Tracking the travels of de Blasio and Cuomo – and who ends up paying
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio embarked on a trip to Germany late last week for the G20 summit and gave a speech at a protest rally and met with local officials.
But the mayor drew criticism for traveling so far so soon after two deadly shooting incidents in the Bronx, including one that killed a police officer, although it follows a pattern of traveling abroad at least once every summer.
And while Gov. Andrew Cuomo was still in state last weekend, he’s taken a handful of international trips himself after staying home his first few years as governor. Here’s a rundown of the two elected officials’ overseas itineraries since taking office – and how most of them were paid for.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO
Italy: July 18-27, 2014: After spending the first two days meeting with officials in Rome, the mayor spent the next eight days exploring his Italian roots by visiting the ancestral villages of his grandparents and touring Rome, Capri, Venice and Naples with his family. The mayor's staff told The Wall Street Journal that de Blasio paid for his trip, but that taxpayers paid for a Mercedes to chauffeur the family around Italy. The city was also billed $10,116.19 so that three of his staff members could accompany him.
London: Sept. 24, 2014: De Blasio traveled to Manchester to speak at the Labour Party Conference. It’s unclear who paid for his travel or how much it cost.
Paris: Jan. 20, 2015: De Blasio honored victims two weeks after a deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo office and a market in France’s capital. Like the London trip, it’s unclear who covered the travel costs.
Rome: July 21, 2015: The mayor flew to Rome for a day to address an international gathering of mayors and environmental leaders at the Vatican. The price of airfare, lodging and expenses came to $16,000, and was all paid for by the city, according to the Daily News.
Israel: Oct. 17-20, 2015: De Blasio visited out of solidarity after a month long surge of violence in the West Bank that left eight Israelis and 40 Palestinians dead. This trip was privately funded by Israeli businessman Baruch Eliezer Gross, who paid at least $25,000 so that the mayor and his team could travel there without putting taxpayers on the hook, The New York Times reported.
Germany: July 7-10, 2017: De Blasio spent the weekend in Germany speaking at a protest during the G20 summit of world leaders and meeting with the first mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, and the president of the Hamburg Parliament, Carola Alexandra Veit. Travel and hotel were paid for by rally organizers, but taxpayers paid for the mayor’s security. The police department declined to provide the number of police officers in attendance for security reasons.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO
Israel: Aug. 13-14, 2014: Cuomo takes his first international trip while in office to Israel, where he meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu and visits the Western Wall. The governor used campaign funds to pay for this trip, Politico New York reported.
Afghanistan: Sept. 27-28, 2014: The governor traveled to Afghanistan and had an unofficial meeting with a group of American soldiers, diplomats and aid officials to seek insight on terrorism. The U.S. Department of Defense invited Cuomo and paid for his trip, according to Newsday.
Dominican Republic: Oct. 17, 2014: Cuomo traveled to the Caribbean island and also stopped in Puerto Rico during his run for a second term. During the visit, he met with the Dominican president. It’s unclear how much the trip cost and who paid for it.
Cuba: April 20-21, 2015: As the first governor to visit Cuba after the travel ban was lifted, Cuomo and a small group of business leaders met with Cuban officials in order to “help open the door to a new market for New York businesses.” The Journal reported that the state paid for the cost of the trip for the governor and about 10 state staffers.
Israel: March 5, 2017: The governor takes a 15-hour trip to Israel to demonstrate support after an increase in anti-Semitic threats and vandalism across America, noting that anti-Semitism was a personal issue for him because two of his sisters are married to Jewish men. The trip was paid for by the state, the Times reported, and the governor’s office noted that costs would be kept down because it was not an overnight trip.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to include details about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's trip to the Dominican Republic, Mayor Bill de Blasio's trip to London, and the costs of a number of the trips.