NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – After fighting for years to prevent the release of his private email exchanges with political consultants, Mayor Bill de Blasio has relented.
A court recently ordered the emails to be released, and his administration complied Thursday, dropping thousands of pages of emails.
On a sunny August day in 2015, the New York Mets beat the Boston Red Sox, like a dagger to the heart of die-hard Sox fan de Blasio. He was sitting in the cheap seats in an elaborately orchestrated plan to make him appear authentic and relatable, CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported.
The meticulous plan was revealed for the very first time in a jealously guarded cache of emails after a court ruled the mayor could not prevent the public release of communications with political consultants and advisers.
In an August 27 email, de Blasio said, “Chirlane, Chiara will go to the Mets/Red Sox game Friday night – in very cheap seats… I will go the Sat game with queens bp (Borough President) Melinda Katz. I will go to the Sunday game with Queens councilmembers.”
Outside consultant Jonathan Rosen, of BerlinRosen, sometimes referred to as “Jro” in the emails, weighed in on August 28 with a political “tweak.”
“Can we also frame this as how BdB (Bill de Blasio) does his politics. Some pols do dinners and drinks… but he’s working the Queens delegation and the BP over Mets games. It’s work – him doing politics well,” he wrote.
There was a February 1, 2014 exchange about whether his wife Chirlane should give a speech in the middle of an impending snowstorm, when the administration was “telling everyone… to stay off the roads.”
As Kramer reported, there were also many, many attempts to control the media — even her.
On June 3, 2015, the mayor told his media team, “We should try something different with Marcia, because whatever we’re doing isn’t working.”
After then-press secretary Karen Hinton and Kramer had a confrontation about transparency, there was a lengthy email exchange about what to do if she followed the mayor to Puerto Rico the next day to demand answers, which she did.
“Given that Marcia is like to be in PR, I think he should avoid confrontation with her,” Hinton advised, adding in a later exchange the goal was to “tamp down on any ‘mayor isn’t transparent’ criticism.”
The emails also showed the mayor waffled over whether to comfort the FDNY or hit the gym after a fire lieutenant was shot during a crazed gunman’s standoff with the NYPD, Kramer reported. The mayor went to the gym, then got to the lieutenant’s bedside six hours after he was shot.
More emails are expected to be released.