Queens state Senator Tony Avella, despite denouncing the Real Estate Board of New York’s $8 million in contributions to New York City Council candidates, reportedly raked in tens of thousands of dollars in his own donations from the industry’s most deep-pocketed donors.
According to campaign finance records cited by Crain’s, Avella took two donations of $10,000 each from limited liability companies sharing a Long Island address with Glenwood Management. The developer gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Jobs for New York in 2013, REBNY’s political spending arm that operates separately from candidates.
While corporations are limited to donations of up to $5,000, LLCs controlled by the same individuals running them can give up to $150,000 through the so-called LLC loophole, which Avella has denounced.
“Like every Democrat who supports campaign finance reform, my campaign complied with the current law,” Contributions have absolutely no impact on legislation — period,” Avella said in a statement to Crain’s.
Other pols, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, have accepted donations from LLCs while publicly speaking about looking to close the loophole. A year ago, Avella lambasted REBNY’s City Council race spending, focusing particularly on funds to support Queens candidate Paul Vallone.
REBNY, Avella said at a press conference at the time, was “trying to use its money and influence to ry and control this council district.” [Crain’s] — Julie Strickland