REBNY’s Independence Party Funds

The $700,000 or so in funds the Real Estate Board of New York raised to win elections with the Independence Party are now public, displaying the names behind the real estate industry’s nascent push to bring a stronger business voice in state politics and counter the Working Families Party.

The money last fall went to a set of individual Council campaigns, in which the party funded mailers and field operations to push voters to support candidates who were generally in line with the pro-business, anti-tax leanings of the real estate industry.

REBNY president Steve Spinola told the Daily News the Independence Party and the industry were looking to raise $5 million as part of a statewide effort this year.

One of the Independence Party’s accounts lists $634,000 in donations from the industry, mostly between July and September. The account listed $351,000 in expenditures [corrected]. There were also at least $40,000 in earlier donations do a different account

A few samples of the donations (a full list is here):

Vornado Realty Trust ($50,000)

Leonard Litwin ($45,000)

Tishman Speyer ($45,000)

Affiliates of Durst ($40,000)

A company connected with Related chairman Steve Ross ($45,000)

Two Trees ($45,000)

Jack Resnick & Sons ($45,000)

ebrown@observer.com