LostMessiah, April 11, 2016
ARITHMETIC, MAYOR DE BLASIO, R&R – +/-…
If Mayor de Blasio did not actually know Jona Rechnitz or Jeremy Reichberg, he would not find a need to distance himself. In fact, what were they doing on his Inaugural Committee? Why would they have been providing him with campaign contributions? Really?
MAYOR DE BLASIO, YOUR ACCOUNT OF EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES JUST – DO. NOT. ADD. UP.
De Blasio Distances Himself From Businessmen in Federal Probe
“HIGH BRIDGE—Mayor Bill de Blasio distanced himself Sunday from two businessmen embroiled in a federal corruption probe of the NYPD that has expanded to his campaign fundraising practices, saying that he doesn’t know the men that well and that his campaign is returning donations from both.
“It’s not a particularly close relationship,” the mayor said of his ties to businessmen Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz. “I met them first around the time of the general election. I hadn’t know them previously, really haven’t seen them in the last year or more.””
“Both businessmen were on de Blasio’s inaugural committee. Rechnitz and his wife contributed $4,950 each to de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign.
Reichberg raised $35,000 for the Campaign for One New York, a non-profit group connected to the mayor that accepted money from groups with business before the city to accomplish de Blasio’s political goals.”
“I have no evidence of that fact. We have gotten no inquiry from any office and no one associated with me has gotten any inquiry, so I just can’t comment on something I have no specifics on,” de Blasio said.
Last week, de Blasio said he would wait for the outcome of the federal investigation before deciding to return campaign donations from the two men and that he would not take any of their donations for his 2017 re-election campaign.
Asked why he had now decided to return the men’s donations, de Blasio said that he was prompted to act after the NYPD internal affairs probe had progressed “to a point where they have enough evidence for the disciplinary actions taken against the officers.”
“That’s what made me decide we should go the only other step we have which is to return the 2013 donations,” de Blasio added.
Asked about the role of the two men on his inaugural committee, de Blasio said they both just “supported the effort.”
Neither Reichberg nor Rechnitz has been charged with any crime.
“We are fully confident that the campaign has conducted itself legally and appropriately at all times,” said de Blasio campaign spokesman Dan Levitan.
A spokesperson for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined comment.
The Campaign for One New York and United for Affordable NYC announced they would close last month after good government and tenant groups questioned whether the organizations, which can take unlimited amounts of money and are not required to report donors or what the money was spent for, were violating campaign laws.
In calling for an investigation, Common Cause said the practice “blurs the line between campaign activity and the Mayor’s function as the head of New York City government” and “raises serious questions about who has influence and access to the policymaking process.”
De Blasio said the Campaign for One New York would not be returning any money Reichberg raised.”