Following the latest social media problems within the Bill de Blasio campaign, with the resignation of two staffers who tweeted anti NYPD, racist and antisemitic tweets, the campaign is now cracking down on the remaining staffers.
Mr. de Blasio’s wife is African American.
“If Bill de Blasio is the company he keeps, his mayoral campaign could be in serious trouble,” Lauren Evans wrote last month in the Gothamist. “Only a few weeks after one of his campaign aids was caught bashing the police and NAACP on Twitter, another staffer was revealed today to have similarly poor judgment when it comes to “Things Not to Say on the Internet… Naturally, the mayoral hopeful was quick to denounce tweets, saying that “nothing can excuse” the remarks. Still, unless he does something about the unruly social media tendencies of his staffers, de Blasio’s prospects for Gracie Mansion are at risk of vanishing faster than a deleted tweet. Maybe the NYPD was on to something with that social media crackdown after all.”
According to information this reporter has gathered, a few weeks ago, Mr. de Blasio’s staffers at the Public Advocate’s office were asked to review their Twitter timelines and previous tweets to accommodate with the campaign’s need to overcome recent controversies and avoid such stories coming out in the future.
During the internal meeting, the staffers, who volunteer for the mayoral campaign, were told to reduce their presence on twitter and hold of from commenting on issues that might come back to haunt the campaign.
After a brief review of the Twitter feed of several staffer in the Public Advocate’s office, their presence on Twitter has been reduced to minimum over the past few weeks.
Last week, Sal Albanese, a former city councilman and a Democratic candidate for mayor, accused two of his rivals, Christine C. Quinn, the Council speaker, and Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, of having hired political operatives at taxpayer expense as they readied their own campaigns.
“From bribery-by-paper-bag to straw donor schemes, taxpayers feel like they are drowning in a sea of corruption this year. But while we are focused on the sensational scandals, another kind of corruption is casually occurring every day in this building behind me,” said Albanese while standing outside of the Public Advocate’s office at 1 Centre Street in Manhattan. “For the past year and a half, Bill de Blasio has been fleecing the taxpayers by putting his campaign operatives on the public payroll.”
According to Albanese, the Public Advocate has hired at least nine staffers whose previous positions were primarily as campaign operatives. In total, their salaries cost New York City taxpayers $576,000 per year. All of the hires occurred within the last 18 months, concurrent with the building of de Blasio’s campaign infrastructure.
“Many of these folks are smart young people with bright futures,” Albanese pointed out. “Unfortunately, they are being used just to further Bill’s career.”
Albanese, who spent fifteen years as the City Council’s top reformer, called for a hiring freeze for elected officials seeking citywide office. His proposal would bar officials like the Public Advocate, Comptroller, and City Council Speaker from adding new positions to their payrolls during the 18 months preceding a primary election. Officials would still be allowed to replace employees to maintain the integrity and workload of the office.
“Padding a government payroll like this is an intolerable abuse of power,” declared Albanese. “It forces taxpayers to foot the bill for an employee whose job is to advance their boss’s political ambitions, not help the public.”