A Latina Journalist, a Former Clinton Official, and a Big Political Donor Join Port Authority Board

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The George Washington Bridge is one of six bridges and tunnels operated by the NY-NJ Port Authority. (Photo by Phil Davis NY / Flickr)

(New York, NY - WNYC)   NY Governor Cuomo lets no appointment go unmined for good political effect.  This round of appointments to the Port Authority Board is no exception: Cuomo has named a prominent Latina journalist, a  real estate developer (and big political fundraiser), and a former top Clinton administration official to the Port Authority board.

The three appointees are El Diario/La Prensa Publisher Rossana Rosado, former state department spokesman and Bloomberg View editor James Rubin and real estate mogul -- and big-time political donor -- Scott Rechler.

Rechler has been serving on the board for the past year as vice chairman; his term will expire July 2018. Rosado and Rubin will take their seats immediately. Rosado's term ends July 2014, Rubin's term ends July 2017.

Rechler is the CEO and Chairman of RXR Realty, which owns and operates office buildings in the New York area, including some fancy addresses in Manhattan, and is worth about $4.5 billion.  NYPIRG named him one of the biggest political donors in the state. He gave $55,000 to Cuomo's campaign, the group said. In 2008, he raised some $140,000 for the Obama campaign, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The NY-NJ Port Authority's facilities include America's busiest airport system, marine terminals and ports, the PATH rail transit system, six tunnels and bridges between New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, and the World Trade Center. Last year, the authority moved 104 million airport customers, 74 million PATH train riders and saw 121 million vehicles cross its bridges and tunnels. The port handled 5.2 million cargo container units.

The commissioners vote on how to allocate billions in public funds to major transportation projects.

In the past Cuomo has appointed former Bronx Borough President (and current lobbyist)  Fernando Ferrer to the MTA Board, and big developer/donor Howard Milstein to head the New York State Thruway.