Developers cutting big checks to de Blasio’s “shadow cabinet”

Mayor's political consultants could pose potential conflict of interest

TRD New York /
Nov.November 04, 2015 01:38 PM

There’s a long history of real estate developers tapping into City Hall, but certain donations in the past year show that they may also have the mayor’s ear through privately funded consulting firms.

Since his mayoral campaign in 2013, Mayor Bill de Blasio has depended on several political consultants, who have raked in almost $2.3 million in the past year to help push the administration’s message. A majority of these funds were contributed by the nonprofit group One New York, which received $1.1. million from real estate developers. This was the second highest contribution from January 2014 to June 2015, falling only slightly short of unions, which donated $1.3 million.

The mayor’s cadre of consultants represent a possible conflict of interest, the New York Times noted, since many of their clients are major business players in the city.

BerlinRosen, for instance, has overseen communications strategies for One New York, while also counting real estate developers — Forest City Ratner Companies, SL Green Realty and Two Trees Management — among its clients. Two Trees Management, the developer behind the Domino Sugar redevelopment project, donated $100,000 to One New York in the past year. Former Edison Properties boss Stephen Nislick — along with animal activist partner Wendy Neu — donated more than $100,000.

What sets the mayor’s relationship with these consultants apart is that he’s met with these advisors more often than some of senior members of his administration, records of de Blasio’s schedule show. The relationship with the “shadow cabinet” is also seemingly out of step with his beliefs before becoming mayor, when he spoke out against the role of “shadowy” nonprofit groups in politics. The mayor’s press secretary, Karen Hinton, told the newspaper that One New York’s involvement with de Blasio doesn’t contradict the mayor’s previous statements, as the organization “does not engage in politics” and “exists solely to advance the administration’s agenda.”  [NYT]Kathryn Brenzel


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Dr. Oxiris Barbot (Getty, iStock)

Day care — and its landlords — get a lifeline

Day care — and its landlords — get a lifeline
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)

De Blasio to sign Airbnb, property tax legislation

De Blasio to sign Airbnb, property tax legislation
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)

New York City indoor dining postponed indefinitely

New York City indoor dining postponed indefinitely
Mayor Bill de Blasio with 1 Central Park West and 1 Court Square (Getty; APOPS@MAS)

Mayor grabs privately owned public spaces for dining outside

Mayor grabs privately owned public spaces for dining outside
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)

NYC to rely on complaints to enforce sidewalk dining rules

NYC to rely on complaints to enforce sidewalk dining rules
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)

NYC on track for phase 3 of reopening July

NYC on track for phase 3 of reopening July
Mayor Bill de Blasio and diners in Midtown Manhattan on June 22, 2020 (Getty)

Restaurant reopenings jump 50% in NYC

Restaurant reopenings jump 50% in NYC
Clockwise from top left: Jabari Brisport, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Julia Salazar (Getty)

Initial vote count shows pro-tenant candidates poised for wins

Initial vote count shows pro-tenant candidates poised for wins
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...