The Real Deal New York

Cuomo raises $4.4M with help of real estate donors

Fisher Brothers, Keith Rubenstein & Exact Capital among first-time benefactors

Andrew Cuomo and Keith Rubenstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Fisher Brothers, Keith Rubenstein and Exact Capital were some of the new real estate-industry donors who helped Gov. Andrew Cuomo raise $4.4 million worth of campaign cash over the past six months.

Cuomo is no stranger to turning to the industry for political contributions, and familiar names like Brookfield Financial, which gave $100,000 this filing period, and Howard Milstein, who donated $50,000, once again appear on his campaign finance reports, according to Politico.

But in the most recent filing period running from mid-July through mid-January, there were 20 donors who hadn’t previously given to Cuomo since he took office as governor in 2011.

This time around, Fisher Brothers TRData LogoTINY gave $130,000 three days before Cuomo announced that a measure to renew 421a would be in his budget this year. While executives from the company had previously donated $281,000 to Cuomo, this was the first time the company itself made a donation.

Previous donations came under fire because they came right before Cuomo approved a 421a bill that included a special carve-out for one of Fisher Brothers’ properties at 86 Trinity Place.

Keith Rubenstein and an LLC tied to his Somerset Partners gave $84,500. Rubenstein never gave to the governor before, but had previously hosted a $2,500-a-head fundraiser for him.

Cuomo received a check for $50,000 on Jan. 9 from Exact Capital Group, LLC, which resembles the name of the firm that is co-developing the Victoria Theatre site in Harlem. Two days later, the governor called for the closure of the loophole that allows donors to hide identities behind LLCs. [Politico]Rich Bockmann