Real estate political money (incidentally) going green

Industry channeling state Senate donations into environmental PAC
October 26, 2014 10:00AM

In the battle to control the New York state Senate, the real estate industry is putting money into the New York League of Conservation Voters’ political action committee, an environmental group that is aiding Republican and Democratic Senate candidates.

The real estate industry has its own super PAC to support candidates. But by channeling donations through the League of Conservation Voters, its spending will appear to be coming from a nonpartisan environmental group.

Five limited liability companies controlled by major Long Island developer Glenwood Management recently gave a total of more than $100,000 to the league’s PAC. Glenwood Management is also among the biggest donors to Jobs for New York, a real estate-backed group throwing $2 million toward Republicans in three state Senate races.

According to Dan Hendrick, the spokesman for the League of Conservation Voters, the group’s donors can earmark gifts to support or oppose a particular candidate, although final decisions on spending rest with the league.

“Our message is obviously exclusively focused on the environment,” Hendrick told Crain’s. “This year, we especially are focusing on the leadership of the Environmental Conservation Committee. If [legislators] do what we ask them to do, we support them.” Most of the compliance experts consulted by Crain’s believed the arrangement to be legal.

Teachers’ unions have also been putting money into this group to help finance its candidates. [Crain’s] —TRD