Several high-powered real estate firms invested heavily in the political fortunes of Greenwich Village Democrat Corey Johnson, who emerged Wednesday as the apparent next speaker of the City Council.
Officials of the Related Cos., DDG Partners, the Property Markets Group and others gave generously to Johnson's campaign. (Corporate entities cannot contribute directly to candidates.) Johnson secured the support of the majority of his peers by courting the Democratic Party bosses of Queens and the Bronx, and by winning the endorsement of the powerful Hotel Trades Council. The city's legislature wields vast influence over zoning and land-use decisions, and the speaker controls the body's affairs.
To win the necessary backing to lead the council, Johnson donated heavily to his colleagues' campaigns and to the coffers of Bronx and Queens power brokers, and for that purpose he amassed $505,818 this election cycle. Crain's found that more than $63,000 came from real estate interests. Additional funds flowed in from figures in the construction and hotel industry.