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Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Dan Garodnick in 2013
In one of my previous comments, I mistakenly stated that Dan Garodnick, because of term limits (flexible term limits according to the dictates of the Mayor and the City Council), wouldn't be able to run again. I was wrong, however. Despite the voters' wishes three times at the ballot box to limit the Mayor and the City Council to two-terms, the powers that be sneaked in a provision in the last vote, in 2010, that would allow the city councilmen/women to go for a third term! (Read about this travesty here.)
That said, it is instructive to take a look at the companies and people who donated to Dan's campaigns in 2005 and 2009 and who are already donating to his as-yet undeclared candidacy in 2013.
You can view the lists here.
You will see investment firms, real estate firm, hedge funds, etc, even the president of the Tenants Association and the heads of Rose Associates donated to the cause of getting Dan elected.* I don't mind the president of the TA or Rose donating, but ask yourselves why are investment/real estate/hedge fund firms donating to a city councilman? (BTW, donations from these firms are not exclusive to Dan; other city councilmen/councilwomen also receive similar donations.) These donations are not of the mom-and-pop type either. Thousands of dollars are being dropped into the coffers for Dan's and other city council members' elections.
The story of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village is just one part of the mosaic of the story of New York City and how the middle class is gradually being squeezed out of Manhattan, to be replaced by the rich and the sons and daughters of the rich. It seems these contributions are being well spent.
This is not to say that Dan Garodnick, or other City Council members, are in the pockets of the people who wish to make a huge profit from the real estate in Manhattan (Dan has fought on the right side in the Roberts decision, for instance), but the infiltration of large sums of investment and real estate money into the City Council is troubling, particularly when it's the City Council that deals with zoning regulations.
*Note: I've been informed that the contributions from a couple of people connected to Rose Associates were because of Dan's support of the Park Avenue Armory, of which Elihu Rose is philanthropically Vice-Chairman. Rose Associates has not donated to Dan's campaign since becoming manager of PC/STV.