bills bills bills
Mayor Bill de Blasio has spent nearly $2 million on his inauguration and transition efforts so far, according to new numbers released today by the city’s campaign finance board.
The new numbers show that, between January 1 and February 28, the campaign spent more than $980,00 on the efforts, including more than $240,600 on the new mayor’s Inauguration Day festivities. That’s in addition to the more than $1 million spent between early November and December 31, 2013 and reported by the board earlier this year.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transition team will return a $1,100 contribution it mistakenly accepted from its top money bundler, whose company does millions of dollars worth of business with the city, an administration spokesman said.
According to city Campaign Finance Board rules, transitions are barred from accepting money from people who are currently lobbying or who have open contracts with the city to limit the influence they wield on an incoming administration. Those people are still allowed to bundle, however.
Donors hoping to gain favor with newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio had one last chance to fill his coffers before his administration kicked into high gear. They took advantage of the opportunity.
New and loyal backers pumped more than $2 million into Mr. de Blasio’s transition effort, new campaign finance filings show. And with Mr. de Blasio already elected, it perhaps isn’t surprising that many of those offering last-minute backing have a financial stake in his administration.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio today defended the controversial comments made by many of his inauguration speakers, including one cleric who described New York City as a “plantation.”
“I am very comfortable with everyone’s remarks yesterday and I think the ceremony represented the positive aspiration of New Yorkers for a more just city,” he told reporters today after swearing in his new Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, at a ceremony at 1 Police Plaza.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s top communications deputy isn’t entirely pleased with the way Bill de Blasio’s inauguration speakers presented his ex-boss’s record.
The deputy, Howard Wolfson, reached out to WNYC this morning to argue against some of the claims made by the event’s speakers, who presented the city as a deeply divided “plantation” in need of new leadership and direction.
A line hundreds deep and hours long snaked through the City Hall rotunda this afternoon, crammed with New Yorkers waiting to take a picture with the new mayor of New York City after his inauguration.
To the many admirers of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the first Democratic mayor in two decades, a bitter cold day in January and a massive wait could do little to diminish their glow.
Ends of Eras
Public Advocate Tish James delivered a fiery inauguration speech this afternoon, digging into the Michael Bloomberg administration and declaring Dasani Coates, the homeless girl profiled by the New York Times, who has becoming a symbol of inequality in the city, her new “BFF.”
Strongly Worded Speeches
It was a cold awakening for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spent his first day as a civilian listening to speakers skewer his legacy, as he looked on, stone-faced in the winter chill at his successor’s inauguration ceremony.
Mr. Bloomberg, who departed City Hall last night with a triumphant walk through a receiving line of enthusiastic cheers, today returned for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration, where he was met with a chilly reception as speakers lamented the current state of the city, especially when it comes to race relations and the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
During the election season, Bill de Blasio was often painted by conservatives as a leftist radical. But at his inauguration today, it was not Mr. de Blasio who dropped the most aggressive lines, but the first two speakers at the event.
In particular, Rev. Fred Lucas Jr., who was among several chaplains representing the city’s uniformed workers, surprised many observers by comparing the five boroughs to a “plantation.”