America Rising Appeals NYC Parks Dept. Refusal To Release Sanders Rally Records
While it may seem like a political lifetime ago, it was only last month that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were locked in a heated debate over debate dates ahead of the New York primary. April 14th was Clinton campaign’s preferred date of the Clinton campaign, but Sanders already had a rally scheduled – until Clinton surrogate and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio conveniently tweeted an offer to help him reschedule:
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 4, 2016
Sanders ultimately folded under pressure, but de Blasio’s use of his official position to meddle in presidential politics raised ethical red flags. To get to the bottom of what happened behind the scenes, America Rising submitted FOIL requests to the Mayor’s Office and the Parks Department to find out whether de Blasio exerted inappropriate influence to force the permits through.
The Parks Department is declining to release records on the grounds that they “contain deliberative, non-final intra-agency and inter-agency communications” – a.k.a precisely the type of communications that would reveal whether de Blasio or his staff put political pressure on the agency.
America Rising PAC has filed an official appeal of the Parks Department’s decision on the grounds that, not only did Mayor de Blasio make these inter-agency communications relevant to the public interest by publicly intervening in this case, but that the decision also violates precedent on New York’s public information law has been applied in the past.
View America Rising’s appeal, as well as the Parks Department denial, below: