Mayoral hopefuls slam real estate industry while taking its cash

September 03, 2013 11:55AM

Mayoral hopefuls in the Democratic primary continue to criticize runaway real estate development across the city, while still collecting $2.2 million total in donations from major players in the real estate industry.

Executives and employees at real estate firms are among those contributing about $30 million to the Dems as of late August. City Council Speaker and candidate Christine Quinn collected more than $716,700 from them, while her opponent Anthony Weiner, the former Congressman, brought in $643,550.

“Candidates are using this particular issue as a way of distancing themselves from the Bloomberg administration,” Fordham University political scientist Costas Panagopoulos told the New York Times, regarding the Democratic candidates. “There is a difference between the kinds of things you have to say and do to win elections, and the kinds of things you have to say and do to attract campaign donations.”

Bill de Blasio, for example, held a rally called Hospitals not Condos outside the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, the Greenwich Village site that Rudin Management is converting to a massive condo complex with the moniker Greenwich Lane. However, de Blasio has held meetings with real estate lobbyists, as Quinn and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson’s campaigns have noted, and received $215,300 from the industry, the fourth most.

Common Cause New York, a watchdog group, studied contributions from executives at top real estate companies such as Extell Development and Rudin Management. Quinn collected the most in total, while Thompson received the highest amount. [NYT]Mark Maurer