Wednesday, January 06, 2010

More "sewer money" from Forest City to Housekeeping accounts, including $10,000 from a Cleveland Ratner to New York Senate Republicans

Today Governor David Paterson is expected to unveil a plan to ban corporate campaign contributions, lower the maximum contribution for any candidate for state office to $1000, and cut back severely on Housekeeping accounts, where political parties can now get unlimited gifts they can dispense to candidates.

The latter was dubbed "sewer money" in a 10/19/09, a New York Times editorial headlined Fed Up With Albany, which criticized New York's "notoriously loose" campaign finance laws.

And Forest City Ratner is one of the prominent participants. I pointed out at the time that the Times missed an opportunity to criticize Forest City Ratner's January 2008 contribution of $58,420 to the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee's Housekeeping account.

But I should have checked further. On 12/4/08, FCR gave another $3644 to the Democrats' Housekeeping account.

$10,000 to Senate Republicans

Remember, political contributions from those connected to Forest City Ratner and its parent Forest City Enterprise seem driven less by ideology than by strategy; hence contributions from leftist lawyer Michael Ratner to Brooklyn machine politicians.

So we shouldn't be surprised by an 11/3/08 contribution of $10,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee from Audrey Ratner of Cleveland, OH. Her address is listed as 50 Public Square, which just happens to be the headquarters of Forest City Enterprises.

Audrey Ratner is the wife of Albert Ratner, co-chairman of FCE. She gives a lot of campaign contributions.

And, while many of the Ratners may be liberal Democrats in their personal politics, business is business. As the Columbus Dispatch reported 5/29/07:
Led by Albert Ratner and Sam Miller, Forest City executives have long donated to politicians of both parties, including Ohio lawmakers such as Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Reps. Pat Tiberi of Genoa Township and Deborah Pryce of Upper Arlington.
In New York, too.

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