De Blasio’s Campaign Finance Scheme Misled Public About Source of Candidate’s Support

Bill d Blasio
Bill de Blasio. Photo by Kevin Case via Creative Commons.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, a 2020 candidate for President of the United States, accepted tens of thousands of dollars in excessive contributions, and failed to report the identity of those contributors. 

CLC is asking the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to investigate de Blasio’s campaign for this scheme, which left voters in the dark about the extent and sources of the candidate’s support. 

Over two dozen 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. 

By concocting this shell game, de Blasio allowed donors to give above and beyond legal contribution limits by routing money through a federal and state PAC, in apparent violation of federal campaign finance law. 

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. 

Any expenditures made while “testing the waters” for a presidential run — along with contributions that paid for the expenses — must be reported to the FEC, so that the public has a clear view of the facts necessary to properly evaluate candidates for office and to cast an informed vote.

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%.  


Corey handles media relations for the CLC voting rights and redistricting teams and creates online content. Follow @cgfromdc on Twitter