"Lobbysists are brazen. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is smug. They make an ugly couple." -- The New York Daily News
Campaigning for selection as the City Council’s speaker, Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito accepted free services from the lobbying firm The Advance Group until she and her lobbying firm faced allegations of possible electioneering corruption. Then she used a controversial second electioneering account to hire a different lobbying firm, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, to further her speakership campaign. Councilmember Mark-Viverito relied on Pitta Bishop during her her speakership campaign, and later to raise money for her inauguration and transition committee. Her lobbying firm "reciprocated" by raising a substantial amount of the money towards her speakership campaign, "as well as most of the $27,000 tab for her bash," the editorial board of The New York Daily News writes in its house opinion piece. In the wake of having ingratiated itself, now Pitta Bishop has "lobbied Mark-Viverito on behalf of four clients," The New York Daily News adds. Because of the blatant conflicts of interest and appearance of pay-to-play politics, the editorial board of The New York Daily News calls on Councilmember Mark-Viverito to either recuse herself from voting on matters involving Pitta Bishop clients or bar Pitta Bishop representatives from her office.
- RELATED : Melissa Mark-Viverito has brought pay-to-play into bloom in the City Council. She must either sever ties with the corrupt lobbying firm Pitta Bishop or its clients. (Pay-to-play speaker : Melissa Mark-Viverito has to stay clear of too-close lobbyist * The New York Daily News)
- RELATED : A federal complaint has been filed against The Advance Group, which charges that the consulting firm broke laws through the way it supported and allowed its employees to support candidates during the last election season, Politicker writes. (Complaint Filed Against The Advance Group for Election Work * Politicker)