De Blasio Campaign Created Shell Game to Deceive Voters: CLC Calls for Investigation


WASHINGTON – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), alleging that Bill de Blasio’s campaign and two PACs associated with de Blasio violated federal law by arranging for a small number of wealthy donors to exceed the $2,800 legal contribution limit, and failing to report those contributions. At least 25 donors who gave the legal maximum to de Blasio’s campaign had also given $5,000 to a federal committee, Fairness PAC, and a state committee, NY Fairness PAC, which spent the money laying the groundwork for de Blasio’s presidential run.

“The de Blasio campaign appears to have concocted a shell game to arrange for a small number of wealthy donors to illegally support de Blasio’s presidential run above and beyond legal contribution limits,” said Brendan Fischer, director, federal reform at CLC. “Contribution limits are designed to prevent corruption. Presidential candidates cannot lay the groundwork for their campaign by accepting contributions nearly 300% in excess of federal limits.”

Fairness PAC and NY Fairness PAC paid for hundreds of thousands of dollars in staff, polling, and travel to early primary states in the months before de Blasio formally announced his candidacy. By law, de Blasio 2020 was then required to report those testing-the-waters expenditures on its first report, as well as the contributors who had paid for them. However, de Blasio 2020’s first report, filed last month, reported some of the testing-the-waters expenditures paid for by the two PACs, but failed to report any of the contributors. CLC’s analysis of the de Blasio 2020, Fairness PAC, and NY Fairness PAC campaign finance reports showed that at least 25 donors had exceeded legal limits by nearly 300%.