Friday, February 15, 2008

Mum's the word on FCR's gift to Democratic "slush fund"

A couple of news outlets have tried to get some answers after I broke the news Monday that Forest City Ratner, after not giving state political contributions for at least nine years, had given $58,420 to the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee's Housekeeping account.

They haven't gotten far. WNYC reported:
A spokesman for the company wouldn't comment on the reason for the gift...

The top Democrat in the Assembly, Sheldon Silver, has supported Atlantic Yards in the past, and his continued backing could play a role in securing tax-exempt financing for the apartments and the basketball arena. His office would not return phone calls or an e-mail.


The Brooklyn Paper tried both sides of the deal:
The executive director of the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee, Kathleen Joyce, said she could not comment for this story, but promised to find someone who could. That person never called The Brooklyn Paper.

A spokesman for Forest City Ratner said only, “No comment.”


Common Cause Executive Director Susan Lerner told the newspaper:
“But in practice, housekeeping accounts are a political slush fund controlled by the speaker,” she said. “Money given that way is money that gets dispensed and used by the party bosses rather than by an individual candidate. It gives much more bang for the buck."

So, will the New York Times and the other dailies acknowledge this story?

1 comment:

  1. At the end of 2006 Sheldon Silver made one of the worst mistakes he ever made when he bequeathed PACB approval to Atlantic Yards and just before Christmas Bruce Ratner issued a statement that he was “very thankful to” Speaker Silver. Barring proper corrective action, it is a mistake that will be extremely damaging to and expensive for the public of this City. We are looking to all our politicians for corrective action. Anything less is indefensibly abject especially as more floods out about how damaging this project is. (Our politicians should not flaccidly look to the courts to save them from their mistakes.)

    Mr Silver has now taken $58,420 from the “very thankful” Ratner company which is desperate not to have the politician’s mistakes corrected and which very much needs further political patronage from Mr. Silver and other democrats to salvage this misbegotten megadevelopment.

    And Mr. Silver doesn’t return press phone calls? Calculating that this is a one day story that will blow over? Is it a one day story? Hundreds of millions of misspent dollars? Who else gets more than a billion dollars of cumulative subsidy benefit on a no-bid basis? Tax exemption lasting more than a hundred years?

    A one day story Mr. Speaker?

    At least the phone calls he won't return indicate that the Speaker knows the project itself is indefensible- We add him to the list of public officials showing glimmering awareness of this fact, Bloomberg, Doctoroff, Quinn-

    One day. . . One day . . . One day

    ReplyDelete