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April 9, 2012

Forest City Ratner's 2011 city/state lobbying: 50% jump, with big contract to Kasirer; in Congress, D'Amato's firm lobbied for EB-5, and even got paid for not lobbying

Atlantic Yards Report

Forest City Ratner may not be among the state's top ten in lobbying expenditures any more, but the firm still dished out more than $500,000 in 2011 to influence legislation and official action in Albany and New York City. The total represents a nearly 50% increase over its spending in 2010, according to online lobby data.

What did the money buy? Well, it aimed to stymie the creation of a new Atlantic Yards governance entity (so far successful); usher in mixed martial arts at venues including the Barclays Center (not yet successful); influence the Department of Buildings, presumably on modular construction (unclear, but the DOB chief is a supporter); stymie (presumably) eminent domain reform (so far successful); and even address ticket scalping, aka "resale" (inconclusive).

Such lobbying expenditures put into perspective the $60,000 contract for a no-show job the firm gave "consultant" Zehy Jereis in 2006 after he helped get Yonkers Council Member Sandy Annabi to flip her vote in favor of Forest City's Ridge Hill project, the subject of a recent corruption trial. If they can spend half a million bucks on lobbyists, the thought might be, what's another $60K?

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NoLandGrab: Well, at least they're not having to pay Richard Lipsky for lobbying anymore.

Posted by eric at April 9, 2012 11:26 AM