Bill Thompson’s campaign is accusing Michael Bloomberg of flouting the city’s campaign finance rules and not disclosing more than $3.3 million in contributions Bloomberg personally made.
“While the recipients have reported these contributions, neither Mr. Bloomberg nor Bloomberg for Mayor 2009, Inc. has reported any of these political contributions to the Campaign Finance Board,” Thompson’s campaign wrote in a legal complaint distributed to reporters.
The contributions at issue here are mainly to local Republican organizations and the Independence Party, both of which later endorsed Bloomberg. The contributions were not unreported: the campaign reported them to the state board of elections, not the city board.
The complaint from Thompson comes one day after Bloomberg’s people highlighted the fact that the comptroller received campaign contributions from people doing business with his office.
“If you’re going to be talking about transparency, if you’re going to be talking about playing by the rules, which we all should be in this campaign, than you have to be abiding by the C.F.B. rules,” said Thompson campaign manager Eddy Castell.
“These donations were reported to the state Board of Elections, and they were written about in the press,” one reporter noted.
“But they were not disclosed to the Campaign Finance [Board],” Castell responded. “But just because something is reported in the press, that does not mean you’re abiding by” the law, he said.
A spokesman for the C.F.B. said they have received the complaint from Thompson and will forward it to Bloomberg’s campaign for a response. Reporters on their way to Thompson’s event in his campaign office were greeted in the lobby of the building by a Bloomberg campaign aide who handed out their campaign’s response, which said this was an attempt to “distract voters” from Thompson’s “failed record.”
UPDATE: Bloomberg’s people say that Thompson has done the same thing. Thompson donated $3,000 to the Working Families Party in 2002, and another $3,000 a year later, Bloomberg’s people said.
“Perhaps Mr. Thompson and his staff should have examined his own record before making today’s phony attack,” Bloomberg campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a public statement.