De Blasio’s Donors Don’t Want to Vote For Him

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio / Getty Images
• May 28, 2019 11:50 am


Mayor Bill de Blasio's (D., N.Y.) hometown paper had trouble finding supportive voters, even among his most generous donors.

New York Times report Tuesday reached 35 of the 115 top donors to Fairness PAC, de Blasio's federal fundraising vehicle. Of those, five said they planned to support him.

The PAC, created to support progressive candidates nationwide has drawn scrutiny on account of its disproportionate spending on de Blasio himself and those with ties to business interests in New York City. Of the $500,000 collected in 2018, "only a small fraction" went to other candidates, according to the Times.

The Times report describes donations made for a range of reasons, none of them an overriding interest in seeing de Blasio defeat his opponent. Two men contacted by phone explained their motives for giving:

"I'm 95 years old," [Howard L. Gottlieb, an Illinois political donor] said. "Do you think I remember every dime that I've ever given to anyone, especially as insignificant as that?" He added that he had no interest in seeing Mr. de Blasio as president.

"For president? No," he said.


Alex Tourk, a San Francisco public relations executive who gave $5,000 in September, had kind words for Mr. de Blasio. But as a presidential candidate? "I am supporting Senator Kamala Harris," he said.

Since announcing his run for president in mid-May, de Blasio has struggled to crack 1 percent in national polls.

Earlier this month, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.) wondered how de Blasio could justify running for federal office when he had yet to do his job for the city.

"What are you running on?" James asked. "Has school segregation been addressed? So all of these issues and more—obviously, listen, he can run, he's the 23rd candidate, I understand that, but the question is why? Por que? Like, what's up?"

Writing in New York Magazine this week, journalist Eve Peyser also described struggling to find a single de Blasio supporter in his own city. Despite standing outside the mayor's gym, posting on social media, and contacting family, Peyser found no supporters. She found two after asking de Blasio's staff for referrals.

De Blasio still needs 65,000 unique donors to give even $1 for him to qualify for the primary debates in June.

Published under: 2020 Election, Bill de Blasio