans never want to make it easier to vote,” said Sen. Diane Savino (D-SI/Bkln). “And Democrats have basically been willing to look the other way. We could do it if the political will was there.” 

New York’s lack of early voting may hurt turnout (NYP)

Why New Yorkers Don't Vote, Voter Suppression, Sucking Power Out of Neighborhoods, Walmartization of Campaigns 



McCain Lawsuit When He Was Knock Off the NY Ballot by Bush in Federal Court Reformed the Petitioning Process Albany Never Has Reform the Election Law and de Blasio Proposition 1 Would Only Deliver More $$ to His Lobbyists  

Special Election and the Election Law, Run Offs



Saturday, November 3, 2018

de Blasio Lawyers Created PACs to Go Around the Election Law

The ballot question would limit the maximum donation to a citywide candidate from $5,100 to $2,000 and increase the public match from $6 per dollar raised to $8.
The Charter Revision Commission did not take up two provisions not subject to those cash limits — independent expenditures and “bundlers,” who collect money for candidates.

The mayor said independent expenditures — uncoordinated spending for or against a campaign — “have been a fairly minor factor to date.” 
. wants voters to lower campaign limits from $5,100 to $2k for citywide office. His proposal doesn't deal with independent expenditures and bundlers - rules that are not subject to the same dollar limits.

 Data and Fields

The WFP and Berlin Rosen Has Played Fast and Lose With the Election Law, Data and Field Arrests 
8 Lobbyists Consultants and Citizen UnitedDark Pools Lobbyists Campaign Consultants and Money
Campaign Reform and Media Cover Up of Citizens United On Local 2013 Election 

Working Families Party candidates warned about financial dealings with Data and Field Services firm (NYDN)

The City Campaign Finance Board on Wednesday fired a warning shot across the bows of candidates that have hired a consulting group tied to the Working Families Party, telling them to be careful going forward about their financial dealings with the firm.
A number of candidates have paid Data and Field Services thousands of dollars in consulting and campaign staffing fees, including public advocate hopeful Bill de Blasio and City Council candidates Daniel Dromm, S.J. Jung, Brad Lander, Deborah Rose, Lynn Schulman, James Van Bramer and Jumaane Williams.
Data and Field Services performs tasks like canvassing, leafleting and making calls for candidates.
"Based on information acquired by the board to date, it is the board's understanding that DFS exists as an arm of the Working Families Party," the board said in a statement.
That means candidates have to report any help they get from the party, like making phone calls or handing out leaflets, as either an in-kind contribution from the party or as a campaign expenditure.
De Blasio has two contracts with Data and Field Services totaling $90,140, a campaign aide said.
WFP spokesman Dan Levitan said the party shares the board's "interpretation of the law" and is confident of compliance.
De Blasio, who has already reported paying Data and Field Services $31,305 this cycle, said the campaign sought guidance from the board on this matter and is in compliance.

All have been endorsed by the WFP. None have been penalized by the board.
The board says going forward it will consider whether candidates have gotten unfair discounts from the group, and whether the work runs afoul of contribution limits.


When he ran for mayor in 2013, the independent expenditure rules allowed for a $1 million-plus campaign to attack one of his rivals, Christine Quinn, for failing to ban horse carriages in Central Park.  De Blasio undoubtedly benefited from that money, and promised during the same campaign to rid the city of the carriages as soon as taking office, which never happened.
said independent expenditures have not played a major role in city elex, but in 2013 a $1M IE against Chris Quinn was considered damaging to her reputation and helpful to BDB's success.

NYCLASS which was used to destroy mayoral front runner Speaker Quinn race for mayor by forces close to de Blasio is now being sabotage from within to please the unions and other special interests who want to keep carriages rolling in the park.  It is not the voters who were behind the horse carriage ban, 70% of New Yorkers support the horses.  It was the money the NYCLASS PAC made available during the campaign that was the goal of the de Blasio conspiracy team.

