Saturday, January 26, 2013
Developers clearly favor Katz for BP
From the Times Ledger:
One of the powers entrusted to a borough president is to review and make recommendations on land use applications for development projects in Queens.
The real estate industry has been backing certain candidates in the race to replace current Borough President Helen Marshall, and it seems to be firmly behind former Democratic Councilwoman Melinda Katz, according to an analysis of campaign finance data from the city Campaign Finance Board.
The current Democratic field also includes state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), Director of Community Boards Barry Grodenchik, Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria).
Both Katz and Comrie, who was unable to file because of a technical difficulty, have served as head of the Council’s powerful Committee on Land Use.
Each candidate’s filings were examined for donations from real estate firms, developers, architects and real estate lawyers. The filings cover the period up to Jan. 15. Because some of the data was incomplete, the numbers are only rough estimates, but Katz is clearly preferred.
Katz stepped down as a lobbyist from Greenberg & Traurig in November and her filings date back to August. About $109,000, or about 38 percent, of her funds for the borough president race have come from real estate interests.
High-ranking employees of major Queens developers, like Cord Meyer, Tully Construction and the Hemmerdinger family’s ATCO, were all represented in the filings, but some of the biggest developers from across the city chipped in as well.
Katz received at least 15 maximum donations of $3,850 from real estate interests, including the spouses of company executives. Only one other candidate received a maximum donation from a real estate interest.