“As New York City’s campaign season hurtles toward the September 12 primaries and November 7 general election, bringing new flurries of fundraising and spending from mayoral candidates, attention has largely been focused on the ‘raising,’ with a few recent donations getting headlines. Less examined has been the spending, and not for a lack of it; according to filings with the city’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB) incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio alone has parted with over $2.48 million in campaign funds this cycle, far outpacing any rivals still in the race…So where has the money gone? Below is an overview of expenditures by candidates spending at least the CFB debate qualification threshold who are still in the race…” Our take: The fascinating graphs in this piece reveal the varying strategies used by each mayoral candidate—and perhaps what it means to be an incumbent verses someone with less name-recognition.
De Blasio Would Sooner Tax the Rich Than Befriend Them
The New York Times
“In 2014, one of New York City’s largest private employers, JPMorgan Chase, sought to make a deal with the newly minted administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio. The company wanted to move thousands of workers to a pair of new office towers in the Hudson Yards development, but it demanded a host of incentives from the city to make it happen. Mayor de Blasio scoffed at the idea, and the plan fell apart…Nearly three years later, Mr. de Blasio has not changed his core philosophy or his approach to Wall Street leaders; as he nears the end of his first term, the mayor has not fostered close relationships with the city’s business giants.” Our take: It’s important to be mindful, of course, that this is a piece primarily based on interviews with business executives, reflecting their perspectives toward De Blasio.
Anthony Scaramucci donates to campaign of mayoral candidate Bo Dietl
The Daily News
“President Trump’s short-lived and foul-mouthed communications director Anthony Scaramucci has made a donation to a similarly colorful character — Bo Dietl, the former detective mounting an unlikely independent mayoral bid. Scaramucci, now legendary for his foul-mouthed on-record rant to a New Yorker writer disparaging his White House colleagues, tossed the maximum $4,950 to Dietl’s campaign. The private investigator has courted his own controversy — dropping profanity here and there but catching more flack for a remark about a judge who ruled against him and ‘looked like’ Chirlane McCray, the mayor’s wife, who is black, and for his work investigating women who reported they were sexually harassed at Fox News.” Our take: Enough said, but going forward it will be interesting to see whether donations from anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign becomes toxic for progressive candidates—and just how many degrees of separation become cause for worry.
If New York City Pays More for the MTA It Should Gain More Fiscal Autonomy
Opinion by George Sweeting in City & State
“After weeks of charges and countercharges between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo over how much the city and state should each contribute towards financing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the mayor seemingly conceded that the city would contribute more, provided the state Legislature approved a tax hike on high-income households. While the immediate reaction to this proposal from leaders in Albany was lukewarm at best, the fact that the mayor had to look to the Legislature for approval highlights the need for one change that should be part of any agreement by the city to increase its MTA contribution: the city can’t be expected to shoulder more of the cost unless the state grants it greater autonomy when it comes to raising its own revenue.” Our take: An interesting question: with city progressives demanding home rule on a host of issues, what leverage might the city have to achieve it?
De Blasio challenger blames mayor for size of field for primary debate
“Mayor de Blasio and Sal Albanese will face-off on NY1 on Wednesday night for the first debate of the mayor’s race…For Albanese, a former city councilman from Brooklyn, he’s hoping the debate is a game-changer — a chance to give his under-the-radar bid for City Hall a boost…Five names are slated to be on the Democratic ballot next month. But only two — de Blasio and Albanese — raised enough money to qualify for the Campaign Finance Board debate, which requires candidates to have raised and spent close to $175,000. ‘I think people want to hear what I have to say, and when they do they are very excited,’ said Richard Bashner. ‘But they will not get a chance if I am not at that debate.'” Our take: For those who want to hear Bashner and some other mayoral candidates at another debate, check out this one.