The Satmar and the Value of their Money – De Blasio’s Presidency Bid and the Money in His Coffers…

Orthodox Jews stroll in Borough Park | Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo

Satmar Chassidim Helping DeBlasio Presidential Campaign Stay Alive

The following is via Politico:

Mayor Bill de Blasio is turning to reliable allies in New York City’s Orthodox Jewish community as he scrambles for debate-qualifying donations to his presidential bid.

A fundraising request for 10,000 donors giving just $1 each is circulating online and on WhatsApp — an encrypted messaging app — among those in the Orthodox Satmar sect, which is prominent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The message, written in Yiddish and translated for POLITICO by three different people fluent or conversant in the language, acknowledges the mayor’s long-shot chances. It says it is not a request to support his White House bid, but rather to help him qualify for the September debate.

Failing to secure a spot on the national stage would be a blow to his struggling campaign.

The pitch also implies the donations would yield favorable treatment in the future.

It opens with a donation request on behalf of those “who work together with the faithful askanim [loosely translated to influential people] who are in constant contact with the government to lobby on a number of issues on behalf of our holy institutions and communities and for individuals who need help and to represent your interests,” according to one translation from a fluent Yiddish speaker.

It says the mayor “personally asked” for the support and then asks donors to extend the request to their wives and adult children.

“By donating the dollar you support your needs, the entire ultra-Orthodox public and our rights and needs by answering the call of askanim who need to show that the public recognizes those who understand our interests,” it reads.

Finally, it notes, “with the dollar you do not support his candidacy but you can help get him to the debate.”

De Blasio needs to show the Democratic National Committee he has raised money from 130,000 individuals in order to qualify, and as of his campaign filing this month, he only had about 6,700.

The message, shared with POLITICO by two people involved in Jewish politics who declined to be named, was signed by people they identified as Satmars.

The sect is divided into two factions, based upon loyalty to brothers locked in a succession feud following the death in 2006 of their father, prominent rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum.

To continue reading via YWN click here.

 

In search for debate-qualifying donors, de Blasio finds help among Orthodox Jews

From Politico.

De Blasio’s Donors Are Largely Big Money Interested Parties and their Law Firms, Where Will the Money Go, He Can’t Win.

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during an interview at Buzzfeed's Internet Live event at Webster Hall.

De Blasio begs for $1 donations to make September debates

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio resorted to begging for $1 donations during an interview Friday in a desperate attempt to meet the 130,000 contributor threshold to qualify for the third Democratic presidential debates in September.

“I want to make an appeal to your listeners,” de Blasio said on the Laura Coates Show on Sirius XM.

“If you believe in things like a bill of rights for workers please help me. Donate at least $1 online at BilldeBlasio.com. Help me stay on that debate stage,” he pleaded.

On Tuesday the term-limited pol unveiled his Workers Bill of Rights — a part of his 2020 platform that includes raising the national minimum wage to $15 and providing two paid vacation time.

De Blasio has just a few weeks to qualify for the September 12 and 13 debates in Houston. Candidates must attract 130,000 individual supporters and poll at 2 percent. De Blasio hit the 2 percent mark for the first time in a July 2019 Quinnipiac University poll.

As of July 1 he only had 6,700 unique donors. A campaign spokeswoman said she could not provide updated information.

At least seven contenders have met the requirements.

To continue reading click here.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

The Washington Free Beacon

De Blasio Rakes in Cash From Donors With City Interests

New York Post:

De Blasio presidential campaign raises just $1.1M for 2020 bid

Actor Steve Buscemi among de Blasio’s top 2020 donors

Pete Buttigieg has raised more money from NYC residents than de Blasio got nationwide

 

WBBM NewsRadio

De Blasio Struggles to Gain Momentum Heading Into 2nd Round of Debates

 

 

The Secret Garden: Set Up Multiple Funds For Donations, Head up Political Parties, Donate Big and then – Being Bill de Blasio –

Community garden head wants probe of de Blasio, non-profit and Brooklyn Dem big

Community garden head wants probe of de Blasio, non-profit and Brooklyn Dem big

The head of a lower Manhattan community garden is demanding the state attorney general and the city Conflicts of Interest Board probe plans to turn over valuable city land to a group of developers that includes a non-profit with strong ties to Mayor de Blasio.

The Brooklyn-based RiseBoro non-profit includes among its board members Frank Carone, who, campaign finance records show, has donated nearly $11,000 to de Blasio since 2011. Carone is also the chief lawyer for the Brooklyn Democratic Party.

RiseBoro, formerly known as the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council and once synonymous with the disgraced late Assemblyman Vito Lopez, is one of three entities slated to take over Elizabeth Street Garden in Nolita and convert it to 123 units of affordable housing.

The two other developers are Pennrose and Habitat for Humanity NYC. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development selected the team to take on the project, dubbed Haven Green, in Dec. 2017.

