Democratic candidate for mayor Bill de Blasio held a fundraiser at the Yale Club Wednesday morning as he works to raise cash for the upcoming general election. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Bill de Blasio was touting a plan to tax the rich to fund after school and pre-kindergarten Wednesday.
"It is absolutely right and fair to ask the wealthiest among us to help us to make our school system work," de Blasio said.
Hours earlier, he was taking in campaign cash from some well-heeled New Yorkers at a fundraiser in Midtown. He did not take NY1's questions outside.
The event is one of a number of large-donor fundraisers de Blasio is having across the city.
His campaign said that they are hosted by Democrats. Many have raised cash for President Barack Obama.
"There are a number of people here who are very enthusiastic who are in the financial community or in the business community, and it's because he talks about you're not going to help the average family unless you have economic growth," said Orin Kramer of Boston Provident.
Later on Wednesday, at an after-school program in Red Hook, de Blasio said the deep-pocketed donors do not dilute his campaign's message that the city is divided into the rich and the poor.
"We are raising money from people who are willing to support my vision," de Blasio said. "If they're not willing to support my vision, they're not giving me money."
It's a vision at odds with his Republican rival, Joseph Lhota, who wants to lower taxes. De Blasio has recently ramped up his attacks of the former Giuliani deputy.
"You can't say, 'Oh, I'm an innocent liberal Republican and all those other things happened. Too bad,'" de Blasio said. "If you're a member of the Republican Party, you're buying into the whole idea."
Meanwhile, in an email to supporters, Lhota's campaign slammed de Blasio for his so-called lack of experience. In an appeal to crossover Democrats, Lhota's campaign said that he is the one ready to run City Hall on day one.
To drive the point home, Lhota released his first television ad of the general election.
"De Blasio wants to raise taxes and supports reckless government spending. Lhota wants to cut wasteful government spending." the ad says.
Lhota argues that that's the major difference between them.