We Built This City on Green ‘n’ Gold: Where the Developers are Donating

Show me the money! (Getty)

As Republican and Democrats gear up for what increasingly seems likely to be one of the dirtiest presidential elections in memory, eyes are turning to the grandest and most welcome endorsement of all: cold hard cash.

In the real estate bubble of New York, views vary on how vocal your support of any one candidate should be, or at least that is what the builder-donors are telling The Real Deal.

There are those who make their feelings well know. Last year, The Related Companies gave a total of $25,000 in donations to Mitt Romney, and most recently Related CEO Stephen Ross openly hosted a fundraiser last Thursday for Mr. Romney in Florida.

Another Romney supporter to come out of the shadows is Philip Rosen, co-chair of the real estate practice at Weil, Gotshal and Manges. Mr. Rosen claims his two events so far—breakfast at Cipriani and a party at the Union League Club—each raised more than $1 million for Mr. Romeny. Rosen himself stumped up $2,450 of his own funds, according to the FEC.

Mr. Rosen is content with people knowing where his political feelings lie, and he even invites clients to the fundraisers. It does of course, leave him open to the ignominy of defeat, should his candidate fail. Possibly a reason why other realtors and developers keep their political cards close to their chest, like Bob Knakal the Massey Knakal chairman (and Commercial Observer columnist) who hedges his bets—he hosts fundraisers for candidates of both parties.

And then there’s the great big elephant in the room: Donald Trump. Mr. Trump (the father-in-law of Observer publisher Jared Kushner) has donated $30,000 in January alone to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. However he still hasn’t officially endorsed any one Republican candidate, perhaps because he has not given up the ghost himself. Consider this tweet from earlier today: “@realdonaldtrump My daughter Ivanka thinks I should run for President. Maybe I should listen.”

sduffy@observer.com We Built This City on Green ‘n’ Gold: Where the Developers are Donating