Surely aware of the coming restrictions, many developers poured money into campaigns citywide in the past six months, bringing their total donated to all campaigns far past the same point in previous elections.
“I think it’s the pressure of the campaign financing law, and the candidates, not just for mayor, are asking for money earlier than before,” the president of REBNY, Steven Spinola, said. “The dollars are going earlier because the candidates are pushing for it earlier.”
Employees of the Related Companies, for example, one of the city’s most active developers, led by REBNY’s chairman, Stephen Ross, donated more than $60,000 total to Ms. Quinn and Mr. Weiner, part of the $143,000 they gave to candidates citywide. Eight years earlier, in the 2001 election, Related employees contributed almost one-third of that, $53,950, to all citywide candidates.
But grabbing the crown for the most in contributions was Rudin Management, the longtime family-run firm led by Association for a Better New York chairman William Rudin. The firm, which gave $84,150 total to all three potential mayoral candidates and $194,000 citywide, is vying to build a 650,000-square-foot residential development as part of a new medical building at St. Vincent Medical Center in the Village (part of Ms. Quinn’s district).
Whatever the reasons, candidates are raising a tremendous amount from the real estate industry, with Ms. Quinn and Mr. Weiner each taking in about one-fourth of their donations from those in the real estate and construction industries. A tally of their donations, which lists donors’ employers, shows that Ms. Quinn raised at least $680,000 of her total $2.47 million from the industry; Mr. Weiner took in at least $915,000 of his $3.6 million. Mr. Thompson, who’s looked more to the financial industry than his potential rivals have, took in at least $400,000 from the real estate industry, about 14 percent of his total raised this cycle. (Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, exploring a mayoral candidacy, also has relied heavily on the real estate industry for the $850,000 he’s raised.)
And in raising such money, old feuds seem to be put to rest. Listed as an intermediary—or bundler—for Ms. Quinn was Jay Kriegel, the executive director of NYC2012. Now at Related, the onetime booster of the city’s failed Olympics bid brought in $27,595 for the onetime opponent of the West Side stadium that was central to the bid. Related is vying for numerous projects that would go before the City Council and mayor, including the redevelopment of Pier 40 and the West Side rail yards, both in Ms. Quinn’s district. Ms. Quinn has rejected money from lobbyists, though s
he accepts donations from those who do business with the city.
In a statement, Stefan Friedman, a consultant for Ms. Quinn, said they were proud that “nearly 2,000 donors support Chris from all industries and all walks of life.”
Messrs. Thompson and Weiner did not respond to requests for comment.