Saturday, August 19, 2006

More hints of Ratner support for Boyland's run against Montgomery

There are more hints of Forest City Ratner support for Tracy Boyland, challenger to longstanding State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (right), a vocal opponent of FCR's Atlantic Yards plan.

As I reported July 30, a push-poll from Pacific Crest Research, which had conducted a previous push-poll regarding Atlantic Yards, aimed to influence listeners to vote for Boyland. (As I pointed out, it's likely that FCR is Pacific Crest Research's client.)

Same consulting firm

The Crain's Insider added some details yesterday:
Suspicion is growing that Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner is behind former City Councilwoman Tracy Boyland's bid to oust state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery. Boyland [right] supports the $4.2 billion project, and Montgomery opposes it. Insiders say that Boyland is using the same consulting firm--Knickerbocker SKD--that Forest City used to produce its Atlantic Yards literature.

Knickerbocker SKD was responsible for the Forest City Ratner's notorious no-towers brochure and two other pieces of direct mail.

The money trail

Crain's added:
An insider says that Forest City executive Bruce Bender is also helping Boyland raise money. Knickerbocker SKD's Micah Lasher and a Forest City spokesman both declined to comment, but project opponents will connect the dots when Boyland files a campaign finance report revealing vendors she worked with. She has missed two deadlines to do so, but requested filing software from the Board of Elections this week.

On Wednesday, when Montgomery told me about some dirty campaign tactics, she was more exercised about the disclosure issue. "She hasn’t filed any financial statements," Montgomery said of her rival. "It would tell you who’s paying for the campaign. We see evidence of lots of dollars being spent, but no information. We don’t know who’s funding her."

"Some white woman"?

Mongomery reported evidence of some underhanded campaign tactics.“One of my constituents in Bed-Stuy told me some people came to her home and asked her to support Tracy Boyland," Montgomery recounted. "She asked who Boyland is running against and was told, ‘some white woman named Montgomery.’”

At Montgomery's campaign kickoff Wednesday at Habana Outpost in Fort Greene, she got support from several veteran politicians, including City Council Member Al Vann and Assembly Member Annette Robinson.

City Council Member Letitia James, whose district overlaps with Montgomery's and is the most vocal political opponent of the Atlantic Yards project, declared Boyland “nothing more than a pawn… of wealthy developers.”

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