New York Post De Blasio backs bill to limit bundling of campaign contributions by Michael Gartland
Mayor de Blasio, whose team is under investigation for alleged fund-raising abuses, endorsed legislation Monday to restrict the role of lobbyists and others with business before the city from bundling donations for candidates.
A bill by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), discussed at a hearing Monday, would prohibit campaigns from accepting public matching funds off money raised by lobbyists who bundle unlimited contributions from other donors.
By law, lobbyists, contractors and others doing business with the city can give no more than $400 to a mayoral candidate. But a loophole allows those same individuals to bundle unlimited amounts from others to the same candidates.
Campaign Finance Board Director Amy Loprest said the loophole “undermines the intent of the law to prevent or limit the appearance of “pay-to-play” corruption.
City Hall agreed.
“This is an extra step to ensure that well-heeled lobbyists cannot indirectly bypass the intent of our regulations,” said de Blasio’s special counsel Henry Berger.
De Blasio received more than $1.4 million from bundlers during his 2013 mayoral campaign.
His team faces several probes, including one over bundler Jona Rechnitz, who allegedly traded gifts for favors from the NYPD.
Top lobbyist James Capalino has bundled more than $40,000 alone for de Blasio’s 2017 re-election run and is a central figure in a Lower East Side land deal under investigation.