William De Blasio is the Mayor of New York City and – at least for the moment – the latest Democrat candidate for president.
Since Mr. De Blasio is a Democrat, and New York – after a very productive 20 year hiatus under mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg – has reverted back to voting for anyone with a “D” after his/her name, he easily won re-election to a second term.
But what kind of a Mayor is he? How, for example, does he look ethics-wise?
Here is your answer, excerpted from Julia Marsh, Nolan Hicks and Rich Calder’s article in the New York Post:
Since de Blasio was elected the 109th mayor in 2013 on a “Tale of Two Cities” platform, he’s disappointed many of the liberals who put him in office.
The city’s long-struggling Housing Authority collapsed under the weight of a lead-poisoning scandal, culminating in a federal lawsuit alleging a massive cover-up of toxic living conditions and a repair bill that hit an eye-watering $32 billion in 2018.
De Blasio was forced to accept federal oversight of NYCHA to settle a lawsuit brought by Manhattan federal prosecutors and has embraced the partial privatization — once an anathema — as one way to pay for renovations at many of its 325 projects.
While NYCHA rotted, the city’s homelessness crisis ballooned. Roughly 60,000 New Yorkers are now living on the streets, while the administration struggles to battle back neighborhood opposition to new homeless shelters.
Continuing probes alleged pay-to-play schemes have dogged de Blasio’s mayoralty.
The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics is still investigating his shuttered Campaign For One New York, a nonprofit that folded in 2016 after taking in $4.3 million to promote his pet projects, including pre-K expansion.
De Blasio ducked federal and state charges in 2017 after he was accused of handing out favors in exchange for donations to his political group.
But the city Department of Investigation concluded in 2018 that the mayor hit up individuals and companies with matters pending before city agencies to fill the coffers of the Campaign For One New York.
And the corruption claims linger.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer has subpoenaed the mayor for information about a $173 million real estate deal with developers Stuart and Jay Podolsky, who are represented by politically connected Brooklyn attorney Frank Carone.
The city paid the Podolskys $30 million above the appraised price for 21 buildings in the Bronx and Brooklyn to create more affordable housing. Carone donated $5,000 to de Blasio’s Fairness PAC last fall.
The mayor has defended the price tag, saying it was cheaper than taking the properties by eminent domain. He’s also said there was nothing wrong with accepting Carone’s cash because it was cleared by his lawyers.
The scandal will likely follow de Blasio on the campaign trail, where he’d rather talk up his progressive message of free pre-K and paid sick leave.
And that, folks, is a partial list.
So why is an ethically challenged failure like William De Blasio running for President?
Well, one possibility is that he isn’t running at all. He is using the “presidential run” to accumulate donations from parties doing business, or wanting to do business, in New York City. i.e. “Pour that money into my “presidential” run, or you won’t get another city contract for the years remaining in my second term of office.”
Given De Blasio’s ethical history, it’s not at all hard to believe this possibility. How about you?
Let me end by showing you yesterday’s New York Post front page, telling readers of De Blasio’s announcement:
In case you can’t read the bottom of the page, it starts with the derisive “American begged and pleaded, so he finally answered the call”.
Somehow, I doubt the paper will be endorsing him…