April 24, 2016

New York City Mayor Going Down Under Threats of Impeachment, Prosecution

[From article]
Less than a week ago, Mayor de Blasio was offering aid to Ecuadorians after the earthquake there. Now a political earthquake is rocking City Hall and the mayor is the one who needs help.
The report from the state Board of Elections that accuses him and his team of “willful and flagrant” violations of campaign-finance laws immediately changes everything.
The veneer of business as usual is shredded. Never again can de Blasio wave off questions about the mushrooming investigations of his administration. As revelations pile up day after day, allies will desert him and the Putz will find himself a very lonely man.
There is no way to sugarcoat the facts: de Blasio is in trouble. Maybe very big trouble.
His City Hall is being depicted as the seat of a criminal enterprise. And so far, he offers nothing resembling a convincing ­denial.
[. . .]

election report were all there is, it would still be a problem. It calls one of the campaign violations a possible felony and refers its findings to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. for prosecution. That explains why Vance recently partnered up with US Attorney Preet Bharara in the multipronged probe, effectively doubling the number of prosecutors and investigators.
And that gets to the heart of de Blasio’s vulnerability. His 2014 Senate effort wasn’t unique. It is just one example of how he has done business since the day he won the election in 2013.
Think of it as de Blasio’s Big Idea. While denouncing income inequality, he was determined to harvest big bucks from unions and private firms that had business before the city, and then to use that money to carry out his “progressive agenda.”
He raised as much as $40 million and deposited it in various slush funds he formed, including the Campaign for One New York, which he started before he even took the oath of office.
The money would be managed by a small team of insiders. Some were on the city payroll, but most were in favored law firms, public relations and consultant shops. In effect, de Blasio outsourced a permanent political operation to be the vanguard of his administration.
The money would come from real-estate developers, yellow-taxi medallion owners, teachers unions and anybody else willing to play ball in hopes the mayor would ­return the favors.
Oh, and one more thing: de Blasio would do much of the fund-raising himself, meeting with donors in large groups or ­one-on-one.


The mayor is going down!
By Michael Goodwin
New York Post
April 24, 2016 | 2:10am

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[From article]
“If he cares about this city the way he says he does, he needs to step down immediately and save us the continued national embarrassment,” said Tony Herbert, a former member of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. “There are a lot of levels to this corruption”
Herbert and John Rodriguez, who heads a community-police relations group in Brooklyn, stood outside City Hall Park on Sunday to slam de Blasio for presiding over several scandals that have rocked the city’s political firmament.
Both conceded they don’t expect Hizzoner to drop the reins of city government without a fight so they’re exploring how to jump-start the impeachment process.
“The mayor is compromised. He has also compromised the integrity of the City of New York,” Herbert said. “You can not honestly represent this city, having these criminal investigations on your back.”
City, state and federal investigators are probing de Blasio and his top aides in several areas, including their fundraising efforts for the 2014 state Senate races, donors whoallegedly traded gifts for police favors, and a Lower East Side land deal that resulting in an assisted care facility being sold to build luxury apartments.

Herbert and Rodriguez said they’re unsure how impeaching a sitting mayor in New York City would work, but they aren’t the first to suggest de Blasio’s ouster. One change.org petitioner who attracted 250 supporters called for his impeachment a year ago for not being supportive of cops. Another moveon.org petition calling on his resignation received over 50,000 signatures in 2014 — before he had completed his first year in office.
Herbert suggested even more New Yorkers would back such an impeachment push now, citing three anti-de Blasio websites with thousands of supporters.
A de Blasio spokeswoman declined to comment on the nascent impeachment effort, but defended his efforts.

Activists call for de Blasio to step down
By Michael Gartland
New York Post
April 24, 2016 | 2:01pm

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