Forest City traded donations for $2.6B in subsidies: report

Watchdog accuses developer of “decade of kickbacks”
August 06, 2013 11:30AM

Forest City Enterprises has been mixing business and politics for the past decade, swapping $23 million in campaign donations for $2.6 billion in government funds, according to a new report cited by the New York Post.

The nonprofit Cause of Action shows the company has received $2.6 billion in indirect government subsidies and subsidiary Forest City Ratner, developer of the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards, has made $23 million in political contributions.

The report by the oversight group accuses Forest City Enterprises of a “decade of kickbacks” and using “political connections for profit.”

During election years, 85 percent of Forest City Enterprises’ donations went to candidates from areas where the company was developing real estate projects, the group said.

“For far too long, Forest City Enterprises has operated on the model of political profiteering, essentially rigging the marketplace by paying off government officials with lavish campaign contributions and gambling with taxpayer funds for its private profit,” Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, told the Post.

All of Forest City’s donations were “fully compliant with all applicable laws and regulation,” company spokesperson Jeff Linton told the newspaper, adding many of the projects “would not be economically viable” without development incentives from the government.” [NYP]Mark Maurer