Joseph Reiver, the garden’s executive director, contends Carone’s connection to the mayor and his role at RiseBoro — he’s also chairman of the non-profit’s Audit Committee — creates, at the very least, the appearance of a sweetheart deal.

To continue reading click here.

Rechnitz and Reichberg & de Blasio, and One New York and Fairness PAC and Housing and … President and New York?

mayor9n-2-web

Bill de Blasio officially launches 2020 presidential campaign

 

He’s late — again.

After nearly half a year of hemming and hawing, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday entered the 2020 presidential race, becoming the 23rd Democrat to join the jam-packed field.

The termed-out politician, known for his habitual tardiness, finally decided to run after five months of toying with a White House bid.

“I’m Bill de Blasio and I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first,” the mayor said in a three-minute YouTube videoannouncing his candidacy.

The opening shots include de Blasio zipping around the city in the back of an SUV — his gas-guzzling choice of transportation for the 11-mile jaunt from Gracie Mansion to the gym in Park Slope.

“Good thing about New Yorkers is they look the same whether they’re really pissed off at you or they like you,” the mayor quips.

He details his “Working People First” slogan by touting his policy initiatives including pre-K for all, paid sick leave and boosting the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

First lady Chirlane McCray also makes an appearance to briefly plug her mental health agenda.

“Everything begins with being healthy and there is no health without mental health,” she says.

Then, as the White House flashes on the screen to dramatic music, de Blasio pivots to a national message.

“Don’t back down in the face of the bully — take him on,” he says. “As president, I will take on the wealthy, I will take on the big corporations, I will not rest until this government serves working people.”

He also vows to fight President Trump head-on.

“Donald Trump must be stopped. I’ve beaten him before and I’ll do it again,” de Blasio says.

Insiders initially thought de Blasio would announce his national campaign the week of his 58th birthday on May 8, but he delayed.

“So you’re still deciding?” NY1’s Errol Louis asked the mayor on May 6.

“Yes indeed,” the dithering mayor said.

Local political experts can’t fathom what prompted the mayor to take the plunge.

“It’s really hard to understand what lane de Blasio plans to ride to the nomination,” said David Birdsell, dean of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at CUNY’s Baruch College.

What’s more, people just don’t like him, polls show.

De Blasio has the dubious distinction of being the only candidate or potential candidate out of 23 contenders to earn a negative rating among national Democrats in a March Monmouth University survey. A total of 24 percent gave him a thumbs down while just 18 percent had a favorable view of him.

At home, the numbers are even worse. A staggering 76 percent of Big Apple voters don’t think he should run, according to an April Quinnipiac University Poll.

To continue reading click here.

De Blasio, “Fairness” PAC, Mint-Scented Trash Bags and Which Quid for What Quo?

mayor9n-2-web

Never Mind the White House: Mayor Quid Pro Quo Is Lucky He’s Not in Jail

If New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joins the gaggle of Democrats running for president, he will stand out as the only one who flouted federal law so often and so flagrantly that prosecutors felt compelled to publicly explain why they had not gone ahead and locked him up.

The March 2017 statement by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan announced:

“We have conducted a thorough investigation into several circumstances in which Mayor de Blasio and others acting on his behalf solicited donations from individuals who sought official favors from the City, after which the Mayor made or directed inquiries to relevant City agencies on behalf of those donors,” the statement reported.

Note the absence of the word “alleged.”

The pay-to-play operation—which involved everything from a contract for mint-scented, rat-resistant trash bags to multimillion-dollar real estate deals—is stated as fact. The statement goes on to explain why the prosecutor had decided “not to bring federal criminal charges against the Mayor or those acting on his behalf.”

“In considering whether to charge individuals with serious public corruption crimes, we take into account, among other things, the high burden of proof, the clarity of existing law, any recent changes in the law, and the particular difficulty in proving criminal intent in corruption schemes where there is no evidence of personal profit,” it says.

Those “changes in the law” included a U.S Supreme Court decision in June of the year before, which vacated the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, who had accepted a $175,000 loan and various gifts from a dietary supplement manufacturer that sought state assistance in testing and marketing his product.

The decision was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who explained: “There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute. A more limited interpretation of the term ‘official act’ leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption.”

In short, just arranging a meeting in exchange for a gift does not constitute corruption under the more narrow definition. The accused must have performed an official act such as can be placed on an agenda or memorialized in the record.

That narrower definition of corruption came when the feds in New York were eight months into investigating de Blasio. They felt they were well on the way to making a case.

“The government was lusting, lusting to get de Blasio,” an attorney for a big donor who was repeatedly questioned by the feds told The Daily Beast.

But in instances such as the mint-scented rat-repellent trash bags, de Blasio had simply granted a meeting with parks department officials and facilitated a field test.

To continue reading click here.

