Who would have thought mega-developer Related Companies and office space titan SL Green would have so little in common? Politically, that is.
In the world of presidential preferences, the two firms seem to be a world apart based on their donations since late 2006, as Related executives, led by chairman Stephen Ross, threw more than $28,000 at Republicans—especially Mitt Romney, who was given more than $20,000—and just $3,750 to Democrats. Compare that to SL Green, the city’s biggest office landlord, led by chairman Stephen Green, where executives gave a combined $44,650 to presidential candidates—with not a single reported dollar going to a Republican, according to campaign finance records, which run through January.
A look at the donations to presidential candidates by employees of the city’s major development firms this election cycle suggests that despite how critics of development may portray them, the titans of the real estate industry are not seeking a political system of unrestrained, laissez-faire capitalism, at least not from their president.
Among the donations of 15 firms surveyed, more than $200,000 went to Democratic candidates compared with over $85,000 to Republican candidates.
Joining Related in the G.O.P.’s camp was the LeFrak Organization, led by CEO Richard LeFrak, where executives listed $32,000 in donations to Republicans and just $4,600 to Democrats.
The heaviest donations to Democratic candidates came from SL Green; Rudin Management, led by William Rudin; and Tishman Speyer.
Of the Democratic candidates, the favorite of those surveyed was Mrs. Clinton by a mile, as she took in more than $110,000, besting the $51,000-plus raised by Senator Christopher Dodd, and the more than $20,000 given to Senator Barack Obama.
Of the Republican candidates, the former mayor, Mr. Giuliani, led, reaping over $40,000 for his unsuccessful campaign, compared with the $25,000-plus given to Mr. Romney. The party’s likely nominee, Senator John McCain, came in third among Republican candidates, with $17,000-plus from New York development executives.
Aside from those mentioned, the other developers surveyed included Vornado Realty Trust, Brookfield Properties, Tishman Realty, Extell Development, the Durst Organization, Macklowe Properties, Swig Equities and Silverstein Properties.