At last week’s debate for candidates for the council seat, Simon said that she “[hasn’t] accepted any contributions from real estate interests” in response to a question about her resistance to taking a position on the Gowanus Superfund site.
An examination of the New York City campaign finance board’s database, however, shows campaign contributions totaling $10,498 from individuals who list “real estate” in their occupation title.
Karen Johnson, the Simon campaign’s political director, characterized the Biviano’s campaign’s claims as “totally untrue.”
“I’m very disappointed,” she said. “He’s resorted to distortions because he’s desperate.” Johnson said that the contributors listed do not have ties to large developers in the city, and are simply small property owners and landlords.
Johnson also said that, in total, the Simon campaign has raised more money from more people than any other campaign. IIndeed, there have been 835 contributions totaling $108,033.00 for the Simon campaign, compared to the 306 contributions totaling $24,068.00 for the Biviano campaign.
Henry McCaslin, Biviano campaign spokesman, said “The fact is she has a long and troubling history of placating developers that goes back to the organization she created to divide the opposition to Atlantic Yards. It is not surprising that real estate interests are now lining up to fill her pockets in this campaign.”