Critics are raising ethical and legal concerns over Bill de Blasio’s use of Gracie Mansion to film his presidential announcement video.
In making his 2020 run official on Thursday, de Blasio released a three-minute video featuring shots of him at his official residence.
But Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime Democratic strategist and de Blasio critic, wondered if the mayor’s campaign paid for the use of Gracie — and if public employees helped with the shoot in any way, which he said would be “against the law.”
Betsy Gotbaum, the executive director of government watchdog group Citizen Union added, “I think it would be more tactful for him to do it elsewhere. This, to me, points out that man is the mayor of the greatest city in the world and maybe he should stay here.”
“The optics of doing it at Gracie Mansion are not tactful,” Gotbaum said. “But he’s not known for his tact.”
A de Blasio campaign spokeswoman confirmed the interior shots are from inside Gracie, saying the shoot was cleared by the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board.
“Yes, we are allowed to do political activity there,” the rep said. “This was run past city lawyers.”
But when pressed on whether there was a written approval, de Blasio’s campaign declined further comment.
The COIB didn’t immediately return an email.
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