James Capalino, Other Lobbyists Lined Up To Help Host Million-Dollar Bill de Blasio/Hillary Clinton Fundraiser
From Daily News Daily Politics :
The host committee of Bill de Blasio's million-dollar Monday-night fundraiser with Hillary Clinton read like a who's who of big-league city lobbyists -- and it's drawing fire from his GOP foe in the mayor's race.
"The level of Bill de Blasio's hypocrisy is alarming. He takes cash from developers and special interests while telling New Yorkers he supports something different," Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for Republican nominee Joe Lhota, told the Daily News. "I don't think anyone can trust who the real Bill de Blasio is when he always tries to play both sides."
De Blasio spokesman Dan Levitan declined comment on both Proud's comments or the number of lobbyists involved in the cash bash.
Among those on the host committee for the Roosevelt Hotel soiree : James Capalino, who in the past lobbied for Rudin Management, which is developing high-end condos near the site of the shuttered St. Vincent's Hospital, and A-list lobbyist Suri Kasirer, who has met with de Blasio on Atlantic Yards project.
Kasirer characterized her role in the fundraiser as more about old friendships than pending business.
"It was kind of like Old Home Week," said Kasirer, who said her 25-year friendship with the mayoral frontrunner goes back to the administration of former Mayor David Dinkins and continued through and past Clinton's 2000 run for the Senate.
While Kasirer says she's closely watching issues that may extend into the next administration, such as Midtown East rezoning, she painted the evening as "a way for a lot of New Yorkers to give a boost to Hillary and let her know that we were eagerly waiting for her decision and want her to run [for president]...
"I think for me it was less about lobbying than it was about sort of longtime relationships."
Capalino didn't immediately return a call about the fundraiser.
Fordham University's Costas Panagopoulos said the list wasn't surprising given that given that "money follows power and special interests can read the polls just as well as anyone else can," and that de Blasio and many of his backers are "established politicians with access to lobbyists and other donors" happy to help raise cash for a man who may make decisions critical to their clients.
The political science prof also said there is of course the issue of "whether someone who's been elected partly as a result of having attracted considerable financial support is subsequently beholden to those interests" if he or she wins.
"We'd like to think that kind of quid pro quo -- or some would go so far as to call it corruption -- doesn't exist, but it's a legitimate question," he said. "Answering this question will require vigilance and surveillance if [de Blasio is] elected."
Others on the lengthy host committee list included Stan Natapoff and Alexandra Stanton of Empire Global Ventures; Rachel Amar of Waste Management Of New York; and Michael Woloz of Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz.