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Forest City lobbying spending in NYC dips, but company still among top clients, with five firms retained

Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards Development Company is no longer among the top ten spenders on lobbying in New York City, according to the annual lobby report by the Office of the City Clerk.  (In 2012, as I reported, it spent $448,000, ranking tenth, and was tops in the number of lobbyists retained, six.)

Last year, it spent $287,000.

But it's still among the top clients in spreading the wealth.

After MSG Holdings and SL Green Realty Corp., which had six lobbying firms on retainer, Atlantic Yards Development Company joined Altria Client Services (cigarettes!) and Major League Soccer in having five firms retained.

Brooklyn developer Two Trees Management Co. was among several clients retaining four firms, along with The Rector, Church-Wardens and Vestrymen of Trinity Church, which just happens to the spawning ground of Carl Weisbrod, Mayor de Blasio's appointee to head the City Planning Commission.

Forest City's 2013 spending, by firm

  1. Kasirer Consulting LLC $160,000 lobby target: Office of the Mayor
  2. Geto & de Milly Inc. $46,000 lobby target: Community Boards
  3. Park Strategies, $40,000 lobby target: City Council
  4. LoCicero & Tan, $32,000 lobby target: "Attaches of the Council"
  5. Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP $9,000 lobby target: City Council

Total: $287,000

Note that this report deals only with city lobbying, not state lobbying.

Forest City's own lobbying

Forest City staffers also lobbied Council Members on budget issues.

As noted above, the list includes Chairman Bruce Ratner, CEO Maryanne Gilmartin, David Berliner, Ashley Cotton, and Katherine Welch. (Note the word "false" in bottom right corner is some artifact of the database, rather than any editorial comment.)

Kasirer's prominence

Kasirer Consulting far outranked other lobbying firms, with $6.6 million in total compensation.

It had 109 clients.

"Robert Sanna" on board

I was surprised to read, in both the article/supplement and advertisement in City & State, that the city's leading lobbying firm by revenue, Kasirer Consulting, had "Robert Sanna" on its staff.

Could Robert P. Sanna, Forest City Ratner's Executive VP and Director of Construction and Design Development, be moonlighting as a consultant?

It seems unlikely, but Forest City does spend its single largest amount of lobbying bucks at Kasirer, so they do have a relationship.

OK, a check of the firm's web site, and LinkedIn, shows that Kasirer government relations associate Robert J. Sanna is a 2012 college grad, having attended high school in Millburn, NJ.

Which was where Robert P. Sanna, whose firm got a state override of local zoning for Atlantic Yards, led a citizen effort to oppose a variance that would allow what locals considered overdevelopment.