After four decades controlling the New York State Senate, political analysts expect Republicans to lose their majority to Democrats this November. And that possibility has real estate executives “really scared,” as one Manhattan developer told the Times, because most Senate Democrats support changes to the rent laws, which were diluted by Republicans in 1997 to favor landlords.
Now the real estate industry is scrambling to get the Democrats in their pockets by throwing lots of money at them. A report by the New York Public Interest Research Group found that developers, landlords and lobbyists gave $750,000 to the Senate Democratic leadership last year and this year, which is 15 times more than the $48,000 they coughed up from 2005 to 2006. As Dan Cantor of the Working Families Party put it, “Campaign cash is like a drug, and the real estate industry are like heroin dealers. They have fed the Republicans’ habit for decades, and now they are trying to hook the Senate Democrats.”
That really shouldn’t take long, but real estate fat cats are also doing some saber-rattling to go with all the bankrolling. Adam R. Rose, co-president of Rose Associates, which manages MetLife and 22,000 apartments in the region, tells the Times that “if the State of New York makes drastic changes to housing regulation, no residential developer will build another rental building in New York City.” The interview was cut short when Rose, answering his beeper, left to rush another duffel bag of cash down to Senate Democrats jonesing on the corner.