Mayor de Blasio, who faces multiple pay-to-play probes over whether he provided political favors to fat-cat donors, sent out a fundraising solicitation Monday claiming he really wants donations from regular New Yorkers.
The e-mail correspondence to de Blasio supporters, which seeks campaign dough for his re-election bid, was sent out three days after the mayor was grilled by federal prosecutors as part of a wide-ranging investigation into his previous fund-raising efforts.
Hizzoner is seeking donations as low as $3, so he can qualify for public matching funds.
“I want to talk to you about New York City’s progressive campaign finance laws, and then I am going to ask you to do something important to support and take advantage of them,” de Blasio said in the e-mail.
“In New York City, every single resident who contributes between $1 and $175 to a campaign has their contribution matched SIX to ONE. What that means is that a $10 contribution turns into $70, $20 turns into $140, and so on.
“This is important because it allows people to run for office without being a millionaire or asking millionaires for money. It opens the doors of politics to people without connections to the city’s rich and powerful, and levels the playing field for working people who want to run for office . . . Make a $3 contribution to support my re-election campaign, and as a way of saying you support reducing the influence of big money in our campaigns and elections.”
De Blasio campaign spokesman Dan Levitan defended the timing of the solicitation, claiming Hizzoner “has received more low-dollar contributions from individual, everyday New Yorkers than any candidate for mayor — Democrat or Republican — in more than two decades.
“This campaign is powered by small contributions, and we are going to keep that momentum going,” he said.
The tactic is a far cry from de Blasio’s past fund-raising practices, which relied on deep-pocketed donors.
The feds have been probing the mayor over whether he and his advisers exchanged favors to donors for contributions to his 2013 campaign and his now-shuttered nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York.
Hizzoner raised $4.3 million — mostly from unions, real estate firms and other companies that do business with the city — for CONY, which promoted his political pet projects.
Donors to the mayor’s re-election campaign and other citywide campaigns are limited to giving $4,950 per election cycle — and only $400 if they do business with the city.
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