"Joseph Dussich, the owner of a company in Queens that makes anti-rat garbage bags [made] two donations of $50,000 apiece to a political advocacy group run by allies of Mayor Bill de Blasio [last year]. Ten days later, records show, Mr. de Blasio met with Mr. Dussich in City Hall to thank him for the contributions.

"The meeting was arranged by one of the mayor’s chief fund-raisers , Ross Offinger, according to two people familiar with the account that Mr. Dussich has given to federal authorities investigating City Hall fund-raising. Mr. Dussich, who brought one of his sons to the meeting, chatted briefly with Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, about their shared Italian heritage. As the visit with Mr. de Blasio was breaking up, Mr. Dussich was met at the mayor’s office by a City Hall aide, Peter Hatch, who then connected Mr. Dussich to purchasing officials at the parks department.

"Within a month, Mr. Dussich’s company, JAD Corporation of America, was given a $15,000 contract … In the account given by Mr. Dussich, there was no talk of the garbage bags with Mr. de Blasio during the brief meeting. … The mayor’s office would not discuss the donations, the meeting, the calls or the purchase of the Mint-X bags. … Whether legal or not, the garbage bag episode illustrates the collapse of careful defenses built up in the city over the last three decades against ‘pay to play’ practices in which people gave campaign contributions to gain access to or favors from powerful officials." http://goo.gl/KelUU7

[h/t Politico New York Playbook]

Michael Benjamin