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Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • De Blasio Defends Limited Media Access

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Joanna Graham/Mayor's Office)


    "It’s scintillating,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said wryly when a reporter asked if he enjoys taking questions from the press. The mayor left it at that and called on another questioner, toward the end of an open question-and-answer session that followed de Blasio’s announcement of new anti-smoking measures at a news conference last week.

    Over the course of about 30 minutes of Q-and-A on any topics reporters wanted to ask the mayor about, de Blasio on Wednesday fielded an unusual number of

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  • City Council Members Opt Out of Campaign Finance Program

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    City Council members, with Brad Lander center (photo: William Alatriste)


    A first-time entrant into the New York City electoral system stands almost as much a chance of running a solid campaign as long-time political insiders and incumbents. That’s because the New York City campaign finance system includes a public matching funds program, which helps levels the playing field by incentivizing local small-dollar contributions, matching them at a 6-to-1 ratio. In doing so, it also reduces the influence of special interests in elections and helps

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  • De Blasio Holds Town Hall as Week on Staten Island Nears Conclusion

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    De Blasio & Oddo on Staten Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio’s week on Staten Island neared a close Thursday evening, City Council Member Debi Rose told a north shore town hall audience that “Staten Island can no longer use the moniker that we are ‘The Forgotten Borough.’” In opening remarks before introducing de Blasio at I.S. 27, Rose said that the mayor’s attention to the borough had negated that longtime, self-given nickname of neglect.

    From Monday through Friday, de Blasio and his

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  • 10 Key Takeaways for New York City from the New State Budget

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    A new $153 billion New York state budget was passed through the Legislature Sunday evening, nine days into the new fiscal year, following a particularly lengthy and tumultuous negotiation period.

    After Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a budget deal Friday night, the Assembly approved the budget Saturday, while State senators -- called back to Albany from their districts -- moved through the final budget bills the following day.

    Within the spending plan are items that have serious ramifications for New York

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  • Investigations Into De Blasio Spurred City Reform, Renewed Calls for State Changes

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


    Although it was recently announced that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides would not be charged in two separate investigations related to their fundraising activities, both cases prompted widespread calls for reform of campaign finance laws and closure of holes that allow, even encourage, a pay-to-play political culture.

    The two parallel investigations, at the state and federal levels, exposed vulnerabilities in the law that allowed the

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  • De Blasio Goes Local with ‘City Hall in Your Borough’ Series

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    De Blasio at a Staten Island town hall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio will be on Staten Island this week in the first of five “City Hall in Your Borough” sojourns wherein the mayor, who is up for reelection this fall, is bringing city government local. De Blasio, many of his commissioners, top aides, and City Hall staff will work out of borough hall, hold constituent office hours and a variety of events on the island, and attempt to immerse themselves in borough issues for the week.

    The mayor chose

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  • Deal or No Deal? State Budget Negotiations Drag & New York City Waits

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    Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Though Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders indicated for more than a week they were "very close" to a budget deal, negotiations appeared to collapse on Wednesday, and senators were sent back to their districts for their regularly scheduled Passover and Easter break. Cuomo held a press conference at the state Capitol outlining areas of agreement and major sticking points, but he indicated negotiations would continue - at some point.

    Now, seven days into the new fiscal year, it appears that a new compromise

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  • De Blasio’s 'Piecemeal' Transportation Agenda

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    Mayor de Blasio on the subway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Announcing the next steps of his citywide ferry service initiative at a recent press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is pleased with what his administration has done to improve transit options for New Yorkers, but admitted that he hasn’t put forth a coherent, comprehensive transportation agenda.

    Though transit experts have praised some of de Blasio’s moves to expand the city’s transportation network, many have also criticized

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  • De Blasio Could Still Face Penalties in State Senate Fundraising Investigation

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


    Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance recently concluded his investigation into the effort by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides to funnel campaign funds to Democratic state Senate candidates in 2014. Vance did not bring any charges in the case, writing in a ten-page letter to the state Board of Elections enforcement counsel Risa Sugarman, who had referred the case for prosecution, that “the parties involved cannot be appropriately prosecuted, given their reliance on

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  • In a Bind, De Blasio May Explore Legal Defense Fund Legislation

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


    When the Conflicts of Interest Board issued an advisory opinion last week limiting donations to legal defense funds set up by public officials, Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed out that the opinion posed a “potential solution” in the form of new legislation and that similar defense funds have long existed in

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  • De Blasio Pulled to Rikers Closure by Mark-Viverito, Activists

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    De Blasio at Rikers (photo: Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that he is putting into motion a planning process to close the jails on Rikers Island. The mayor, a first-term Democrat up for re-election this fall, was pulled somewhat begrudgingly to the politically- and fiscally-tenuous position by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who called for Rikers to be closed in her 2016 State of the City speech and formed a commission to create a plan to do so. That commission, led by former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, is set to

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  • Despite Record Low Crime, Massey Attempts to Make Public Safety a Campaign Issue

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    Paul Massey (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Real estate executive Paul Massey, a leading Republican mayoral contender, held a week-long campaign launch earlier this month, concluding with a focus on community policing. Having visited each borough with a daily theme, Massey said in an email blast on March 17, “I’ve heard many concerns in my discussions with city residents this week and one that stands out is that our city feels less safe.”

