By raising and spending money in avoidance of the cap and the CFB system, the Mayor has not only created an unequal playing field, but used the system to attempt to boost his standing with the voters and deter potential challengers in the coming election,” Tusk wrote in a letter dated June 13. “His use of this organization to skirt the bounds of the public financing system blatantly defeats its purpose of curbing the influence of special interests in government.”
Campaign Finance Board rules say if the pre-election spending limit is topped, the over-spending is deducted from the primary election cap of roughly $7 million.
If the board were to agree with Tusk’s argument, it would cut de Blasio’s spending ability in a 2017 primary roughly in half.
But de Blasio campaign officials said Tusk has no case because the non-profit never promoted any candidate and ended its work more than 18 months before the 2017 primary.
“Issue advocacy long before an election is not a campaign expenditure under city campaign finance law — whether such expenditures are made by C41NY, Uber, or the PBA,” said de Blasio campaign spokesman Dan Levitan.
CFB officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tusk, who runs a political consulting firm that reps the PBA and a start-up advisory firm that reps Uber, launched an effort last week to identify a primary challenger against de Blasio via the website .
Tusk had served as campaign manager for Mayor Bloomberg’s re-election in 2009.