REBNY Leads Way on PAC Directed at City Council Elections
Billy Gray May 31, 2013, 4:38 p.m.
An organization comprised of real estate owners, developers, banks and investment firms will spend as much as $10 million toward ensuring a future City Council that is hospitable toward the industry.
The political action committee, Jobs for New York, is backed by construction unions and symbolizes an unusually pronounced involvement of an independent group in city elections.
The New York Times reported today that the PAC is “focused exclusively on Council races, in part because members tend to have great sway over development in their districts, but also because of the uncertainty surrounding the topsy-turvy mayoral campaign.”
This year, 21 of 51 Council members will step down, leaving the body’s future uncertain. The Times reported that the Real Estate Board of New York is the driving force behind the new organization. New York campaign regulators could not think of an independent expenditure campaign that matched Jobs for New York in scope.
Common Cause New York executive director Susan Lerner told the Times the watchdog group took issue with the PAC. “The entire point of a City Council race is to reflect the needs of the neighborhoods in a district,” Ms. Lerner said. “This undercuts the neighborhood-based nature of a district and replaces neighborhood concerns with industry concerns.”
Jobs for New York said it would comply with New York state contribution limits of $150,000 per individual and $5,000 from corporations.