The Real Deal New York

Tishman’s Rob Speyer tried to broker election deal for Cuomo

Supposed agreement aimed at ensuring GOP kept Senate but governor won re-election
November 24, 2014 10:44AM

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly tried to strike a deal with the state’s Republicans to make sure he’d win in this year’s re-election bid.

Tishman Speyer President and co-Chief Executive Officer Rob Speyer is said to have hosted a meeting to discuss the 2014 election with State Republican Chairman Ed Cos, Republican Senate Conference Leader Dean Skelos, the party’s former executive director Michael Lawler and Republican Senate Counsel Robert Mujica, according to City & State. Speyer also serves as the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York.

New York’s real estate executives, as well as the REBNY-backed political action committee Jobs for New York, supported the state’s Republican candidates.

Speyer told the attendees that Cuomo had asked him to call the meeting to make sure that the senate would stay in Republican hands. If the Republicans tried to run a candidate who could potentially beat him, however, the governor promised he would spend $40 million to defeat both his opponent and the Senate Republicans, according to the magazine.

Skelos told Speyer that the G.O.P. was thinking about running Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. “Well,” Speyer reportedly answered, “that is the one candidate you can’t run.”

After the Republicans decided on Astorino as their candidate, Speyer reportedly called Cox back, on behalf of the governor, and relayed an expletive-filled message from him. A Cuomo spokesperson has denied this.  [City & State via Capital New York] — Claire Moses