NYCLASS PAC spent more than $1 million to help defeat Christine Quinn, who was then de Blasio’s main opponent and did not support the horse carriage ban. As a councilman and public advocate de Blasio supported horse carriages.  As a candidate for mayor, de Blasio switched positions and embraced NYCLASS’ call to banish the carriage horses from Central Park and city streets. de Blasio made his pledge to support the horse carriage ban in March of 2013, the next month the attacks on Quinn started. In the year and a half that de Blasio has been mayor there have been many promise to ban the horse carriages but no bill in the council to make the campaign promise real. During the 2013 campaign NYCLASS hired campaign consultant lobbyists Scott Levinson who runs the Advance Group. Before the NYCLASS campaign Levinson worked with  Bertha Lewis, co-founder of the New York chapter of the Working Families Party, and the former head of ACORN in a tangled web of political cover-ups disguises as activism.  It was during de Blasio run for public advocate that the WFP created Data and Field to help the candidates they endorsed.  During the 2009 campaign the CFB declared Data and Field connected to the WFP in violation of the city's campaign finance laws.  In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.  In 2013 Levinson was named the consultant for NYCLASS which is credited with taking out Quinn. The NYCLASS PAC was financed by true believer and team de Blasio. * As the Media Write About Not Enough Council Votes to Ban Horse Carriages TRUE NEWS Investigates How NYCLASS Was Hijacked To Fix the Outcome of the 2013 Mayoral Election


The NYCLASS PAC Caper to Steal the 2013 Mayoral Election is Now Being Put to Sleep
Citizens United PACs Have Destroyed Public Financing Mayor One NY PAC, Why is the Media Cover-Up the NYCLASS Investigation?
How the Advance Group Conspired to Steal the 2009 and 2013 Election
A Tale of Two CFBs: Albanese vs Campaign PAC NYCLASS, UFT's United for the Future 


Campaign for One NY
Some of the largest contributors to the anti-Quinn effort then helped fund his first political entity, Campaign for One New York.

Asked directly if he was comporting with the law by appearing at a rally with City Hall staffers — albeit at a private union headquarters — he replied, “No, I am not going against the directive of the Law Department; no, I am not breaking the law.”
City Hall will not say who the 6 taxpayer-funded aides on leave to work on 's ballot initiatives are, per via

How True News Investigation Exposed the Campaign for One NY Interlocking Directories Story
de Blasio One NY PAC Interlocking-directorates Slush Fund, Berlin Rosen, Bill Hyers, Red Horse


De Blasio, beneficiary of donors' largesse, calls for reform at union rally (Politico)

Mayor Bill de Blasio joined union and political allies at a rally Thursday to push for his campaign finance reform initiative, and ended up having to defend his own record on the issue.
The mayor is urging voters to approve three ballot questions that his Charter Revision Commission devised this year — one to lower campaign donation limits for city candidates, another to establish a mayoral commission for civic engagement and a third to limit the terms of community board members.

“Most people don’t know rich people. I’m not sure rich people want to know most of us,” the mayor said. “They’ve got their own world. But if you’re ready to run for office and all you hear is, ‘Well where’s all the money,’ it’s horrible, it’s discouraging.”

The mayor has participated in the city’s campaign finance program since his first run for office in 2001, agreeing to limits that are regarded as some of the most stringent in the country.
But he also accepted money during those campaigns from the same types of donors he decried at the rally — lobbyists, real estate executives and high-level attorneys, for instance.

As mayor, de Blasio has also opted to raise limitless cash from developers, unions and others with business before his administration through four separate entities — including one that was the subject of a multi-year federal investigation that did not yield any charges.

When asked Thursday, de Blasio said he was simply playing by the rules set in motion through the 2010 Citizens United decision, in which the Supreme Court protected corporate and union spending in elections as free speech. He predicted the ruling would be overturned one day.

The Mayor Wife and PAC
City Hall told the public Chirlane McCray was headed to Iowa for mental health events connected to her government work, at taxpayer expense. 20 minutes ago they said they've suddenly added political events, paid for by mayor's political PAC, for which COIB gave approval last week