Hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign came from individuals and entities with interests before the city.
Almost $400,000 in donations to de Blasio's 2020 campaign came from people "with business or interests before the city," the New York Daily News found. These donations amount to over 30 percent of what his campaign raised between mid-May and the end of June.
These donations "came from individuals, corporations, limited liability companies and firms with vested interests in municipal operations and regulations, as well as donors who work for entities lobbying the de Blasio administration and relatives of those with business before the city."
Members of the Hotel Trades Council, who favor de Blasio's tough policies against Airbnb, gave at least $46,000 to his campaign. The real estate industry contributed almost $90,000, with two principals at RAL Development giving $2,800 each. The Daily News notes that RAL was recently chosen by the city to build the Union Square Tech Hub.
De Blasio said his campaign would not take contributions from anyone on the "doing business" database, and his campaign has returned $4,261 from four donors.
The database only includes high-ranking executives, not relatives or other employees. Two employees from Triangle Equities, which is working on multiple development projects with the city, gave $2,800 to de Blasio, even after the campaign returned a donation from Triangle's chief operating officer.
"Once again the mayor is willing to push the limits," said Alex Camarda of Reinvent Albany. "With the mayor raising money from people who effectively have business before the city, it undercuts the intent of campaign finance law."
Despite de Blasio's haul from people with city interests, fellow mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg outraised de Blasio among New York City residents. The South Bend mayor received $2.35 million from city residents in the latest fundraising cycle, more than twice the amount de Blasio raised nationwide since launching his bid in May.
Buttigieg received donations from twice as many city residents (14,000) as de Blasio (6,700).