The chairman of the City Council’s powerful Committee on Land Use, a crucial gatekeeper for all developers seeking zoning changes in the five boroughs, has several hundred thousand dollars from real estate interests socked away in a state political account for an undeclared office — and he has used the money to make periodic payments to an operative known to be plotting his own bid for a Council seat.
State Board of Elections records show Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield has $308,641.71 stashed in a campaign account called “GreenfieldNY” — a separate entity from his re-election committee, “Greenfield NYC.” Both troves of political lucre report as their headquarters the home address of a Democratic Party apparatchik named Kalman Yeger and his wife Jennifer Berger, who works for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The New York City Campaign Finance Board, with which the Greenfield NYC account is registered, forbids donations from corporations, business partnerships and law firms, so as to reduce the influence of private interests and to amplify and empower individual citizens. The state rules governing the GreenfieldNY account, however, include no such stipulations.
Of the funds in the GreenfieldNY account, $86,600 would be outright verboten under city rules. All but a few of the contributing companies are real estate entities, or are businesses belonging to individuals who also deal in property development and management.