The Real Deal New York

NYC real estate moguls pump more than $2.2M into Trump Victory fund

Kalikow, LeFrak, Witkoff and Catsimatidis among top givers

July 18, 2016 04:09PM
By Will Parker

Donald Trump (inset from clockwise: Steve Witkoff, Howard Lorber, Michael Fascitelli and Richard LeFrak)

UPDATED, 6:15 p.m., JUL 18 Many of the biggest players in New York real estate have expressed their support for Donald Trump. But now, they’re backing those words with their wallets.

More than a dozen donors from the industry collectively gave about $2.2 million dollars to the Trump Victory election fund between late May and June 30, filings with the Federal Election Commission show. The fund, a joint agreement between Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and 11 state parties was first announced in May.

Peter Kalikow, of HJ Kalikow & Company, gave $449,000 to Trump Victory, close to the maximum amount of $449,400 the fund asked donors to contribute. (Kalikow’s wife Mary contributed an extra $51,000.) Tom Barrack, CEO of Colony Capital and a longtime Trump buddy who is set to speak at the RNC’s convention in Cleveland this week, gave $415,000. Others with industry ties who gave big include Stephen Feinberg, head of the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, who gave $339,400 and his wife Mary Feinberg, who matched that contribution.

Howard Lorber, CEO of Vector Group and chair of brokerage Douglas Elliman TRData LogoTINY,  chipped into Trump Victory, giving $100,000. Bennett Lebow, chairman of Vector Group, contributed $100,000. The LeFrak Organization’s Richard LeFrak gave $100,000. (When a New York Times reporter asked who Trump’s best friends were in March, a Trump representative mentioned both Lorber and LeFrak.)

Vornado Realty Trust head Steven Roth, who got a shout-out from Trump in his New York GOP primary victory speech, did not give to the fund. But Michael Fascitelli, former Vornado CEO and now head of real estate investment firm Imperial Companies, did, handing over $50,000.  Both Fascitelli and Roth attended a fundraising lunch Trump hosted in June for big real estate names, but the filings indicate Roth has yet to cough up any cash for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

It’s important to keep in mind that funds raised by Trump Victory can then either go into Trump’s campaign or to the RNC itself. Money sent to the RNC from Trump Victory may or may not be spent on the election, depending on how it is allocated. On Friday, Politico reported that Trump Victory has so far transferred $2.2 million to the Trump campaign and $10.1 million to the RNC, $5.8 million of which cannot be spent on campaign activities.

At least two real estate donors to appear in the Trump Victory filings have also given to the Hillary Clinton campaign this election cycle. HFZ Capital Group’s Ziel Feldman gave $2,700 to Clinton in March, but gave $25,000 to Trump Victory in June. Red Apple Group’s John Catsimatidis has contributed to both campaigns, and gave $50,000 to Trump Victory in June. Steve Witkoff, who donated to Clinton’s campaign in 2008 and Mitt Romney’s in 2012, donated $100,000 into Trump Victory in June.

Other donors from New York real estate include Cushman & Wakefield’s Charles Borrok, $50,000, and developer David Bistricer, $5,000. James Nederlander, whose Nederlander Organization owns 9 theaters on Broadway, gave $30,000. JDS Development Group’s Michael Stern gave $25,000.

Some New York real estate donors typically active in presidential elections have so far remained silent. Related Companies’ Steve Ross did not donate to Trump Victory, even though he gave more than $100,000 to Romney in 2012.

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