Cuomo rakes in real estate cash — but not from LLCs

Governor got just $178,000 from limited liability companies

Jan.January 17, 2020 09:00 AM
Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

The real estate industry might not be particularly happy with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but he is still the top politician in New York, and donors gave accordingly in the past six months.

Donations to the governor were scant from limited liability companies, though, thanks to a new law curtailing their giving, Politico reported after campaign fundraising disclosures were posted this week. But direct donations from individuals were not affected.

Three major developers gave the governor $25,000: World Trade Center builder Larry Silverstein, Durst Organization head Douglas Durst and Jeffrey Gural, chairman of GFP Real Estate.

Also, billionaire Ronald Perelman gave $44,700 while his wife Anna Chapman gave the legal maximum, $69,700. Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, who in 2017 backed a proposal to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, gave $25,000.

LLCs were a favorite donation vehicle of real estate executives in the past, a practice that infuriated good-government groups because it allowed for huge giving and obscured donors’ identities. But in the half-year fundraising period that ended July 11, Cuomo received just $178,000 from LLCs. Instead, real estate executives wrote generous checks to the governor under their own names.

The industry was shocked and upset with Cuomo last June when he removed himself from negotiations for a new rent-stabilization law and then signed the tenant-friendly bill passed by the state Legislature. No industry had given more money to his campaign fund since he became governor in 2011. [Politico] — Georgia Kromrei

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