And here we thought Albany was just being ornery.
A leaked report about apparent campaign-finance violations by people surrounding Mayor Bill de Blasio sheds new light on the running cat fight between the mayor and state legislators, particularly Republicans in the state senate. Until now, we’ve been inclined to believe the storyline out of City Hall, which is that partisan opposition to our progressive mayor, together with the usual Albany stonewalling of anything that’s good for New York City, explain de Blasio’s inability to win support for his agenda in the capital.
But if the State Board of Elections report can be believed, de Blasio has been the architect of his own undoing in Albany. The details are complicated -- and kudos to The Times and the Daily News for ferreting them out -- but the allegation is that de Blasio’s team channeled money illegally through party committees to help Democrats running for the state senate. When those candidates lost anyway, the Republican incumbents complained to investigators and, not surprisingly, have made it their business to make de Blasio’s life miserable.
The mayor and his people have tried to wave away the whole thing, inevitably complaining about the leaks that led to the latest reports. But our sense is that this isn’t going anywhere. The mayor, who hasn’t exactly seemed enamored by the details of local government, will now be spending more and more of his time dealing with the issue, meaning less time on what we elected him to do.
It’s hard at moments like this not to miss Michael Bloomberg, who had his faults (stop and frisk comes to mind), but nevertheless had the money to keep himself out of the usual money morass of New York politics.