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De Blasio Takes Off For Multi-City Campaign Fundraising Tour

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With the ongoing federal probe into his fundraising, Mayor Bill de Blasio is on a three-city, star-studded-trip asking for campaign cash -- and something else.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Friday marked a week after since de Blasio met with federal prosecutors investigating his campaign fundraising. Now, de Blasio – as the song goes – has packed up all his cares and woes and has begun to travel the country raising money for his 2017 reelection campaign.

When Mayor de Blasio did his weekly Friday radio appearance on "The Brian Lehrer Show" on WNYC, he called in from the City Hall in Chicago. De Blasio said on the air that he had just had a "great meeting" with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and was about to address the City Club of Chicago, a civic organization.

De Blasio also said he had had a fundraiser for his reelection in the morning.

Chicago was the first stop on a three-city weekend marathon that brings him to Fort Lauderdale on Friday and then to Los Angeles on Sunday.

In Los Angeles, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, "All in the Family" producer Normal Lear, and other Hollywood bigwigs will fete de Blasio at Wolfgang Puck's Beverly Hills hot spot Spago. Suggested contributions are between $2,500 and $4,950.

It is clear that in this election cycle, the mayor wants to avoid the prying eyes of state and federal prosecutors, according to Kramer. The Beverly Hills invitation asks donors to affidavit declaring that their contributions are from their own funds and in their own name, and that they are not being reimbursed by someone else.

And even though the mayor has already raised $3.3 million and is at this point facing no major opposition, senior campaign adviser Phil Walzak – who was traveling with de Blasio – said his boss is taking nothing for granted.

"We never want to be complacent," Walzak said in a telephone interview. "People have talked about setting up super PACs to come after the mayor this election season too. So while today, the race seems to be where it is, there's unknown about in the future."

Walzak said it may be an especially propitious time to leave New York to raise money. Democratic donors, he said, are looking for a progressive opposed to President Donald Trump.

Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said the Hollywood crowd will not focus on the mayor's corruption troubles – as they are a continent away.

"What they see is a guy who's done his job the way they think the job should be done, and he's under attack for doing it," Sheinkopf said.

The donor affidavit also warns that the mayor can only accept cash contributions of under $100. But de Blasio also accepts credit cards, money orders and checks.

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