In an interview on the "Road to City Hall" Thursday night, Republican mayoral candidate Joseph Lhota took an indirect shot at his main GOP primary opponent, John Catsimatidis, for donating heavily to local Republican organizations, calling it "unethical."
"It's not illegal, but in my estimation it's unethical, and it shouldn't happen," Mr. Lhota told NY1. "The chairman of the party should not be allowed to sell the party's endorsements or get involved in anything like that."
In an interview with Chris bragg of The Insider Mr. Catsimatidis defended himself, saying that if the donations fall within the boundaries of the law, there's nothing wrong with them. "If it's legal, it's not unethical,"
Mr. Catsimatidis said. In fact, Mr. Catsimatidis said his wealth would insulate his administration from graft and patronage, while the remaining candidates in the race are all relying heavily on campaign contributions. "Everybody is almost bought and paid for," he said. "It's horrible what's going on."
"The fact that I'm wealthy gives me some independence. If a big developer throws a fundraiser for you and raises $150,000, you're going to do what he says," Mr. Catsimatidis added. "Bloomberg has been instrumental in the resurgence of New York City, whether you like him or don't like him. If you agree with 70% of what Bloomberg does, he's doing pretty good."
"I've given lots of money to politicians, but I've never asked for a favor," he added. "Everyone else, it's quid pro quo—not everybody. Most."