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It’s no secret that New York City officials treat their constituents like an ATM. But now, Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City politicians will openly solicit donations to help pay off their legal bills.
The Mayor supported the idea of a legal-defense fund after racking up millions in lawyer fees relating to state and federal investigations into his fundraising practices. De Blasio claims he was “reluctant” at first to ask city residents for assistance. He must have thought long and hard before forcing New Yorkers to pick up his $2.6 million tab.
But that wasn’t enough for him. The Mayor was still stuck with $300,000 for non-government related work that he legally cannot force taxpayers to cover. Good thing the City Council just approved a revenue stream for public officials in legal trouble.
As soon as de Blasio puts pen to paper, New Yorkers can donate up to $5,000 to their favorite public servant under civil or criminal investigation.
Currently, New York City does not have a law preventing public officials from collecting donations to pay off legal bills. Donations to legal-defense funds are categorized as “gifts” and capped at $50 per person.
The new bill will allow donors to contribute up to 100 times that amount. The Wall Street Journal reports that, “Lobbyists, people doing business with the city, holding companies and corporations would be barred from donating.”
But that doesn’t prevent donors from contributing to the fund to solicit favors from politicians. This is just another example of the hypocrisy of lawmakers, who rail against the wealthy, connected elite, yet put them before everyday New Yorkers.
Public officials already take advantage of taxpayers. They should be working toward serving honorable terms, not working on getting more out of their citizen piggy bank.
What do you think of this new bill? Would you donate to a politician’s legal fund? Join Reclaim New York to fight against government corruption.
Image from Kevin Case