Joe Lhota must be pleased about this:
And it shouldn't surprise you who one of the biggest donors to the PAC's is:The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a lower court's decision, and granted an injunction that will allow the group, New York Progress and Protection PAC (NYPPP), to accept donations larger than $150,000. NYPPP claims that it has a donor who has promised to give the group more than $150,000 to support its efforts. The ruling comes less than two weeks before election day. Lhota's opponent, Democrat Bill de Blasio, is heavily favored to win.
NYPPP first filed suit in late September over a state law that places a $150,000 limit on some political contributions by individuals in New York state. NYPPP requested an injunction so that it could accept a larger contribution before election day, but a district court denied the group's motion on Oct. 18. In reversing that decision on Thursday, the appeals court ruled that "plaintiffs here has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits."
"The hardship faced by NYPPP and its donors from the denial of relief is significant," the court ruled. "Every sum that a donor is forbidden to contribute to NYPPP because of this statute reduces constitutionally protected political speech. Much of the district court’s analysis of hardship focuses on hardship to the election system arising from the timing of this suit and this motion for a preliminary injunction. But as the Supreme Court has emphasized, the value of political speech is at its zenith at election time." - TPM, 10/24/13
de Blasio campaign of course blasted the court's ruling:A political action committee organized to support Republican candidate Joe Lhota in the upcoming New York City mayoral race is being backed by Tea Party billionaire David Koch.
The New York Times reports Koch and his wife Julia each donated $175,000 to the committee, New Yorkers for Proven Leadership, which began airing new television ads for Lhota on Wednesday.
“We’re a group of New Yorkers who believe that Joe Lhota provides the best hope for the future of our city and who provides the kind of leadership we saw from Mayor Giuliani and Mayor Bloomberg over the last 20 years,” said Michael McKeon, a spokesman for the PAC. - Huffington Post, 9/4/13
And de Blasio is also telling voters to not let the Koch brothers buy this race:“Today’s decision will empower the right-wing billionaires, like the Koch Brothers, and Tea Party groups who support Joe Lhota to drown out the voices of New Yorkers,” Lis Smith, Mr. de Blasio’s spokeswoman, said in a statement.
She added, “The stakes are too high to let the same Republican extremists who shut down the government hijack the mayoral election.”
Ms. Smith was reacting to today’s Second Circuit ruling in favor of the New York Progress and Protection PAC, allowing the group to accept contributions over the $150,000 state limit for independent expenditures in light of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
The ruling overturned a lower court’s decision to deny the PAC’s request for a preliminary injunction and could provide a much-needed financial boost for Mr. Lhota, who is distantly trailing Mr. de Blasio in the polls and lagging behind in the fund-raising race as well. - Politicker, 10/24/13
The ad has Lhota now playing defense:Democratic mayoral candidate for New York City Bill de Blasio’s campaign released an ad Thursday slamming billionaire Republican donors the Koch brothers.
“Don’t let the Koch Brothers buy the election,” the ad says, which also labels the David and Charles Koch as a pair “who spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to defeat President Obama.”
“They’re back. And now they’ve set their sights on New York City,” the ad continues. - Politico, 10/24/13
Luckily for de Blasio, organized labor is ready to help him win on November 5th:Lhota, in Harlem last night, said he hadn’t seen the video, but took the opportunity to defend David Koch: “First off, it’s David Koch, not the other Koch brother. This is the same man who is pro-choice, pro-same-sex marriage, one of the largest philanthropists in New York [with] all of our cultural institutions; the person who built the hospital for special surgery in New York. He’s a philanthropist and a person who gave $80,000 to Governor Andrew Cuomo. So, look at who he is and try to understand what kind of citizen he is.He’s the one Koch that lives in New York with his wife. I mean, to say, 'They’re trying to buy the election,' I just don’t understand it.” - Capital New York, 10/25/13
By the way, de Blasio been talking about immigration reform lately on the campaign trail:We don't yet know to the penny what Monday's Hillary Clinton-headlined party raked in for Bill de Blasio's mayoral bid, but we do know an AFSCME-bankrolled IE group dropped $150K to help him out that same day.
People For A Better New York spent $135,800 on Controller John Liu's behalf in the Democratic primary, Campaign Finance Board records show, and then joined the victorious de Blasio for the general. The Pandora clip below came in at $12,500, with the balance spent on various online ads.
As I reported in September, AFSCME has promised to undertake a major GOTV operation targeting the more than 200,000 city members of DC 37, DC 1707 and CSEA Local 1000. - New York Daily News, 10/23/13
And it's sounding like Governor Andrew Cuomo (D. NY) is starting to lay off on de Blasio's tax plan to fund pre-kindergaten and other education programs:Enjoying a comfortable 44-point lead in the mayor’s race, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio confidently pledged Tuesday to push for municipal identification cards for undocumented New Yorkers in “early 2014.”
“We’ll do what we can do to establish the kinds of laws that actually respect everyone who lives in the city of New York,” the public advocate said during a rally for comprehensive immigration reform at City Hall.
The ID would help undocumented residents get bank accounts and leases, he said. He said working on getting state-issued cards would also be a focus if elected.
De Blasio said he still needs to work out the details of the municipal IDs, but that he believes there’s enough support in City Council to put through the legislation. - Metro, 10/23/13
And de Blasio also scored another press endorsement:Cuomo during a Daily News editorial board meeting last week was highly critical of the plan, saying he fears it would send the wrong message and potentially drive millionaires from the state.
But asked today about GOP mayoral candidate Joe Lhota's comments in Tuesday's mayoral debate that Cuomo called the plan dead on arrival, the governor straddled a more nuanced line.
"I never said that," Cuomo said.
"I've said, 'You know my position on taxes generally. You know what I've done over the last three years. You know the philosophy we're governing the state."
"What I've said to Bill de Blasio, specifically on the telephone with him--and he knows very well also what I've been doing and my disposition--.but I've said, look, if he becomes the mayor of the city of New York, then he should put together his plans and his programs. The mayor of the city of New York is a very important official, obviously, in this state." - New York Daily News, 10/23/13
If you would like to donate or get involved with de Blasio's campaign, you can do so here:He plans to use some of our city pension funds to help finance 200,000 units of new affordable housing over the next 10 years. The plan will not only combat the housing shortage, one of the city’s most vexing problems, it will also spur economic activity, creating jobs.
De Blasio has made education the centerpiece of his campaign — committing to expanding full-day pre-K and afterschool programs. He would be the first mayor to have a child in the public school system, which as we said previously, would send a powerful message to parents, particularly those who have felt they have had no voice in their children’s education.
He seeks a miniscule tax rate hike on the city’s wealthiest residents to pay for his education expansion. Critics say the tax plan will be dead on arrival in Albany but that overlooks the fact that the idea has caught fire with voters, giving it political momentum. De Blasio’s ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo go back two decades and his plan has a realistic chance of passing.
De Blasio, the city’s public advocate, knows full well the daunting economic challenges he will face as he will have to negotiate long overdue contracts with the municipal unions. His pro-labor outlook should give him a much better chance to get the unions to accept less than all of the retroactive raises as well as the health and pension benefits that they are expecting.
Downtown Express endorses Bill de Blasio for mayor Nov. 5. - Downtown Express, 10/23/13