The Real Deal New York

De Blasio nonprofit didn’t violate rules: Campaign Finance Board

Agency clears mayor over Campaign for One New York, but adds criticism
July 07, 2016 11:01AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York’s Campaign Finance Board on Wednesday announced that mayor Bill de Blasio’s nonprofit, which collected millions in donations from developers, didn’t violate its rules. But the board strongly criticized the mayor’s handling of the nonprofit, dubbed Campaign for One New York, claiming it “plainly raises serious policy and perception issues.”

The board also urged legislators to pass laws that put stricter limits on donations to nonprofits tied to politicians, and said it would view these types of donations as tied to election campaigns if they occur in an election year.

More than 95 percent of the funds raised by the nonprofit would have been banned under the city’s campaign finance laws for political candidates, the board found, according to the New York Times.

Developers are among the biggest donors to the nonprofit, which de Blasio founded to further his policy initiatives.  Altogether, real estate players gave $1.1 million from Jan. 2014 to June 2015, according to the New York Times.

The list includes Toll Brothers TRData LogoTINY, which donated $50,000 and is developing the controversial hotel-condo Pierhouse in Dumbo. The developer has been sued by local residents who argue that Toll built the project higher than legally allowed. Thus far, the city has sided with Toll. Two Trees Management donated $100,000 in April 2015 through an LLC – about a year after reaching a deal with the city to rezone its Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg.

The Real Deal first reported in April that Arana Hankin, a top executive at WeWork, was at the time the biggest bundler for de Blasio’s 2017 re-election campaign, bundling $68,750 in a four-day span in January. [NYT] — Konrad Putzier