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Campaign Finance Violation Complaint Levied Against Struggling Presidential Candidate De Blasio

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- These are desperate times for Bill de Blasio and his floundering presidential aspirations. With less than three weeks to qualify for the next big debate, he's also facing charges of campaign finance violations.

But, as CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer reported Thursday, desperate times call for desperate measures.

MOREBill De Blasio Strikes Out With Voters, Gets Zero Percent Support In Latest 2020 Poll

New York's Orthodox community is the latest target for the mayor's decidedly unorthodox presidential campaign, and it's raising eyebrows.

In a last ditch scramble to make it to the next debate, a fundraising request -- in Yiddish -- has been sent to members of the Satmar community, pleading for 10,000 people to donate $1, reportedly implying the support will lead to favorable treatment the future.

Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit Over Two Nights
Democratic presidential candidate New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio (R) speaks while Washington Gov. Jay Inslee listens during the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. 20 Democratic presidential candidates were split into two groups of 10 to take part in the debate sponsored by CNN held over two nights at Detroit's Fox Theatre. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Sources said it's related to the fight over forcing yeshivas to provide secular education and the mayor's alleged reluctance to lower the boom.

"What's particularly disturbing about this plea is that he's cashing in on it, turning to those yeshiva leaders and saying, 'Hey, I've been here for you,'" said Naftuli Moster of YAFFED -- Young Advocates for Fair Education.

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Right now, de Blasio's chance of qualifying for the next leg of the Democratic presidential debate marathon looks grim. He has until Aug. 28 to get at least 2% in four polls and have 130,000 donors. He had just 6,700 supporters in his last filing on July 15.

But that's not the only unorthodox move for El Desperado Bill. He also sat down for a one-hour interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity -- the first Democrat to do so -- hoping that the intense jousting would generate buzz.

"Can they have a gun is a simple question. If they're law abiding, can they have a gun?" Hannity asked.

"You're trying to set up a reality where you get to paint a picture on your own terms. It doesn't work that way," de Blasio responded.

"You are dodging and ducking and you're flipping," Hannity said.

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All this as hizzoner's unorthodox fundraising scheme was challenged in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission. The charge? That he improperly used two PACs -- political action committees -- to bankroll his campaign.

"De Blasio and his campaign engineered effectively a shell game to allow a small number of wealthy contributors to support his presidential run with contributions that exceed federal limits," said Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center. "What we found is that at least 25 donors gave nearly 200% in excess of federal limits."

A spokesperson for de Blasio 2020 said only that the campaign is "reviewing the complaint." The campaign declined to comment on the push to lasso donors in the Hasidic community. The next debate is in Houston in September.


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