Mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis pushed for a ban on lobbyists raising cash for city pols while slamming Mayor de Blasio for his ties to influential lobbyist James Capalino.
The Staten Island Republican went after de Blasio’s lobbyist connections outside shuttered lower East Side nursing home Rivington House — which she charged was flipped for luxury condos in just one example of the lobbyist’s clients getting special treatment after bundling tens of thousands of dollars in contributions for the mayor’s campaign and non-profit.
“This mayor and this administration are providing special favors,” Malliotakis said. “Who is the mayor of New York City? Is it Bill de Blasio or is it James Capalino?”
Malliotakis said registered lobbyists should be banned from raising donations for candidates, a practice known as bundling, and pledged not to accept such bundled donations for her own mayoral campaign.
Besides Rivington, she pointed to the selection of RAL Development, then a Capalino client, to build new towers in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and a commemoration of the 1986 World Series Mets that was staged outside City Hall at the suggestion of a client producing a TV series.
“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 de Blasio spokesman Dan Levitan.
He did not answer whether the mayor would support a ban on lobbyist bundling.
Malliotakis spokesman Rob Ryan said she had never been a registered lobbyist, though she was listed in 2010 on the website of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity when she worked for Con Edison, according to a Staten Island Advance report at the time.
“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,” Ryan said. “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.”
A Capalino spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.