The Federal Election Commission has imposed a $53,100 fine on three committees associated with former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s failed bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The commission said the De Blasio 2020 campaign committee accepted improper contributions from two political action committees de Blasio and others had set up, Fairness PAC and NY Fairness PAC, and failed to disclose the donations in campaign filings.
The FEC action comes in response to a complaint filed in 2019 by the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center alleging that the campaign had “concocted a shell game” to let donors contribute to de Blasio’s presidential run above legal limits by routing money through the two PACs.
The FEC said in an April 19 report closing out the case that the de Blasio campaign committee admitted it accepted $52,851.89 from the NY Fairness PAC for travel and digital services and $123,000 from the Fairness PAC for polling.
The commission said the de Blasio campaign has agreed to pay the fine and amend its FEC filings.
Longtime de Blasio adviser Peter Ragone said in a statement Friday, “There were some accounting errors here and we immediately worked to get it right. We are happy to have it settled.”
De Blasio, whose second term as New York City mayor ended last year, announced in May 2019 that he was joining the crowded race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but his campaign never won wide support and he suspended it months later.