NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - After days of damaging headlines about his alleged pay-to-play relationship with a wealthy donor, and with one week to go until election day, Mayor Bill de Blasio was eager to reset the agenda Monday morning with a high-profile friend by his side, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
The former presidential candidate joined de Blasio for a subway ride on the downtown A train to promote the mayor's proposal to tax the wealthy to fund MTA repairs.
"We have to understand that a millionaire's tax to fix the MTA is another way of responding to the inequality that plagues our society," de Blasio said at a press conference at the Fulton Street stop. "No one understands that better than Senator Bernie Sanders."
"When someone has to get to work they have a right to know their mass transportation is going to work and get them there on time," Sanders said. "And a little bit of a tax for the people on the top can do that and create thousands of jobs at the same time."
The mayor unveiled his so-called millionaire's tax, officially called the "Fair Fix," plan months ago, but it has yet to get support in Albany or from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has indicated he'll push a congestion pricing plan to fund transit improvements.
"The issue is the plan is not feasible right now, you have a governor and two legislative leaders in Albany saying it's dead on arrival," said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican candidate for mayor. She accused de Blasio of using the event and photo op as a distraction.
"Right now there's serious issues with corruption at City Hall and he's trying to deflect from all of this horrible, damaging testimony that came out of the corruption trial last week," Malliotakis said, referring to testimony from de Blasio donor Jona Rechnitz, who has been a witness in the trial against Norman Seabrook, the former president of the correction officers' union.
Sanders was set to appear with de Blasio again for a campaign reelection rally in Hell's Kitchen on Monday night.