An independent expenditure effort reportedly backed by real estate interests in southern Brooklyn’s Sephardic Jewish community is now running last-minute ads on behalf of Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign.
Although Mr. de Blaiso, a Democrat, is far ahead in the polls, his Republican rival, Joe Lhota, has been spending an extraordinary amount of time courting the Orthodox Jewish community. These ads appear designed to slightly blunt that effort.
Small Business Coalition, the independent group that had previously been involved solely in City Council primaries, is running the ads in Hamodia, The Jewish Press, Torah Times and other papers. The ads declare that Mr. de Blasio will “Respect our halachos”–Jewish religious law–though Mr. de Blasio does have some policy differences with aspects of it.
The group will also be financing a field effort in Orthodox neighborhoods, a representative said.
Asked about the effort, a knowledgeable source described the move as a natural fit for the local business community–despite Mr. de Blasio’s lefty rhetoric.
“There were many outsiders who assumed the Sephardic business community would move to Lhota,” the source wrote in an email. “But Lhota’s weak campaign squashed those ideas. This is a community who is vehemently pro-business, but they’re also realistic. These business leaders believe at the end of the day, a Mayor de Blasio will govern more pragmatically than his campaign might suggest. And they are more than likely investing in pro-de Blasio IEs to be able to point to the fact that they supported him once he is elected.”
But John Eddy, the executive director of Small Business Coalition, told Politicker the description was simply a continuation of his group’s support for pro-business candidates.
“Bill de Blasio has always been a friend of the small business community. As Public Advocate, he’s helping lead the fight to cut fines and fees for small businesses,” Mr. Eddy said in a statement. “Bill de Blasio’s common-sense approach to helping small businesses grow is why the Small Business Coalition is proud to support his candidacy for mayor.”