Mayor Rakes in Campaign Cash from Billionaires Even as he Campaigns on a Message that the very Rich Oppose Him
Mayor Bill de Blasio is attracting some powerful and wealthy donors to his campaign, despite his complaints that the very rich are trying to keep him from winning a second term. Our Grace Rauh has the story.
Mayor de Blasio warns his base that influential forces are working against him.
"There are billionaire media owners who don't want to see change in this city," de Blasio said. "Who want to distract us, who want to lull us to sleep."
But the mayor's latest fundraising data shows de Blasio is actually collecting big money from plenty of wealthy and powerful donors of his own.
Businessman Ron Perelman, said to be worth $12 billion dollars, gave the maximum allowed: $4,950. Diane Von Furstenberg gave that same amount, and so did Rosie O'Donnell, along with restaurateur Drew Nieporent, whose company owns the high-end Nobu sushi restaurants.
Major Democratic donors Maureen White and Steve Rattner were also top de Blasio donors. So was influential litigator David Boies and the CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong.
"I'm thrilled that so many people are contributing," the mayor said. "Our goal here was to move our operation towards, what I think is the shape of things to come. A lot more donations from the grassroots and a lot more involvement from the grassroots."
The mayor did more than double the number of individual donors who gave to his campaign.
3,200 people gave since last July, with an average contribution amount of $329. It's not quite Bernie Sanders territory, but it's an small-donor improvement from the first six months of 2016.
Over the last six months, though, he did not raise as much as real estate executive Paul Massey, a Republican challenger.
He raised $1.6 million dollars during that same period, despite being a political unknown.