Wonder what’s his reason for revealing this right now? Sure he’s up to his usual trickery.
BY FRANK LOMBARDI and ERIN EINHORN
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
Thursday, September 25th 2008, 12:09 AM
Mayor Bloomberg used a secret fund to reward City Council allies with $20 million for their districts – some of it going to questionable organizations, he revealed Wednesday.
The mayor first acknowledged his slush fund last spring in the wake of a Council scandal over taxpayer dollars flowing to fictitious groups and nonprofits controlled by Council members’ relatives.
Bloomberg released new details yesterday showing what he doled out to Council members and pols to distribute among their favorite nonprofits and pet projects since 2002.
“People have taken tough stands and helped us make politically unpopular decisions, sometimes at their own peril,” mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser said.
The two members who got the most were Simcha Felder, raking in $5.7 million, and Domenic Recchia, who got $2.2 million.
Both are Brooklyn Democrats who crossed party lines to endorse Bloomberg when he ran for reelection as a Republican in 2005.
Felder did not return calls for comment. Recchia denied the money was a payback.
“The mayor expressed support for things happening in my district,” he said. “These projects were worthwhile.”
Others, like Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D-Brooklyn), who got $351,000, earned the wrath of then-Council Speaker Gifford Miller in 2005 by siding with Bloomberg on a plan to put a garbage transfer station in Miller’s Manhattan district.
“I didn’t need a weatherman to tell me that there would not be a lot of support [from Miller] for my community,” DeBlasio said. “I appealed to the mayor to help on these items.”
Also getting money from the mayor’s fund was Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who began collecting in 2005 after crossing party lines to endorse Bloomberg. He sent much of the $2.6 million to a nonprofit called Best of Brooklyn, Inc. which he controls.
Some of the mayor’s cash ended up with nonprofits later linked to the scandal.
Among them were the North Brooklyn Community Council, run by the wife of Councilman Erik Martin Dilan. Dilan gave $30,000 from the mayor to that group in 2005.