Jeremy Reichberg – 4 Year Sentence in Bribery Scandal -This was Not Hubris and Gluttony, it was Criminal

Image result for pics of jona rechnitz and jeremy reichberg

De Blasio donor Jeremy Reichberg sentenced to 4 years for bribery scandal

A former City Hall fundraiser who was convicted of taking part in a massive bribery scheme in which NYPD officers were bestowed with lavish gifts that included a private junket to Las Vegas was sentenced Monday to 48 months in prison.

Jeremy Reichberg, who was convicted in January of four counts, including conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and bribery, tearfully asked District Judge Gregory Woods for leniency moments earlier.

“I acted as an adolescent, wanting special attention, feeling that I was entitled to get special attention for my friends who were police officers,” Reichberg said in Manhattan federal court, struggling to read through prepared remarks and pausing often to wipe away tears and blow his nose.

His attorney, Susan Necheles, argued that her client committed crimes of “hubris … ego and gluttony,” saying he paid bribes to cops so he could pal around with them and look like a “big shot.”

She argued that the bribes didn’t get him any big favors or put the public in danger.

“What he got were things that made him look like a big shot,” she said. “He hung out them doing fancy things.”

But prosecutors said Reichberg’s bribes weren’t just to spruce up his image – arguing that he and his former pal Jona Rechnitz got police favors in exchange for their lavish gifts, including help with arrests and difficult-to-obtain gun licenses.

“This was not a crime that created an appearance of favoritism,” said Assistant US Attorney Martin Bell. “This was impropriety of the most basic sort. This was favoritism, bought and paid for.”

Reichberg also was sentenced for two years of supervised release.

“I believe the offenses were about more than dollars and cents. It’s about corruption of an important public institution,” the judge said.

To continue reading click here.

 

FOR ADDITIONAL READING:

Businessman gets 4 years prison for police corruption scam

Brooklyn businessman who bribed NYPD cops deserves 6 years: prosecutors

De Blasio, Construction Money, the Kingmaker, a Donor Pool and a Presidential Bid [NYT Opinon]

De Blasio May Want to Be President. What Do His Donors Want?

His fund-raising for a possible White House bid raises ethical questions, again.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s flirtation with a White House run has generated virtually no interest among voters. One national poll in March found he was the only Democratic candidate with a net negative approval rating, though fewer than half of those polled had any opinion of him at all.

But his potential candidacy has caught the attention of people who do business with the city. They’ve been donating to the mayor’s presidential political action committee, the federal Fairness PAC, his latest vehicle for raising money from powerful interests.

Mr. de Blasio’s lowly showing in the polls didn’t, for example, dissuade John F. Fish, the chief executive of Suffolk Construction, a Boston-based company, from hosting a fund-raiser last month for the mayor’s PAC. Mr. Fish’s company is clearly hoping to expand its business in New York — Suffolk recently hired Shola Olatoye, who led the city’s public housing authority until last year — and may see an opportunity to win favor with a current mayor and future presidential candidate.

What’s disconcerting, however, is why Mr. de Blasio would welcome such donations, given the risk of even the appearance of impropriety, not to mention the fact that his fund-raising has raised ethical and legal questions since he first ran for mayor in 2013.

A donor to his first mayoral campaign pleaded guilty to bribing him to get favorable lease terms for a Queens restaurant. Federal prosecutors indicated that they didn’t charge the mayor because the Supreme Court had recently narrowed the scope of what could be considered corruption.

A donor to one of the nonprofits the mayor has used to advance his liberal agenda and raise his profile pleaded guilty to charges involving bribery after receiving special access to Mr. de Blasio and city officials.

The city’s Department of Investigation found that the mayor violated conflict of interest rules by soliciting donations for his Campaign for One New York from people seeking favors from the city, as the news site The City recently revealed. (The rules would not apply to the presidential PAC.)

That’s not to mention the Manhattan district attorney’s announcement in 2017 that the mayor’s fund-raising for the Democratic campaign to win the State Senate in 2014 violated the “intent and spirit” of campaign finance laws by directing contributions meant for political committees toward specific candidates.

Fund-raising can taint City Hall by giving the appearance of pay-to-play, even if none is involved.

In 2015, the city lifted a deed restriction that allowed a Lower East Side nursing home that once served AIDS patients to be converted to condos. Among those who had pushed for the deed change was the lobbyist James Capalino, who steered $40,000 to Mr. de Blasio’s 2017 re-election campaign and $10,000 to the Campaign for One New York. Mr. Capalino has said that the client he worked for who sought the deed change fired him in 2014 after he was unsuccessful, and that he wasn’t involved in the issue afterward. City Comptroller Scott Stringer investigated the land deal and blamed it on mismanagement by city officials.

Mr. de Blasio, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election, is using his federal Fairness PAC to pay for his travel to states like Iowa and Nevada, which will be important if he runs for president. Mr. de Blasio has said the group will not accept contributions from anyone in a database of those doing business with New York City, a stricter standard than the federal rules the group must follow.

 

Continue reading the New York Times by clicking here.