City comptroller Scott Stringer has made clear that he has real intentions to run for mayor of New York City in the event that the Feds indict Mayor Bill DeBlasio. The state probe against DeBlasio and several of his supporters involves an investigation into whether or not the Mayor violated election law by raising money and funneling it through upstate Democratic county committees in order to help elect Democratic senate candidates and to seize control of the Senate from the GOP in the 2014 elections. Notwithstanding the alleged scheme, the GOP retained control of the Senate.
It is rumored that Stringer will make the run only if the Feds will indict DeBlasio; which may very well happen as the prosecutors have already begun the process of seating grand juries and presenting evidence on the federal and state investigation and subpoenas are being issued regularly. DeBlasio and many of his contributors are staring into the barrel of two State and one federal inquiries related to the financing of his campaign. It is also believed that Stringer is confident that DeBlasio will be indicted because he has already amassed $1.4 million for a future campaign.
In particular, the State probe focuses on whether donors and DeBlasio broke State laws during the 2014 election. The federal investigation centers on whether or not Donors received favors for cash.
In the meantime, Scott Stringer has openly lambasted Mayor DeBlasio in various forums, in August, he released a report accusing the Mayor of not enforcing Deed restrictions on a Lower East Side Nursing home, which in turn lead to its sale to a condominium developer. His criticism of DeBlasio’s administration have become increasingly vociferous over the last few months and include a sharp critique of DeBlasio’s mishandling of conditions in the city’s homeless shelter.
Stinger has also reportedly enlisted the help of Preston Rosin, the same firm that was enlisted by DeBlasio during his mayoral run, to recruit prospective campaign aides. Scott Stringer has also hired Preston Niblack, former finance director for the City Council as his budget deputy. His work with the city and his knowledge of the budget will make him a potential asset to the campaign should Stricker end up running for Mayor.
A spokesman for the DeBlasio campaign commented that “The mayor and the campaign ….are fully confident that they have conducted themselves legally and appropriately at all times.”
The biggest critiques of Stringer’s record as comptroller come from his handling of the city’s pension system. It is estimated by the Wall Street Journal that the pension system’s investments have risen 1.5% this year, beneath the projected estimate of 7% and far less than it 17% growth rate in 2014. A recent report from his office estimated that the pension plan’s underperformance will cost the city $722 million.
Under his tenure the Journal also notes that the City has settled a record number of claims, to the tune of $700 million.
By: Jerome Magnus