De Blasio’s door is open to lobbyists
by Yoav Gonen, NY Post, June 9, 2015 | 1:53am
Mayor de Blasio has met personally with a dozen lobbyists so far this year — most of them campaign supporters and just two shy of the 14 he huddled with in all of 2014, records show.
Leading the pack was last year’s highest-earning city lobbyist, James Capalino, who met with Hizzoner three times in the last three months.
Capalino hosted two fund-raisers for de Blasio’s successful mayoral run in 2013.
Clients who accompanied him to the meetings included Chinese real-estate and movie-theater mogul Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, and Janno Lieber, a top Silverstein Properties exec who bundled $11,100 for de Blasio two years ago.
Capalino most recently met with the mayor on May 28 on behalf of helicopter-tour operators in lower Manhattan — an opportunity that critics of the noisy flights say they haven’t gotten.
“It’s very discouraging but not surprising,” said Delia Von Neuschatz, a resident of Battery Park City who founded an advocacy group to halt the tours.
Other lobbyists/campaign supporters who met Hizzoner privately included Michael Woloz, who bundled nearly $237,000 for his campaign on behalf of the yellow-cab industry but who met with him on a doctors-union labor issue on Feb. 2.
The mayor has promised to voluntarily reveal his private meetings with lobbyists, but his office updated this year’s list only after multiple inquiries from The Post.
Stop the Chop NYNJ is a local grassroots coalition of NY and NJ residents seeking to educate the public about the adverse effects of helicopters sightseeing tours on the environment and on the health and welfare of the two million people living underneath their Hudson River flight path.