If a program gave a developer $600 million in cheap financing, how much would the developer spend fighting for its right to exist?Note that the $600 million cheap financing saves Related tens of millions of dollars.
In 2015, the Related Companies spent at least $730,000 in lobbying fees related to the viability of the EB-5 visa program, according to data from OpenSecrets.org, a website that tracks lobbying expenses and campaign finance, created by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.
EB-5 offers foreign investors a green card in exchange for a $500,000 minimum investment in the U.S. economy.
Developers adore it because it’s a relatively cheap source of financing. Some prominent politicians, however, have said that it upends the usual immigration process and is rife with fraud and abuses.
With the program up for renewal on Dec. 11, Related and other major players are shelling out big sums to ensure its continuity.
Also note that it's not "a $500,000 minimum investment in the U.S. economy," but rather in a specific project that purportedly "creates" ten jobs.. The beneficiaries are the middlemen and the developer/entrepreneur, well before the public at large.
The Forest City role
Forest City Ratner spent a combined $140,000 on lobbying in 2014 and 2015, according to the database. More than 1,100 foreign investors pumped $577 million into Pacific Park Brooklyn, a joint venture between Forest City Ratner Cos. and Greenland USA.To unpack that, the total That's $228 million for the first round, in 2010, then $249 million for "Atlantic Yards II" in 2013-14, then $100 million for "Atlantic Yards III" in 2014-15.
When asked to identify "the most ethically compromised politician you ever covered," famous Village Voice muckraker Wayne Barrett replied, "There’s no fucking competition for this: Al D’Amato."