Obscure Ban Is Driving Inquiry Into de Blasio’s Fund-Raising

J. David Goodman, William Neuman and William K. Rashbaum take an indepth look into Mayor deBlasio’s efforts to assist 2014 state senate campaigns through obscure election law provisions. The article runs in today’s New York Times.

They write that “during most election cycles, Putnam County, N.Y., is a sleepy backwater, with few donations of more than $1,000 coming into the local Democratic committee in the decade beginning in 2004.

But 2014 was different. Amid an aggressive push by Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City to wrangle donors to help secure Democratic control of the State Senate, a flood of large contributions started pouring into the Putnam committee and at least two other county committees.

Over two weeks in October that year, the Putnam committee received 16 donations, totaling $547,300, from labor unions, real estate interests and individuals including the grocery store magnate John A. Catsimatidis. The money then went to two Democratic candidates in tight Senate races, Terry Gipson and Justin Wagner, who would have been barred by state election law from collecting such large sums directly.”



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