The Real Deal New York

Donating to de Blasio-connected group pays off for developers

Mayor's Campaign for One New York raises pay-to-play questions

September 24, 2015 10:13AM


Bill de Blasio

Since December of 2013, Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit run by political consultants close to Mayor Bill de Blasio, has accepted nearly $4 million in donations from real estate developers, unions and others.

Many donors gave money just before or after the city threw them a bone. At least 46 of 74 donors listed in the six-month filing either had business or labor contracts with City Hall or were looking to receive approval for a project.

A spokesman for Campaign for One New York said the group discloses all fundraising and spending and is supported by progressives, Politico reported.
Half of the donations came from real estate companies with a vested interest in maintaining the 421a tax abatement program.

In May, de Blasio agreed to extend 421a, with increased affordable housing requirements, just week after numerous developers had donated to one of his fundraisers.

The mayor didn’t require that developers pay workers a prevailing wage, a major coup for developers and construction industry titans like JDS, which contributed to Campaign for One New York.

The biggest donors to the nonprofit were Two Trees Management, which gave $100,000 through an LLC, Brookfield Financial Property L.P., which donated $50,000, Douglaston Development, which contributed $25,000; and Alma Realty Corp., which gave $5,000.

In June, architect Ariel Aufgang said the mayor’s 421a plan helped his business. He made a $2,500 campaign donation in April 2015. Aufgang received city approval for more than 930 new apartments after meeting with city officials. [Politico]Ariel Stulberg