Extell, the sponsor of One57, the billionaire luxury high-rise residential tower with spectacular views of Central Park, is the subject of a corruption probe by a Moreland Commission after Extell made payments of $100,000 to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's campaign accounts. Two days after the payments were made, Gov. Cuomo signed into law tax breaks for Extell. Meanwhile, Gary Tilzer, the journalist, has published information today that shows that Extell also made political contributions to various city officials and political candidates.
Gaming the System : It was not only Vito Lopez, Marty Golden, Keith Wright, Cuomo, the Albany Assembly, and Senate PACs of both parties that got money from Extell Development, sponsor of One57. The political donations were allegedly made in exchange for tax breaks. At least 6 citywide candidates got the loot from the building's developers. Extell contributions to city officials were designed to take advantage of the public matching fund program. Most were $175 with many of the same contributors giving to more than one candidate. The Moreland Commission is looking into the state contributions and tax reductions connections, but there is no indication if the commission will look into whether the city pols took the cash as part of pay-to-play. They should. George Arzt is a flack for Extell, and he works for at least two of the candidates, who got money from the developer. (True News)
Christine Quinn accepted over $11,000 in disclosed campaign contributions from employees of Extell, the sponsor of One57.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has a history of appearing to grant zone busting approvals to wealthy real estate developers after she has received substantial campaign contributions from the same real estate developers, which are seeking zoning changes or approvals. Is she engaged in pay-to-play politics just as much as Gov. Cuomo is ? Will she be investigated next by the Moreland Commission ?
The city candidate, who received the most donations (disclosed to the Campaign Finance Board) from Extell, was none other than City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Her donations were estimated to be about $15,000. Gary Tilzer estimates that based on that amount, the amount of matching funds from these corrupt donations would yield an additional $90,000 for Speaker Quinn's mayoral campaign. Mr. Tilzer asks whether there will be any corruption investigation into these donations, which obviously aim to game the system.
In total, disclosed Extell contributions to all city officials and political candidates during the 2013 campaign cycle have exceeded $30,000.
With these other city officials and political candidates be the subject of the commission's investigation, too ?