New York City developer Jerry Speyer and
construction giant Daniel Tishman, whose company has built many of the city’s most important projects, were the two leading individual contributors to Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s campaign, donating a combined $187,400. Mr. Speyer chipped in $100,000 and Mr. Tishman gave $87,400, according to analysis by The Buffalo News. (Messrs. Tishman and Speyer, interestingly enough, were once related through marriage–Mr. Speyer founded Tishman Speyer with Mr. Tishman’s grand-uncle, while married to that grand-uncle’s daughter before getting divorced. Got it?)
“They assume Cuomo’s going to win, so they fork over money in the hopes that when they make a phone call, someone will answer it,” Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group told the Buffalo newspaper.
Today The Observer ran an infographic breaking down all the contributions to Mr. Cuomo’s campaign (at right, detail below). This week we also talked with REBNY president Steven Spinola, who runs the city’s largest real estate trade group, about the industry’s relationship with Mr. Cuomo. “He has said fairly directly that New York City can’t afford any tax increases … What I think he needs to be able to continue that effort is a louder voice from the business community to say, ‘We agree,'” Mr. Spinola said.
In the meantime, REBNY and its membership has been working to get money from the federal Department of Transportation to restart plans to extend the No. 7 subway line to West 41st Street and 10th Avenue. Today Crain’s reported that the federal government rejected the grant application. Back to the drawing board.