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After giving to Maloney, Ratner makes first-ever contribution to Tish James; also, another check to Renew New York

Based on his record of campaign contributions, semi-retired real estate executive Bruce Ratner, like a lot of others in the field, probably didn't want insurgent Zephyr Teachout to win the Democratic nomination for Attorney General, but can live with Public Advocate Letitia James, even if she was not the first choice.

Forest City New York Executive Chairman Ratner contributed $2,500 (see screenshot above) to Maloney on Sept. 13, primary day, part of the huge haul Maloney took in after real estate executives, via the Real Estate Board of New York, got the push. Maloney's big expenditures on advertising helped build name recognition and detract from Teachout, a factor in James's easy win in the Democratic primary.

Giving to James

And guess what: Ratner on Oct. 29 gave $10,000 (see screenshot below) to James's campaign, in which she's expected to beat Republican Keith Wofford in tomorrow's election.

Consider the continued criticism of James's dissembling and fabulizing an effort less to swing the election but to hold her accountable. The New York Times, in its endorsement, praised her as "a fighter against special interests" while warning she was "prone to plumping her record."


That marks the first-ever contribution from Ratner to James, who as City Council Member was the leading political opponent of Atlantic Yards and surely wasn't Ratner's first choice when she ran for Public Advocate. It's not that he's doing a lot of new business, but it can't hurt.

Of course, Ratner typically gives to the expected or officeholding Attorney General; he and his then-wife Pamela Lipkin contributed $12,500 each to Schneiderman's 2010 campaign, then contributed $20,000 and $15,000 respectively to Schneiderman's 2014 campaign.

Another contribution to (and through?) D'Amato

Ratner also made a $5,000 contribution on Oct. 12. to lobbyist Al D'Amato's PAC, Renew New York.

Three days after that contribution, Renew New York gave $5,000 to the Nassau County Republican Committee.

Was that an indirect contribution by Ratner? We don't know, but we can't rule it out.

As of its 11-day pre-general report, Renew New York had $13,285.48 in the bank. On 10/10/18, as indicated above, Renew gave $10,000 to the New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee. The next day, it gave $500 to the Island Park Republican Committee.

That meant its coffers were nearly empty. So, was Ratner's 10/12/18 contribution the source of Renew's $5,000 to Nassau Republicans? Well, another contributor, H.J.K. LLC, gave $5,000 on 10/9/18. (The address for that limited liability company is 101 Park Avenue, also home to H.J. Kalikow & Co LLC.) So either one of those contributions could have been redeployed.

If the money from Democrat Ratner was steered to Republicans, it might not have been the first time. After all, as I wrote in May 2014, it sure seemed like $25,000 contributed by Ratner and Lipkin was quickly channeled from Renew New York to the campaign of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

And about Marty Golden

We should remember that Republicans can be strategic allies, despite Ratner's identity as a "liberal Democrat." The developer in 2016 contributed $5,000 to the campaign of state Senator Marty Golden, the only Republican from New York City, who has been helpful opposing such things as parking permits and loyally supported Atlantic Yards at a 2009 public hearing.

Golden in this election faces a formidable challenge from Democrat Andrew Goundardes.

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