Brooklyn landlord and rabbi Moishe Indig, the target of an investigation into campaign donations to Bill de Blasio, has long-running ties to the mayor and won his backing in a campaign against stricter mohel regulation.
According to Politico, Indig helped get de Blasio 7,500 votes from the orthodox Aroni Satmar community during the 2013 Democratic primary. Prior to the vote, de Blasio promised to overturn a rule requiring mohels to get parents’ consent before performing a circumcision. That rule was implemented under Michael Bloomberg after a wave of herpes infections, which mohels reportedly spread to children during the traditional sucking of blood out of the penis following circumcision.
“(De Blasio) told me to announce to our community that he is the only mayor candidate that promised metzitzah b’peh. What Bloomberg did to it, he will right away take away,” Indig said at an event in 2013, according to Politico. “We will not have his meeting with the lawyers. His meeting will be with the rabbis, and right away it will be eliminated. He is the mayor for New York City.”
Indig, an influential rabbi who appeared on the Village Voice’s 10 Worst Landlords list in 2010, served as an unofficial lobbyist for the Aroni Satmar community. “Everyone calls him Indig — has a good heart, and his heart is always in The Right Place. His enthusiasm sometimes gets ahead of procedural niceties,” one source told Politico. “He’s the Bill Clinton of the Hasidic community.”
In October 2013, Indig held a fundraising dinner for de Blasio. He also attended at least two meetings with de Blasio at City Hall. According to Politico, on Feb. 11, 2016 Indig and other Satmars attended a 90-minute meeting with de Blasio at City Hall. Extell Development’s Gary Barnett and Park Tower Group’s George Klein reportedly were in attendance.
In a recent radio interview, de Blasio said Indig is “a community leader and that’s how I’ve known him.” Federal investigators were set to question the mayor over his ties to Indig. [Politico] — Konrad Putzier