One Tweet, Two Ethics Violations
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who publicly supports Hillary Clinton, sent out a tweet pressuring Bernie Sanders to agree to a debate with Clinton on her terms, not his, and using city permits as the incentive.
Unfortunately, it appears as if Mayor de Blasio's tactics worked because the debate was scheduled for Clinton's preferred date.
However, this communication was unethical and an apparent violation of conflict of interest laws, as de Blasio used the Office of the Mayor to advance the interests of his preferred candidate and implicitly held hostage a permit to get acquiescence from Sanders.
In response, FACT Executive Director, Matthew G. Whitaker, released the following statement:
“It is not only unethical, but an apparent violation of conflict of interest laws for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to use the Office of the Mayor to advance the interests of his preferred candidate in the Democratic presidential primary race. Using the Mayor’s office in this manner is a misuse of City resources and implies City endorsement of partisan politics. Moreover, it is unethical and outrageous that Mayor de Blasio would use the City function of issuing or not-issuing a permit to strong-arm a political candidate. Mayor de Blasio was elected to serve all the people of New York and we demand he immediately clarify for the citizens of New York that he is not using the resources of City Hall to traffic in political favors and will never do so.”