Developers' Dollars
July 5th, 2011

The New York Post’s David Seifman reported Sunday that developers left without a candidate in the 2013 mayoral race after the demise of Rep Anthony Weiner might support Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. This has the appeal of a man bites dog story — de Blasio a favored candidate of many unions and the Working Families Party, would seem an unlikely politician for developers to embrace.

Whatever the merit of Seifman’s story, it was a little puzzling for its omission of at least one candidate who already has a lot of support from the real estate industry: Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Using Gotham Gazette’s Councilpedia, we examined Quinn’s major contributors for the 2013 race (many of who actually gave in 2007 and 2008, before the extension of term limits sunk Quinn’s 2009 run for Gracie Mansion). And we discovered a large number of $4,950 contributions — the maximum allowed for citywide candidates — from people involved in real estate.

In a number of cases, several people associated with a company anted up. At least six people
with links to Rudin Management, one of the citys largest building developers and owners, gave $4,950, as did five members of the Gural family of the global real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank and the president of Newmark, James Kuhn. Three members of the Walentas family of Two Trees Management, which has developed much of DUMBO< gave $4,950 each, as did two executives with the company, Amish Patel and Richard Shill. Thee people associated with Rose Associates opened their wallets for the maximum, as did two Roses with the Georgetown Co. At least five people with ties to The Benjamin Companies on Long Island gave Quinn $4,950, and so did at least four people with ties to Related. And so on.

More on the money trail after the jump

Interestingly a number of people, including three donors from Related, who gave the maximum to Quinn also gave to Weiner.

In his 2009 run for public advocate, de Blasio got only a few of his biggest contributions from the real estate industry, according to Councilpedia. His list of largest contributors shows a preponderance of unions and attorneys.

For 2013, he again has some real estate money — notably $4,950 from Jeffrey Lynford of REIS, a real estate formation company, who also gave generously to de Blasio’s 2009 campaign, and $4,950 from Elzie Higginbottom, a Chicago developer. His major contributors for 2013 so far are a fairly eclectic group, although, again, he has donations from unions.

This could, of course, change when de Blasio — like all other 2013 candidates for any city office — file disclosure forms later this month that will cover any money received in the first half of this year. But Quinn’s support is not altogether surprising. During much of the past six years she has allied herself with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who the real estate industry generally supports (they don’t have to give him money though) and she has also taken many pro-business stands, most notably blocking a vote on a bill that would have required paid sick leave for workers in the five boroughs.

By on July 5, 2011, 3:40 pm
In category: City Hall,Environment,Gotham City,Governing | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Developers' Dollars”

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    June 13th, 2013 at 2:34 am

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