Ethics Watchdog Calls for Probe of Bill de Blasio
Updated: Mar 8
FACT Says New York City Mayor Used His State PAC
to Bankroll His Presidential Campaign
Washington, D.C.—August 1, 2019—The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), today, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, his federal campaign committee (de Blasio2020) and his political state PAC (NY Fairness PAC). The complaint maintains that de Blasio and de Blasio 2020 used over $52,000 from the NY Fairness PAC account to fund the Mayor’s presidential campaign, a clear violation of federal election law. The complaint also alleges that an additional $29,000 may have been used from NY Fairness PAC to make additional expenditures to fund de Blasio’s presidential campaign effort.
As publicly reported, Bill de Blasio’s “strapped for cash” presidential campaign recently disclosed in an election filing a $52, 851.80 debt owed to de Blasio’s state PAC called NY Fairness PAC. The expenditure was for campaign travel, digital advertising and office rent. Additionally, it was discovered that NY Fairness PAC made another $29,000 in payments for what appears to be expenses related to de Blasio’s presidential campaign. This includes $19,964 for the production of de Blasio’s presidential announcement video and $9,130 for digital services.
Federal law states that a candidate for federal office can only accept $2,800 in contributions from a state nonmulticandidate PAC. This contribution limit also includes any loans made to the campaign.
“There is no grey area here. You simply can’t use a state PAC as a slush fund for a presidential campaign. De Blasio has improperly called this a loan, but it is clearly a contribution. The most his state PAC could have contributed is $2,800, yet it gave at least $52,000. The FEC needs to take this on immediately,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
A full copy of the de Blasio complaint can be found here.
This is FACT’s second complaint against de Blasio. Back in 2016, de Blasio improperly used his official capacity as Mayor to advance Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In this case, de Blasio told Bernie Sanders he could secure city permits for a Sanders campaign rally if he agreed to debate Clinton in Brooklyn. More on that complaint can be read here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: www.factdc.org