“We call upon whoever is elected to commit themselves to ethics reforms that clean up City Hall.”

–Randy Mastro, chairman of the Citizens Union, explaining the group’s decision not to endorse Mayor de Blasio
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Citizens Union Will Not Endorse in Mayor’s Race, Citing Ethical Concerns

The New York Post

“In a stunning slap at Mayor de Blasio, one of the city’s leading civic groups announced Monday that it is not making an endorsement in the mayor’s race for the first time in a half century because of ‘troubling’ ethical issues hounding the administration. ‘This is a sad day for Citizens Union that it cannot, in good conscience, support any of the candidates for mayor, including the incumbent, who has spent most of his tenure engulfed in troubling ethical issues that continue to swirl around him. New Yorkers deserve better than this,’ said Randy Mastro, the group’s chairman.”

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In Wake of Killing, Schools to Push Harder Against Bullying

WNYC

“New York City education officials said on Monday they would commit $8 million system-wide to expand anti-bullying measures and create new programs, including devising an online complaint portal for families and providing targeted support for 300 schools with high rates of bullying. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced the initiatives at a City Council oversight hearing on bullying, harassment and discrimination in the public schools. The issue of safety and bullying, specifically, came under scrutiny since a student was fatally stabbed in a classroom at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation last month.”

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Bernie and Bill Take a Subway Ride

The New York Times

“Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday seemed like a candidate fighting hard to keep his job, instead of one coasting to re-election. Dogged by questions about favors for donors, Mr. de Blasio found himself on a hot and delayed subway train with Senator Bernie Sanders, using the popular liberal from Vermont to rekindle a policy dispute with the governor. A bit earlier, the mayor had accepted the endorsement of another senator, Chuck Schumer of New York, at Grand Central Terminal before heading over to Penn Station to meet Mr. Sanders, who came to the city to offer support for Mr. de Blasio and immediately rode an A train with him, trailed by a gaggle of reporters. ‘Hillary Clinton couldn’t do it,’ Mr. Sanders quipped with satisfaction after successfully swiping his MetroCard, a reference to Mrs. Clinton’s struggles at the subway turnstile during the 2016 campaign. ‘It’s your New York soul coming out,’ the mayor replied.”

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Former De Blasio Donor Keeps Dishing

PoliticoNY

“Jona Rechnitz, the star witness in union chief Norman Seabrook’s corruption trial, testified Monday that he personally paid for a hotel stay for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s top fundraiser during a visit to the Dominican Republic, and communicated with the mayor on a weekly basis. The testimony comes after a weekend where de Blasio bitterly denounced Rechnitz as a liar, and said he did not have a close relationship with him. Rechnitz’s testimony Monday is the first time allegations have arisen that a person involved in the scandal surrounding de Blasio’s fundraising apparatus personally benefited from a relationship with de Blasio’s donors.”

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Council Set to Impose Stricter Oversight of Biz Subsidies

Gotham Gazette

“The EDC handles a wide array of projects and initiatives from infrastructure and real estate development to cultural projects and parks and public spaces. The organization’s work is at the center of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create 100,000 jobs over ten years that pay $50,000 annually, and it recently led the process for the city’s bid to host the second headquarters of retail giant Amazon. Hundreds of projects receive financial assistance each year from the city through EDC in the form of tax benefits, loans, grants, and even energy benefits But as of now, EDC is required to report little publicly about its operations and the benefits of its work to the city and New Yorkers. The City Council bills being passed this week, which are expected to be signed into law by the mayor, seek to increase those reporting requirements to add a layer of accountability and transparency to EDC’s work.”

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