Willets Point I: Should Former Queens BP Shulman File As Lobbyist?

Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman has been pushing hard for the city-led plan to redevelop Willets Point, leading an advocacy group, the Flushing, Willets Point, Corona Local Development Corporation (which is funded in part by the city), and pushing elected officials and community leaders to support the multi-billion-dollar redo of the 61-acre manufacturing and auto-repair district by Shea Stadium. (Lots more on the Willets Point development effort here.)

So should Ms. Shulman, who is president of the LDC, be registered as a lobbyist?

Not entirely clear. Ms. Shulman’s own lobbyists—the Parkside Group, which is retained by the LDC—says she has been following the law.

“The LDC has always and will always meet all requirements of the lobbying law, and we’ll check with the city clerk’s office,” said Evan Stavisky, a partner at Parkside.

The law says that anyone who expends, incurs or receives more than $2,000 in lobbying compensation and expenses should register. From the city clerk’s office Web site:

(a) (1) Every lobbyist shall annually file with the city clerk, on forms prescribed by the city clerk, a statement of registration for each calendar year; provided, however, that the filing of such statement of registration shall not be required of any lobbyist who in any year does not expend, incur or receive an amount in excess of two thousand dollars of reportable compensation and expenses, as provided in paragraph five of subdivision (b) of section 3-216 of this subchapter, for the purposes of lobbying.

Dick Dadey, the executive director of Citizens Union, said Ms. Shulman should be registered.

“If she herself is spending time supervising the lobbying activity or doing the lobbying activity, and crossing that threshold, then she would need to be registered,” Mr. Dadey said.

Also of note, the Parkside Group represents both the redevelopment advocate LDC and the Central Labor Council, the leading union group that has criticized the city’s early plans for Willets Point for not including labor guarantees.

Willets Point I: Should Former Queens BP Shulman File As Lobbyist?