Mayor de Blasio is employing a double standard to bankroll his campaign for a tax hike on the rich to universal pre-K, critics charge, by allowing unlimited donations to the nonprofit he set up to promote the effort — a practice he slammed as public advocate.
Former Gov. George Pataki on Sunday called the move a “sad and cynical double standard in an effort to pass a tax that simply punishes one segment of New Yorkers while doing nothing to promote greater opportunity.”
Pataki was referring to de Blasio allies collecting unlimited donations through UPKNYC/Campaign One for New York.
The group has yet to disclose who has contributed — but municipal unions seeking pay raises for city workers are expected to be among them.
It says it will disclose the donors in coming weeks.
Back in 2010, it was then-Public Advocate de Blasio who slammed Pataki for collecting more than $2 million in undisclosed donations from a super PAC he headed, Revere America.
“As governor, George Pataki defended our democracy. Now he’s undermining it,” de Blasio said back then. “Revere America is funneling millions of dollars into our elections, all while hiding corporate contributions.’’
At the time, de Blasio generally railed against shadowy not-for-profit groups influencing elections and government policy by using donations from business honchos and other influence peddlers. He bemoaned the proliferation of super PACs and other third-party entities in the wake of a controversial Supreme Court decision lifting limits on corporate donations to political groups.
“It was a given that corporations did not belong in the electoral process. The Supreme Court turned that entirely on its head. The floodgates opened not just a little but almost without exception or qualification,” de Blasio said.
He even issued a report in December 2010 on the midterm congressional elections, detailing how the court ruling “significantly increased anonymous spending” and “created a more negative electoral environment.”
De Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak said Sunday, “Governor Pataki’s failure to follow through on his commitment to fully fund universal pre-kindergarten is exactly why we need this tax today. There is no double standard here. Mayor de Blasio was critiquing undisclosed donations, which is not the case here.’’