David Lichtenstein’s $50K donation — at request of de Blasio aide — went to group backing Kaminsky campaign: report

The fundraiser is the subject of multiple state and federal investigations

TRD New York /
May.May 04, 2016 10:14 AM

UPDATED, May 4, 4:15 p.m.: Another developer is caught up in the probe into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fundraising.

David Lichtenstein, CEO of the Lightstone Group, was revealed as the man who donated $50,000 to the Nassau County Democratic Committee, which steered a total of $250,000 to the newly elected Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the New York Post reported. The contribution was reportedly made at the request of Ross Offinger, de Blasio’s top fundraiser. Offinger is currently the subject of a criminal investigation into whether the mayor and others skirted donation limitations in order to gain Democratic control of the state Senate.

Lichtenstein made the donation through an LLC, A&J Contracting, to the Nassau County Democratic Committee, which ultimately donated $250,000 to Kaminsky’s campaign. A spokesman for Lichtenstein said his contribution was made in compliance with finance rules.

Last month, Kaminsky — who has run on an ethics platform — won the special election for state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos’ seat. His campaign spokesman, Evan Thies, said the Kaminsky campaign “holds itself to the highest standards — and we expect other campaigns and political committees to as well.”

As far as donors are concerned, Litchtenstein is in familiar company: The Long Island assemblyman took in donations from several real estate titans, including John Catsimatidis and Howard Lorber. Catsimatidis was questioned by investigators last week in relation to donations he made in 2014.

Last year, de Blasio appointed Lichtenstein to a seat on the New York City Economic Development Corp. The mayor also supported the developer’s plans for a massive apartment complex along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel

This post was updated to include a statement from Kaminsky’s campaign.

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