After criticism, slower fundraising at Mayor de Blasio's nonprofit lobbying arm, the Campaign for One New York

By LOUIS FLORES

In the second half of 2015, the pace of fundraising at the Campaign for One New York slowed to just $500,000 from a total of $1,7 million, which had been raised in the first half, by comparison.

The fundraising information for the Campaign for New York was widely reported in the media, no doubt to the chagrin of the de Blasio administration, which had released the information late Friday during a holiday weekend.

The Campaign for One New York acts as City Hall’s nonprofit lobbying arm, and it raises unlimited amounts of political contributions from Wall Street investors, real estate developers, lobbyists, and special interests, many of whom have business pending before New York City government, and the Campaign for One New York uses these funds to advance the political agenda of Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City).

Some government reform activists have complained that Mayor de Blasio municipal policies has come reflect the neoliberal economic agenda of big business interests, and that this could be witnessed in Mayor de Blasio’s decisions to sell strategic public assets, like parks, public libraries, and even the playgrounds of New York City Housing Authority developments ,to real estate developers.  And although Mayor de Blasio campaign for office on a central promise to end race-based policing policies of the New York Police Department, he has inexplicably embraced the NYPD’s “Broken Windows” polcing policy that has been described as neoconservative and discriminatory.

A similar lobbying arm at the state level, the Committee to Save New York, was funded by the Real Estate Board of New York, the Partnership for New York City, and other special interests, which had business before New York State government.  The Committee to Save New York was used to advance the neoliberal economic policies of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) early in his first term in office.  However, the Committee to Save New York quickly folded after it appeared there was a possibility that its fundraising might become the subject of scrutiny by the corruption-fighting panel known as the Moreland Commission.

Many lobbying firms have either made contributions to or have been paid consulting fees for having worked for the Campaign for One New York -- at the same time when these lobbying firms have represented other clients with business before the de Blasio administration, creating potential conflicts of interest.  In an editorial published by The New York Post, the Editorial Board admonished Mayor de Blasio for creating the impression that business interests seeking government work or permits needed to hire one of the mayor’s approved lobbying firms in order to curry favor with the administration.

Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes tried former Kings County Democratic Party chair Clarence Norman in 2007 on corruption charges, alleging that Mr. Norman was forcing candidates to use favored consultants, a sign, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, that the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s endorsement in judicial races could be had -- for a price.