NYPost reports the city’s campaign finance watchdog hit Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Big Apple campaign account with a $16,000 fine for violating a slew of regulations, including failing to promptly return excessive contributions from individuals with business before City Hall.
“The [de Blasio] Campaign failed to timely refund 44 over-the-limit contributions received from individuals listed in the Doing Business Database,” the Campaign Finance Board ruled Thursday.
The limit for contributions from individuals doing business with the city during the 2017 mayoral campaign was $400 — and the CFB hit de Blasio’s campaign with a $10,398 fine for breaking that rule.
It also determined that Hizzoner’s reelection effort broke a slew of other rules, including failing to report expenses or in-kind contributions that came from hosting 22 fundraisers, failing to disclose a dozen donations from late in the campaign cycle on required daily reports and shelling out $6,700 in expenses it could not prove were in “furtherance of the campaign.”
“The Campaign made expenditures totaling $6,714.41 on travel and lodging, including $689.60 for airfare to attend a political conference in Puerto Rico and $5,787.78 for hotels while attending the Democratic National Convention, that it failed to demonstrate were in furtherance of the Campaign,” the CFB ruled.
All told, the CFB hit the de Blasio campaign with violations worth $16,082.
His initial 2013 mayoral campaign also ran afoul of the watchdog and was socked with a nearly $48,000 fine.
Meanwhile, de Blasio is continuing to contend with another campaign finance headache, as the Federal Election Commission continues to examine his use of lightly regulated state and federal political accounts to pick up expenses from his quixotic 2020 presidential bid.
Most recently, the FEC and Hizzoner’s 2020 campaign have sparred over how to tally $80,000 in expenses from using a voter database — the agency demanded in a filing Monday that the campaign amend its earlier reports to reflect the debt.
“While we don’t agree with all the penalties, we respect the role that the CFB plays in safeguarding public funds,” said Jon Paul Lupo, a spokesman for de Blasio’s political operation, who described the issues identified as “technical” and “well below average for a campaign of this size.”
He added, about the voter database fight with the FEC: “The committee doesn’t believe all of those charges are accurate but will be amending earlier reports.”