PROGRESS QUEENS STAFF REPORTS
Comments to an article published by The New York Times suggested that critics of Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) are seeing through the blatant machinations that the mayor's advisors are using to raise political donations for a controversial nonprofit group, the Campaign for One New York, that acts as an outsourced lobbying arm of City Hall.
The Campaign for One New York raises money from big money political donors that are only disclosed at intervals of twice a year, according to the report in The New York Times. The nonprofit group uses the proceeds of that fundraising to pay for consultants and advertising to support the mayor's political agenda.
A chief firm paid to work for the Campaign for One New York is BerlinRosen, a campaign consulting firm that was also paid to perform campaign work by Mayor de Blasio's successful 2013 mayoral campaign committee.
BerlinRosen was also a consultant to the real estate developer behind the zone-busting project anchored at the old Domino Sugar refinery in Brooklyn at the same time when the firm was advocating for the mayor's expansion of prekinder classrooms. At the time of BerlinRosen's advocacy in connection with the expansion of prekinder classrooms, the Campaign for One New York was known as UPKNYC.
BerlinRosen would appear to later represent both sides in the sale of the Pacific Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
Some critics saw the fundraising, which is being done "quietly," according to The New York Times, as unethical.
Here are select comments that were published to accompany the article in The New York Times :
Tammany Hall alive and well.
Maybe the Mayor can have Dante solicit for donations?
Jaded New Yorker....Upper East Side.
-- Steve, Manhattan
Seems like the Mayor learned from the early days of Gov. Cuomo's first term when a very large pot of money from real estate and Wall Street was used (without coordination with him, of course!) to support his policies via advertising of various kinds. Effective? Probably. Ethical. Not in my book.
There is a simple rule of politics. Major donors expect something in return for their "gifts." Always.
-- AliceWren, NYC
The idea that the Mayor is amassing money to fight well resourced opponents is a bit misleading because many New Yorkers who see the wide ranging devastation likely to be caused by the Mayor's massive giveaways to developers in his proposed zoning proposals and "affordable" housing plans. Developers will benefit and tax payers will pay. Developers will profit and their taxes will be abated. Developers will be awash in benefits that the Mayor alleges they need to be encouraged to build market rate housing in Manhattan while good quality housing will be demolished and tenants will be turfed out as luxury condos rise into the clouds. The mayor is getting a war chest together to silence the neighborhoods and shut down any grass roots opposition that would have the courage to oppose him. That is why he wants the money. Don't be fooled; the well resourced people are on the Mayor's side.
-- Justice Holmes, Charleston