From the May day he announced his presidential run to the September day he bowed out, Mayor Bill de Blasio spent more than seven weeks out of town and at least $200,000 in taxpayer dollars while never registering more than 1% support in national polls.
From an ethanol facility in Gowrie, Iowa (pop.1,037), and Jim Clyburn’s World Famous Fish Fry in Columbia, S.C., to his cargo-shorts trek through Red Rock Canyon in Nevada, the mayor was out of the city he was elected to represent for a total of 51 days.
The travel expenses of de Blasio, his wife, Chirlane McCray, and their son, Dante, who sometimes tagged along, were picked up by his campaign.
But taxpayers footed the bill for the NYPD team that accompanied them everywhere. That entourage consisted of 10 NYPD staff for de Blasio, with a separate and equal sized crew protecting his wife, sources familiar with the security detail told THE CITY.
The NYPD has acknowledged that it paid for all of this but won’t disclose how much was spent — citing “security concerns.” Police officials said they try to apply the federal government’s recommended limits for airfare, hotel stays and meals per day.
Applying that standard, THE CITY estimated that the mayor’s failed White House dream cost New York City taxpayers at least $211,000. In contrast, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Ind., does not rely on cops from his city in his campaign for the presidency.
De Blasio’s travel included flying to nine states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico — sometimes bouncing from city to city in one weekend before returning to New York. The weekend of Aug. 3, he flew from New York to Las Vegas to Los Angeles to Washington, before returning home — a trip that ran an estimated $18,240 in travel expenses racked up by his NYPD bodyguards.
The weekend of July 13th, de Blasio was in Waterloo, Iowa, when a blackout struck midtown Manhattan. He said he had to be driven to Chicago by his NYPD team in the middle of the night, and flew back to New York the next morning.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s presidential campaign ran from May 16 to Sept. 20. During that 128-day period, he spent 51 days on the road.
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