Hand Over Velvet Fist

For the second day in a row, I'm posting about a woman in local politics. Yesterday it was state politics and Jeannne Pirro, today it's the city and Patricia E. Harris, Mike Bloomberg's newly appointed deputy mayor. If this localism trend continues, by Friday I'll be posting about the lady in my building whose apartment is full of cats and fancies herself the Queen of Prussia (NB: To the best of my knowledge no such woman exists, but since I don't really talk to the people in my building other than my room mates I cannot rule out the existence of such a person.)

While the entire article on Harris is both interesting and quite readable, one bit that was just dropped in as part of a series of examples of her perseverance and devotion to the Mayor struck me as ethically bizarre.
When she believes that the mayor has been crossed, the glove can come off. Last year, when Ms. Harris became aware that some people in the arts world who had benefited from Mr. Bloomberg's philanthropy had given political donations to one of his early campaign rivals, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, she called them and demanded to know what they were thinking.
While Bloomberg (and Harris, since the article mentions her being in charge of his philanthropy since his pre-mayoral days and continuing into the future) can in general give his money to whomever they want for whatever reason they want, his personal philanthropy should be separate from his political career and thinking that giving people money creates an obligation for them to support you politically (or omit support for your opponent) sounds dangerously close to bribery. This paragraph admittedly gives very few facts about the underlying incidents, but I don't see anyway of the facts it does being true and there not being something wrong here.

First off, if they had "benefited from Bloomberg's philanthropy" via any kind of grant application process, that can't possibly create the obligation which is suggested. If the artists just went to Bloomberg out of the blue, and asked him for money, no strings attached, that can't create the obligation (if his charity only gives people money in exchange for their future support, that simply isn't charity). And finally, if they had showed up and asked for the money, while explicitly or implicitly implying their support, that's also a problem, because you can't promise your political support in exchange for money.

The only innocuous explanation I can think of is that the calls to ask "what they were thinking" were totally unrelated to the grants of money. Perhaps the artists had previously been loyal Republicans and Harris was doing due diligence by simply asking them, "What, if there is some specific thing or things, has led you to support our opponent rather than us?" But it's not really standard practice to write a two sentence paragraph in which the two sentences have nothing to do with each other, nor would it support the article's claim about her devotion which it's being used to illustrate. Thoughts?