Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis called out Mayor Bill de Blasio on his lack of transparency, “pay-to-play” dealings and criticized his relationship with “mega-lobbyist” Jim Capalino at a press conference at Rivington House on the Lower East Side on Wednesday.
“It’s time for Bill de Blasio, the most ethically challenged mayor in recent history, to get honest with the voters and explain who calls the shots in his relationship with lobbyist Jim Capalino,” Malliotakis said, standing alongside the Republican nominee for Public Advocate, J.C. Polanco.
The de Blasio campaign fired back, calling Malliotakis a hypocrite.
“Nicole Malliotakis, a former registered lobbyist, just accepted a maximum contribution from the landlord lobby and has never disclosed a cent of donations that were bundled for her by lobbyists when she ran for State Assembly four times. This is the height of hypocrisy and another silly stunt to distract from her support for Donald Trump and ties to the billionaires who fund the so-called ‘alt-right,'” said Dan Levitan, a spokesman for de Blasio’s re-election campaign.
Calling de Blasio “the most ethically challenged mayor in recent history,” Malliotakis said he’s guilty of allowing the Rivington House to be turned into luxury condos.
Malliotakis campaign spokesman Rob Ryan said, “Bill de Blasio must be getting nervous, because now his spokesman is throwing mud and making false claims that Assemblywoman Malliotakis was a ‘registered lobbyist’ and that she’s accepted donations “that were bundled for her by lobbyists.” The Mayor and his campaign spokesman should apologize immediately; they’re lying and they know it. Nicole Malliotakis was never a registered lobbyist and has never received bundled donations from lobbyists. The de Blasio campaign is simply trying to change the subject because they know that Bill de Blasio has been compromised by fat-cat lobbyists like Jim Capalino.”
“For decades the [Rivington House] property was restricted and could only be used to a nonprofit residential health care facility. Enter Capalino, and two deed restrictions are lifted to allow the health care facility to be turned into luxury condos,” she said.
“Bill de Blasio was right; there is a tale of two cities and it’s Bill de Blasio’s donors and friends vs. the rest of us,” she said.
The Assembly member is calling for a ban that would prohibit lobbyists, like Capalino, from bundling campaign contributions, as well as “public disclosure of all city employees lobbied on behalf of a client.”
She also wants to prohibit city officials soliciting lobbyists and lobbyists from offering city officials funding for ceremonies and events.