Cushman and Wakefield’s Paul Massey has decided he will shutter the political advocacy group he launched earlier this year if he goes ahead with a run at Gracie Mansion.
“Paul has told his staff to shut down the [501(c)(4)] committee should he decide to run for mayor,” said Bill O’Reilly, a Republican political operative whom Massey tapped earlier this year to run the nonprofit 1NY Together.
“He doesn’t even like the appearance of these types of committees, especially considering the mess that’s going on with de Blasio and others,” O’Reilly added, referring to the current fundraising scandal around Mayor Bill de Blasio’s political nonprofit Campaign for One New York.
With an eye toward a potential mayoral bid in 2017, Massey in January formed the 501(c)(4) 1NY Together – a type of “social welfare” nonprofit that is allowed to raise funds to lobby lawmakers.
The group aims to foster a dialogue on issues concerning education, crime, infrastructure and the economy. Over the past few months, it’s launched a website and released a handful of surveys conducted by the Pennsylvania-based Harper Polling company.
And while the nonprofit would be independent of any fundraising Massey would do for a political campaign, 1NY Together is organized under the same kind of nonprofit structure as Campaign for One New York, the controversial group de Blasio launched to advance his agenda just before taking office.
Between January 2014 and June 2015, Campaign for One New York raised $1.1 million from the real estate industry. But the mayor is now facing scrutiny from regulators and the U.S. Attorney’s office for raising cash from people with business – or even potential business – in front of the city.
As for Massey’s political campaign, O’Reilly said the president of Cushman’s investment-sales division is “doing his homework,” meeting with people in the political domain as he prepares for a potential run, and hasn’t “made a concerted effort” to raise money for 1NY.
To help advise him on policy issues, Massey brought on GOP operative Edward Lurie, who served as the former executive director of the state Republican Party and the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, and Joshua Spielman, a former spokesman for ex-Congressman and current head of the Queens County Republican Party Bob Turner.
The team also includes Dennis Saffran, an attorney and former City Council candidate from northeast Queens who frequently writes on policy issues for the City Journal.