    It wasn’t the first time Massey made the claim, and it wasn’t

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  • Conflicts of Interest Board Opinion Could Limit Mayor's Legal Defense Fund

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create a legal defense fund to pay fees incurred from the recently concluded state and federal investigations into his fundraising activities may face significant hurdles after the Conflicts of Interest Board issued an advisory on Wednesday establishing clear contribution limits for such defense funds.

    The mayor and his administration were the subject of two separate corruption investigations -- a federal probe into whether

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  • De Blasio’s ‘Fearless’ Moment

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    De Blasio & "Fearless Girl" (photos: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio walked swiftly down Broadway Monday afternoon with a big smile on his face. The mayor approached the entrance to a barricaded area in which he was about to address gathered members of the media and was stopped for a photo by a group of Girl Scouts. He gladly obliged, then proceeded, approaching the Wall Street Bull, but stopping a few yards short at his destination, the “Fearless Girl” statue.

    De Blasio knelt beside the small statue

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  • 15 Questions for the Final Week of State Budget Negotiations

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    De Blasio & Cuomo in 2014 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The New York State budget, which is expected to be delivered on time, is due April 1, but as state government leaders enter the final week of negotiations there are many questions left open for New York City.

    These include the fate of more than $100 millions in state-to-city funding cuts proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo; whether more than $1 billion in affordable housing funding will be released; final budgetary allocations toward

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  • Budget Watchdogs Question De Blasio’s 'Mansion Tax'

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    De Blasio pitches his mansion tax (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Budget watchdogs have expressed concern that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “mansion tax” proposal, which would impose levies on real estate transactions above $2 million, may be misguided or even unnecessary.

    De Blasio made a last-minute trip to Albany on Wednesday to rally with Democratic lawmakers and progressive advocates in favor of a number of proposals currently being considered in state budget negotiations. The mayor’s chief concern,

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  • In Albany, De Blasio and Democrats Push ‘Mansion Tax’

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    De Blasio in Albany (photo: Rachel Silberstein/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio journeyed to Albany Wednesday to rally with Democratic legislators and activists for the extension of the “millionaires’ tax,” set to expire this year, as well as the “mansion tax,” a proposal the mayor has been pushing since 2015. De Blasio and his allies called for both to be part of the new state budget due by April 1.

    Citing the threats of deep federal budget cuts from President Donald Trump’s administration and a

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  • The East New York Rezoning, One Year Later

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    Council Member Espinal and Mayor de Blasio (photo: Jeffry W Reed)


    About a year ago, the City Council approved a comprehensive rezoning plan for East New York, the first of a dozen neighborhoods that the city targeted for new land use rules in an effort to develop more housing, including affordable housing, and improve community amenities. As with any rezoning, the plan approved in April 2016 was many months in the making and negotiated in close consultation with the local City Council member, in this case Rafael

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  • De Blasio and Aides Won't Face Charges in Dual Investigations

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    Mayor de Blasio (Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Federal and state prosecutors, who had for the last year been investigating the fundraising activities of Mayor Bill de Blasio and his associates, announced on Thursday that they would not be bringing any criminal charges in the two parallel investigations.

    The mayor and his aides had been the subject of two probes -- a federal investigation into allegations of quid pro quo in their fundraising for his 2013 campaign and

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  • De Blasio Attempts to Clarify Latest Media Insult

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    Mayor de Blasio speaks to the media (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio regularly expresses frustration with the ways New York media covers him and his administration. He believes that his accomplishments are not given enough ink and airtime, and that journalists focus too much on any sign of mistake or conflict, trivial matters, and the “personalities” as he feuds with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Scott Stringer.

    De Blasio believes that reporters and editors do not reflect in their coverage what New Yorkers really

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  • Law Department Budget Hearing Focuses on De Blasio Administration Legal Defense

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    Mayor de Blasio & aides in a courtyard (photo: Mayor's Office on flickr)


    The investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration have cost the city $10.5 million in outside legal defense spending so far, and might cost millions more, said Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter at a City Council preliminary budget hearing on Monday.

    Carter, who heads the city’s Law Department, testified before the Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations that the state and federal investigations into the mayor

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  • With One-House Budgets Due, Key Points of Contention in Albany

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    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (photo: Governor's Office/Kevin P. Coughlin)


    With a new state budget due by the end of the month, the Senate and Assembly are finalizing their one-house budget resolutions. The one-house statements of priorities in the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Republican-controlled Senate will be passed this week, and their passage signals the official start to the negotiations that will yield a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, which begins April 1.

    The one-house budgets are shaped, in part, by a

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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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  • Trump’s Victory, De Blasio’s State of the City

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    Mayor de Blasio at Trump Tower (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    Perhaps so as not to pour salt in the wound, Mayor Bill de Blasio took a few days to give his assessment of what went wrong for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. But, since he started to explain his take on how the Democrats blew it and the country wound up with Donald Trump as President, de Blasio has laid out in sharp terms what he believes should have been done differently.

    “I think the campaign became about the wrong thing,” de Blasio said during a February 10 taping of Pod Save

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