Monday, October 28, 2013

Real estate interests continue to open checkbooks for Bill de Blasio

Corruptive Influence of Money in de Blasio campaign


de Blasio Uses Campaign Loophole Developers Have ‘Bought’ de Blasio
Bill de Blasio has taken advantage of a campaign finance loophole that allows unions not representing municipal workers to contribute without limit, accepting contributions from unions across the country thanks to a bill he helped pass. (Bill de Blasio reaps union donations thanks to campaign finance loophole * The New York Post) At a press conference by the new Barclay’s arena, Joe Lhota accused Bill de Blasio of trading his silence on affordable housing in the controversial Atlantic Yards development exchange for developers’s campaign contributions. (Lhota Says Developers Have ‘Bought’ de Blasio’s Silence on Atlantic Yards * The New York Observer)
Dark Pool Politics - Lobbyists, Meetings, and Backroom Deals are Hidden - Bill de Blasio photo DarkRoomPoliticsSlideExport_zps8f346168.jpg

Money in Politics. Despite Mr. de Blasio's claims that he was the true progressive in this year's mayoral Democratic primary, he's certainly embraced the role of money and lobbyists in electoral politics, an apparent contradiction of core progressive values. A spot financed by a pro-Bill de Blasio “super PAC” in the New York mayoral race charges that Joseph J. Lhota wants to help big corporations and developers. The campaign commercial will be broadcast in a $1 million media buy could be used by Mr. Lhota to suggest that Mr. de Blasio, who has spoken out against super PACs, is acting hypocritically by not renouncing their support. (The Ad Campaign : Group Backing de Blasio Tries to Shackle Lhota to Tea Party * The New York Times)

Real estate opens checkbook for de Blasio ;
de Blasio's reformer credibility in doubt

From Crains :

Several real estate heavyweights­ as well as a few luminaries from the tech world­are ponying up big-time for Bill de Blasio, as the Democratic front-runner for mayor nears the finish line in what is shaping up to be a historic blowout of an election.

John Arillaga, one of the largest landowners in Silicon Valley, donated the maximum amount of $4,950 to Mr. de Blasio on Oct. 26, newly released records show. Mr. Arillaga's $151 million donation to Stanford University last July is said to be the largest gift ever given from a living donor. He is estimated to be worth $1.8 billion.

Mr. de Blasio also received a maximum donation from hotelier Ian Schrager, the co-founder of the legendarily hedonistic Studio 54. Mr. Schrager is often credited with co-creating the "boutique hotel" category of accommodation, typified by the Hudson Hotel on West 58th Street.

Raphael De Niro, son of the famous actor and head of the "De Niro Team" at real estate powerhouse Douglas Elliman, also maxed out to the Democratic frontrunner. Leonard Steinberg, who leads the firm's luxury real estate team, and Darren Sukenik, a downtown broker at Douglas Elliman, have contributed as well. (Mr. de Blasio has railed against "luxury condos" being built at the expense of affordable housing.)

Other real estate big shots to throw their support to Mr. de Blasio include Ken Colao, president of CNY Builders; Karen Heyman, a top real estate agent with Sotheby's; Aaron Jungreis, founder of Rosewood Realty Group; and Kyle Blackmon, a successful broker with Brown Harris Stevens.

Reid Hoffman, a venture capitalist and founder of LinkedIn, a social network for businesses, also chipped in the maximum amount.

Real estate has long been a supporter of Mr. de Blasio, who despite his populist rhetoric has treated the industry practically, even voicing support for projects that are deeply controversial in their communities, including Atlantic Yards.

With a de Blasio victory over Republican Joseph Lhota on Tuesday looking all but inevitable, many in the real estate world are trying to get in while the getting is good. But several real estate insiders wondered whether the donations were too late in the game to matter to the candidate, who has drawn the ire from some in the industry from his positions on affordable housing, taxes and city subsidies.

"Somewhere in de Blasio's camp, someone is keeping tabs on who gave what and when," one real estate source said. "And there is no chance whatsoever that money now is worth what money was in June when he was at 10% in the polls. That certainly applies to the late-arriving unions, as well businesses and some real estate. The real winners are the early endorsers and early donors. Buying de Blasio stock at its 52-week high isn't going to produce a bonanza of goodwill."

Another real estate insider agreed.

"He's going to be the mayor whether they like him or not," the insider said. "A third wants bragging rights that they supported him, a third thinks it's an insurance policy against him coming after them and a third thinks it gives them the ability to call him up and yell at him."

Last week, Mr. de Blasio reported almost $50,000 in donations in a single day. On Oct. 26, he raked in over $33,000. His Republican opponent, Mr. Lhota, has trailed in both fundraising and the polls.

Mr. de Blasio has denied (as all politicians do) being influenced by campaign donations.

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