FACT WIN: FEC Finds Violation Regarding Bill de Blasio’s Illegal Use of State PAC Money as Slush Fun
Bill de Blasio & The de Blasio 2020 Campaign assessed $53,100 fine for using over $175,000 from his PACs to Fund His Presidential Campaign
Washington, D.C. --- May 22, 2023 --- On Friday, The Federal Election Commission (FEC) acted on a complaint filed by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) against Bill de Blasio, de Blasio’s federal campaign committee (de Blasio 2020), & de Blasio’s state PAC (NY Fairness PAC). The FEC imposed a $53,100 penalty in addition to de Blasio paying back the amounts he failed to report: $52,581.80, $55,000, and $68,000.
On August 1, 2019, FACT filed a complaint requesting the FEC investigate Bill de Blasio and the de Blasio 2020 campaign for accepting excessive contributions from de Blasio’s state PAC and using funds not subject to federal law for his presidential campaign.
Under federal law, de Blasio and his campaign committee were prohibited from accepting contributions in excess of $2,800 from his state PAC and $5,000 from his federal PAC. However, de Blasio admitted that his campaign accepted in-kind contributions in excess of these limits, namely his state PAC paid for travel, rent, and digital services in the amount of $52,851.89 and his federal PAC paid for polling in the amount of $123,000. Additionally, the de Blasio campaign did not disclose these in-kind contributions as required by federal law.
The FEC found de Blasio used his state PAC to fund his presidential campaign and de Blasio 2020 accepted excessive contributions from NY Fairness PAC. The evidence showed a clear-cut FEC violation, and the $53,100 fine was more than warranted.
“There is no gray area here. You simply can not use a state PAC as a slush fund for a presidential campaign. The most his state PAC could have contributed is $2,800, yet de Blasio accepted an in-kind contribution of over $52,000 and used an additional $123,000 from his federal PAC for his campaign. In the end, justice prevailed and the FEC held de Blasio and his federal campaign accountable by enforcing a civil penalty in this case. FACT is pleased to have achieved this result,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
For more context and information read the FEC counsel’s report HERE.
FACT is a nonprofit organization promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit http://www.factdc.org/