The Real Deal New York

Who got a bunch of real estate money right before election day? These candidates.

AG candidates, IDC members doted on with late gifts from developer and labor interests
By Will Parker | September 13, 2018 02:45PM

From left: Marc Holiday, Aby Rosen, Tish James, Jeff Klein, and Sean Patrick Maloney (Credit: Getty Images)

Thursday is New York’s Democratic primary election and the wallets of the city’s real estate and construction concerns won’t close until the polls do.

Candidates for state senate and attorney general have raked in more than $161,000 from property and construction labor groups since Monday, an analysis of Board of Elections campaign contributions by The Real Deal has found. Much of that money has gone to Attorney General candidate and current Democratic congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who took in an extra $60,500 from developers, including RFR Realty’s Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs, Helena Durst, and Henry Elghanayan.

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, another AG candidate who has received plenty of real estate contributions, also pulled in $17,500 from real estate-connected donors including Eastern Union Funding co-founder and mortgage broker Abraham Bergman ($5,000) and SL Green Realty ($10,000).

Added together, James and Maloney have raised well in excess of $700,000 from real estate donors this election cycle, with Maloney raising the most from the industry.

In just the last three days before election day, construction labor unions have also doled out cash to multiple members of the Independent Democratic Conference, the breakaway group of Republican-aligned Democrats in the state senate, who earlier this year vowed to reunite with the mainline Democratic conference. The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry spent $7,000 a piece on IDC Senators Jeff Klein, Tony Avella and Jesse Hamilton. The group also gave IDC senator Jose Peralta $2,000.

Real estate donors gave to this group of legislators as well: Klein collected checks from SL Green and the Greater New York Nursing Home PAC and Hamilton took in contributions from Cornell Realty’s Isaac Hager, a political action committee affiliated with the Rent Stabilization Association and developer Urban Builders LLC.

Outside spending groups have been busy in the lead-up to election day, too. As Sludge recently reported, Related Companies dropped $100,000 into a independent expenditure committee that has targeted AG candidate Zephyr Teachout. Its chairman Steve Ross and his wife have separately donated $42,000 to Maloney.