De Blasio sets sights on small donations for 2017 campaign

He also blamed Cuomo for the investigations
May 13, 2016 03:40PM

As federal authorities investigate his fundraising activities, Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to change up his re-election campaign strategy.

The mayor told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer on Friday that his 2017 re-election campaign will rely on small amounts of money from a large group of donors, rather than wealthy individuals who can donate the maximum amount. He said the campaign will hold more events like a fundraiser held at Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday, where he raised about $750,000.

This is a distinct strategy shift: His re-election campaign has so far raised more than $1 million, and of that, small donations make up only $963, Politico reported. He noted, however, that he could still  form a 501(c)(4) group to spend on his behalf.

He also — short of naming names — blamed Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the investigations into his fundraising activities. When de Blasio said the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics’ investigation was driven by Albany, Lehrer specifically asked if the mayor meant the governor.

“You can follow the personnel trail, and a lot of it does go to the executive branch.” de Blasio said. “When you look over and over again at a trail of people who clearly have some kind of mandate to pursue us, and not others, you know, there’s a point at which you say, this is not appropriate.”

The fundraising change comes as authorities investigate whether some of the mayor’s top donors have received special treatment from the city and whether de Blasio sidestepped campaign finance laws to raise money for Democratic state Senate candidates. The mayor has previously said that the investigations are politically motivated. [Politico]Kathryn Brenzel