New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is running for president, but he has virtually no shot of winning given his polling has yet to rise above zero percent.
While he’ll likely never become president, de Blasio has been hit with news that could put him behind bars.
The non-partisan Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that de Blasio’s presidential campaign has violated several federal rules by playing a “shell game” in order to hide unethical pre-financing of the campaign as he was still in an exploratory phase, Politico reported.
“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,” the CLC wrote.
The lawsuit alleges that several wealthy supporters who have donated cash and the maximum legal primary amount of $2,800 to the mayor’s 2020 campaign have also given as much as $5,000 to a pair of political action committees that spent money “laying the groundwork for de Blasio’s presidential run” before he officially filed to run for president.
Federal rules cap individual donations at $2,800 for a presidential primary. The complaint found 25 donors who not only ran up against that limit, but also gave the maximum to both PACs. The PACs then paid for polling, travel and other expenses as de Blasio was considering a run for office.
This shady behavior, the CLC argues, “left voters in the dark about the extent and sources of the candidate’s support,” as “at least 25 donors had exceeded legal limits by nearly 300%.”
“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,” CLC noted in its statement.
“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,” the organization added.
“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,” it said.
As noted by Roll Call, violating campaign finance laws is a felony.
If de Blasio is found guilty of committing a felony, he could go to prison if the federal government holds him accountable.
This is another scathing example of how corruption is rampant within the Democratic Party.
And de Blasio’s failed presidential campaign may be the least of his problems.