Developer's Donation Raises Eyebrows

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn was approved more than a year ago and is already under construction, but its developer just gave an unusually large political donation to New York state democrats.

WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

Forest City Ratner gave more than $58,000 to the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee last month.

A spokesman for the company wouldn't comment on the reason for the gift, but it was the first time in 6 years that the company or its chief executive, Bruce Ratner, has made a contribution to any local or state political party or candidate.

The top Democrat in the Assembly, Sheldon Silver, has supported Atlantic Yards in the past, and his continued backing could play a role in securing tax-exempt financing for the apartments and the basketball arena. His office would not return phone calls or an e-mail.

The contribution, which was first reported on the Atlantic Yards Report blog, makes Forest City the 5th most generous supporter of Assembly Democrats over the past year.

For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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