Menu

NY Lawmakers Say They Are for Renters, Their Donor Base Tells Another Story

Issue 246

Indypendent Staff May 7

For the past half-century, New York Democrats dominated the state Assembly while their Republican counterparts controlled the state Senate with the help of heavily gerrymandered districts. Progressive legislation routinely sailed through the Assembly only to die a quiet death in the Senate.

That arrangement ended in 2018 when a “blue wave” swept aside Senate Republicans and many of their corporate-friendly Democratic allies. The Democrats now control the Senate 39-24 and hold a whopping 107-43 advantage in the Assembly. But a funny thing happened as the Senate moved to the left. Assembly Democrats started to have second thoughts about some of their past commitments.

A universal health care plan for all New Yorkers? It needs further study. Publicly funded elections? Where could we find $100 million in a $172 billion annual state budget for such a thing? A pied-à-terre tax on the multi-million dollar second homes of the 1% that would rake in $600 million per year for public schools. Well, how do we really know if it’s their first or second homes?

Which way will Assembly Democrats go in the battle over rent law reforms? The money raked in from the real estate industry by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee (DACC) doesn’t bode well. Heastie and his top lieutenants who control the DACC can use this money to disburse campaign contributions to rank-and-file Democratic assembly members who fall in line and do their bidding. The ability to deliver desired outcomes to their wealthy backers then assures the leadership more generous “donations” in the future. And on it goes.

The big question: Will this top-down, money-driven version of politics prevail in Albany in 2019? Or, can the tenant movement and its allies put enough fear into wayward Democrats of being primaried in 2020 to force them to break with the landlord lobby?

NUMBERS GAME

Total real estate contribution to Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee since 2012: $1,235,079

Real estate groups donating to the DACC:

Rudin Management
Glenwood Management
Durst Organization
Time Equities
Extell Development
Realtor’s PAC
Two Trees Management
Fortis Property Group
Nixon Peabody
Brown And Weinraub
Park Strategies
Barclay Damon LLP
Heritage Realty
Brixmor Property Group
Flaum Management

Real estate groups donating to Heastie:

Extell Development Company
Goldmont Realty
Time Equities
Newmark Knight Frank
KZA Realty
Lakeland Property Partners
Mack-Cali
National Association of Realtors
Triangle Equities
Related Co
Rent Stabilization Association of NY
Sandra Erickson Real Estate
Simone Development Companies
Solow Building Co.
SL Green Realty
Makras Real Estate

Total real estate contribution to Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee since 2012: $1,235,079

Real estate groups donating to the DACC:
Rudin Management
Glenwood Management
Durst Organization
Time Equities
Extell Development
Realtor’s PAC
Two Trees Management
Fortis Property Group
Nixon Peabody
Brown And Weinraub
Park Strategies
Barclay Damon LLP
Heritage Realty
Brixmor Property Group
Flaum Management

Real estate groups donating to Heastie:
Extell Development Company
Goldmont Realty
Time Equities
Newmark Knight Frank
KZA Realty
Lakeland Property Partners
Mack-Cali
National Association of Realtors
Triangle Equities
Related Co
Rent Stabilization Association of NY
Sandra Erickson Real Estate
Simone Development Companies
Solow Building Co.
SL Green Realty
Makras Real Estate

Donations by real estate and associates to Carl Heastie
PAC 2018 Individual Contributions (2009-2018)
Real Estate $11,000 $76,900
Real Estate & Assoc $70,500 $179,610
Total $81,500 $256,510