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  • De Blasio’s Record on Ethics and Transparency

    Mayor de Blasio City Hall

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    This article is part of a series on Mayor de Blasio's first term record as he seeks reelection this fall, in partnership with WNYC radio and City Limits. Find all pieces of the series here.

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  • Supreme Court Ruling May Help De Blasio Avoid Charges

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    Mayor de Blasio swears-in judges (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In June 2016, the United States Supreme Court overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, ruling that his help to a constituent who gave him thousands of dollars in gifts did not break the law. The ruling, which examined the meaning of an “official act,” set a new precedent for corruption prosecutions

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  • The Hole in the Mayor's Money-Into-Pockets Defense

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent meeting with federal prosecutors signalled that the investigation into his fundraising for his 2013 campaign and his now-defunct nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, are winding down. There’s no indication yet whether the mayor or any of his associates will face charges, and the mayor’s office has stated that de Blasio himself is not the target of the probe. The administration is confident that “at all times the Mayor and his staff

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  • De Blasio Fails to Explain His Support for Limits on Groups Like Campaign for One New York

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    Bill de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The City Council will pass a bill this week to put significant limits on the donations that political nonprofits aligned with elected officials can accept from entities with city business. Mayor Bill de Blasio intends to sign the bill, sponsored by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, into law.

    While she has been a close ally of the mayor, in crafting the bill Mark-Viverito condemned one of the most controversial aspects of de Blasio’s tenure, The Campaign for One New York. And in supporting the bill, de

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  • De Blasio Undermines Own ‘Highest Standards' Claim

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In a surprise move on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared during a NY1 television appearance that going forward his communications with five outside advisors would be subject to public disclosure. In doing so, the mayor betrayed his own rhetoric from a week prior when he vigorously defended his actions in keeping those communications

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  • 22 Campaign Finance Bills to Move Through City Council 'Soon,' Speaker Says

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    Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    Within the next two months, the City Council is expected to vote on a large legislative package that would alter the city’s campaign finance system in a variety of ways and regulate donations to political nonprofits, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said this week. Some of the proposals and the timing of their likely passage have raised concerns, though, that the Council is weakening the city’s model campaign finance system, pushing some reforms through after too long a wait and rushing other, newer bills through just in time for the next

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  • De Blasio Limits Government Contact with Top Outside Advisor

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated on Tuesday that he has cut down his contact with Jonathan Rosen, a campaign consultant who has remained a top advisor to the mayor since de Blasio took office in 2014. Earlier this year de Blasio told reporters that amid controversy and investigations into his behavior he had reduced his communication with lobbyists. It appears that the mayor has also adjusted his approach to controversial political advisors like Rosen who are not on the government payroll but who

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  • City Council Hears Legislative Package on Conflicts of Interest and Campaign Finance

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    Henry Berger testifying (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council heard testimony Monday on a broad package of bills that would prevent conflicts of interest between elected officials and political nonprofits, limit the electoral influence of those who do business with the city, and make it easier for first-time candidates to navigate the city’s campaign finance system.

    The Council’s Committee on Standards and Ethics heard 14 bills on Monday in what was the current Council’s first hearing of the committee focused on legislation. Of the 14, the headlining bill,

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  • Ahead of Election Year, De Blasio Must Name New Campaign Finance Board Chair

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    Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)


    With the impending departure of the head of the city’s campaign finance regulatory body, good government advocates say Mayor Bill de Blasio must be careful about who he chooses to fill the position as the city heads into an election year.

    “The chair of the campaign finance board is probably the single most important player in government ethics,” said Gene Russianoff, senior attorney at the New York Public Interest Research Group, a government reform organization.

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  • City Council Drafting Bills to Regulate Political Nonprofits Like Campaign for One New York

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: John McCarten for the City Council)


    At least three City Council members have made requests to the Council’s bill drafting unit to formulate legislation that would regulate political participation by and with “social welfare” nonprofit organizations. These are political advocacy, or lobbying, groups, which have been the subject of intense scrutiny in New York City of late due to the Campaign

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  • Campaign Finance Board Considers Rules Changes, Including Controversial 'Coordination' Proposal

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    City Hall (photo via @NYCtransition)


    Ahead of next year’s elections, the New York City Campaign Finance Board is considering a number of rules changes that would make the city campaign finance system more efficient and clear, and less onerous. One proposal on the list, however, has raised the hackles of unions, nonprofits, and campaign finance experts.

    After every four-year city election cycle, the Campaign Finance Board is busy at work analyzing potential deficiencies in the campaign finance system and taking steps to

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  • De Blasio's Nonprofits: Were they worth it?

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    Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton, Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and his allies set up three political nonprofits to advance his progressive agenda, two of which are being shuttered, one of which is virtually defunct, and all of which have caused the mayor headaches.

    The Campaign for One New York (originally UPK NYC) and its offshoot, United for Affordable NYC, helped accomplish key local policy goals, but, amid controversy, began the process of shutting down earlier this year. The Progressive

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  • De Blasio’s ‘Disarmament’ Deficit

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    Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)


    Despite not believing in “unilateral disarmament,” Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to disarm without any sign of a political ceasefire. In doing so, the mayor not only contradicted himself, but gave implicit acknowledgement to problems with the most troubling aspect of his tenure: the establishment of a political nonprofit that took in major donations from entities with business before the city.

    Giving the go-ahead to his allies to shut down The

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  • Campaign Finance Board Rules In Mayor’s Favor While Criticizing Him

     Campaign Finance Board RUles

    (Credit: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Campaign Finance Board sent a somewhat mixed message to Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday over the nonprofit group set up by his allies to promote his progressive policies.

    At a public meeting in Downtown Manhattan, the CFB issued a determination that de Blasio’s fundraising for the Campaign for One New York, a group

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