Friday, June 29, 2007

City council pulls a fast one

The city's new campaign finance legislation, intended to curtail influence peddling in government, carves out a special exemption for another group besides labor unions — "affordable housing" providers, many of whom get government money.

A New Loophole Espied in Bill on Campaign Cash

The legislation, which passed the City Council earlier this week, limits campaign contributions from lobbyists and entities that do business with the city to no more than $400 for a citywide candidate. Tucked into the legalese, however, is a clause that states that "affordable housing" providers are not to be included in that category.

"If one looks for people who might be deemed to ‘pay for play' these would be the very people," [Councilman Oliver Koppell] said. "The building of affordable housing is a competitive business."

"It looks like a sophisticated effort by politicians to launder government money and turn it into campaign contributions for themselves," [associate professor of law and real estate at Baruch College, Jay Weiser] said. "It's all dressed up as the virtuous non-profit affordable housing sector." But, he noted, it's a big slice of the economy."


Anonymous said...

Has the term "affordable housing" ever been clearly and precisely defined in a proper legal manner.... or will it be open to interpretation and expensive litigation !

Thus....."affordable" might mean spending in the $600,000. range for buying a residence !

That.....technically may be "affordable"......but to whom ? !!!

Anonymous said...

All housing is affordable.

Anonymous said...

That affordable mob is under the radar. Mark my words, they should be watched carefully.

Look how they pulled the rug out from under the community in Ratnerville.

They are worse than the developers and politicians.

Anonymous said...

The late President Lyndon Johnson said that "Politics is the art of defining terms".

"Affordable" is such a sweet, compassionate term. We all want all things - even my next 600 foot yacht - to be "affordable.

Legal Eagle is sooooo right. The yacht salesman and I will most likely differ greatly on the price.

Anonymous said...

'Affordable housing' is one of those slipper terms like 'freedom' and 'apple pie.'

Its purpose is to lull the poorer folks, those who cannot afford to build or live in all this construction, but pay the taxes for it and put up with the inconvenience of more people, to go along.

Like most come-ons, its the fine print that they miss. Good for people making over $60,000, or delisting 50,000 modest units in Manhattan to build 30,000 in Flushing.

You get the picture.

Lets hit them time and time again. The churches are now pumping this crap out full blast from the pulpits in alliance with some new shadowy church groups.

Anonymous said...

Good point.....a lot of churches now prefer to worship the "almighty buck" by ministering to their bottom line instead of ministering to eternal souls !

Anonymous said...

Ha.....the first day that a freshman NYC Council member takes his seat he promptly places a "for sale" sign on his desk !