Monserrate draws donations from Willets Point opponents

By Adam Pincus | July 21, 2008 03:14PM

Businesses opposed to the massive redevelopment of Willets Point in Queens gave at least $37,500 in contributions over the past six months to the city council’s most vocal critic of the project, according to the latest campaign finance records.

Queens Council Member Hiram Monserrate, a candidate for the state senate seat representing Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst, received another $19,250 from other real estate interests among his total of $240,114 in contributions since January.

Monserrate, a Democrat, is running in the November election unopposed for the seat now held by Democrat John Sabini, who announced his retirement in June.

Members of the Willets Point Industry and Realty Association, which has been fighting the plan to redevelop the area with the use of eminent domain, contributed the bulk of the $37,500.

Member firms that donated included Tully Construction Company, which gave $21,000 through several different entities; Feinstein Iron Works and its president, which gave $5,000 combined; and the trash hauling company Crown Container, which gave $3,000.

Other major donors to Monserrate’s war chest include unions and private contributors.

Monserrate said he was defending small businesses against the Bloomberg administration’s $3 billion redevelopment plan.