Jo Anne Simon & Real Estate $$$

 

Simon in the glare of scrutiny.  Maybe they won't notice?

Simon in the glare of scrutiny. Maybe they won't notice?

Doug Biviano launched a broadside into the Jo Anne Simon camp today accusing her of taking in over $10,000 in real estate related contributions. He claims that the total with matching funds exceeds $23,000. According to the Brooklyn Heights Blog, Karen Johnson, the Simon campaign’s political director, characterized Biviano’s claim as “totally untrue.” (You have to ask yourself what a local City Council campaign doing with a “political director”?) “I’m very disappointed,” Johnson 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. As with many things coming from either the Simon and Biviano camps, the truth is often hard to pin down. We thought that we would take a closer look at the question by putting out all the information for you to make up your own mind about who is telling the truth.

 

One point though is that Simon has taken at least one donation from some one tied to a large Brooklyn developer: Joshua Muss. Muss developed the Brooklyn Marriott and Brooklyn Renaissance Plaza. Muss is also tied to development on the Gowanus Canal. The donation was from James Whelan, Muss Development on July 10, 2009 in the amount of $250. Therefore, Simon’s political director is incorrect when she claims that Simon’s contirbutors are not tied to large New York developers. There are two other developers who have also given donations to Simon as well (one on six occasions). The designation as real estate developer were provided by these individuals and entered by the Simon campaign on their campaign finance disclosures. We are not familiar with these developers or whether they have projects in the City. Please let us know if you can provide any verifiable information regarding these individuals:

Barry L. Levine
Puddingstone Developers LLC
Real Estate Developer
06/23/2008 $250.00

Nancy E. Schuh
Pinnacle Met USA Corp.
Real Estate Developer
12/17/2004 $250.00

Nancy E. Schuh
Pinnacle Met USA Corp.
Real Estate Developer
01/18/2008 $500.00

Nancy E. Schuh
Pinnacle Met USA Corp.
Real Estate Developer
01/23/2008 $150.00

Nancy E. Schuh
Pinnacle Met USA Corp.
Real Estate Developer
04/23/2008 $250.00

Nancy E. Schuh
Pinnacle Met USA Corp.
Real Estate Developer
03/03/2009 $150.00

Nancy E. Schuh
Pinnacle Met USA Corp.
Real Estate Developer
07/11/2009 $1,250.00

Finally, there are a slew of real estate brokers and other real estate related individuals who have also made donations (some on multiple occasions). Again, these designations are provided by the individuals and then reported by the Simon campaign on their campaign finance disclosures.

Austin, Jacqueline J.
Brooklyn Bridge Realty
Real Estate Broker
03/13/2008 $100.00

Barcelon, Allen
Boerum Hill Realty, LLC
Real Estate Broker
06/25/2008 $65.00

Carberry, Kevin
Real Estate Broker
08/10/2009 $200.00

Crow, James
Corcoran Group
Real Estate Sales
06/19/2008 $65.00

Gulotta, Lawrence
Self-employed
Real Estate Appraiser
12/19/2008 $100.00

Gulotta, Lawrence
Self-employed
Real Estate Appraiser
01/08/2009 $50.00

Gulotta, Lawrence
Self-employed
Real Estate Appraiser
07/22/2009 $50.00

Gulotta, Lawrence
Self-employed
Real Estate Appraiser
08/04/2009 $50.00

Harris, William L
Self-employed
Real Estate Broker
11/28/2004 $1,500.00

Harris, William L
Self-employed
Real Estate Broker
12/31/2007 $2,750.00

Havens, Chris
Creative Real Estate
Real Estate Broker
07/07/2009 $100.00

Huebener, Roslyn B.
Self-employed
Real Estate Broker
02/09/2008 $250.00

Hunter, Virginia
Warren Lewis Realty
Independent Contractor – Real Estate Broker
12/16/2004 $25.00

Kerby, James M.
Self-employed Real Estate
01/20/2008 $100.00

Klein, Scott
Self-employed
Real Estate Broker
01/11/2009 $50.00

Klein, Scott
Self-employed
Real Estate Broker
04/24/2009 $50.00

Lennard, Margaret
Self-employed
Real Estate Owner
12/30/2004 $100.00

Lennard, Margaret
Self-employed
Real Estate Owner
01/20/2008 $100.00

Lennard, Margaret
Self-employed
Real Estate Owner
05/19/2008 $100.00

McLoughlin, Declan
Self-employed
Real Estate
07/11/2009 $100.00

Osgood, Jane E
North Garden Management Real estate
06/25/2008 $25.00

Paz, Zahivit
Self-employed
Real Estate Broker
07/10/2009 $510.00

Perry, Lucy
Corcoran
Real Estate Salesperson
05/23/2008 $50.00

Wolfe, Suzanne H
Corcoran
Real Estate Broker
12/13/2004 $25.00

Wolfe, Suzanne H
Corcoran
Real Estate Broker
11/13/2004 $13.00

Wolfe, Suzanne H
Corcoran
Real Estate Broker
01/09/2008 $50.00

Wolfe, Suzanne H
Corcoran
Real Estate Broker
01/20/2008 $25.00

Wolfe, Suzanne H
Corcoran
Real Estate Broker
04/21/2008 $100.00

So who is telling the truth? It seems that Simon is definitely misrepresenting where her money is coming from. It is true that many are small donations from real estate brokers. But there are some large ones from this group. Also, she has definitely taken money from real estate developers including Muss Development which has done major projects in Downtown Brooklyn and is proposing development on the Gowanus Canal. The fact that Simon would not fess up to this donation is troubling especially given that part of the Gowanus falls in the 33rd and superfunding the area has been an issue in the campaign. Biviano on the other hand may be overstating the case by lumping all of the small real estate broker donations into the argument. But there is no question that Simon has taken a large pool of contributions from real estate brokers (practically all of which have been matched 4:1) including several from Corcoran Group one of the CIty’s largest.

Bottom Line: Between Simon and Biviano, we don’t know who to trust.

Real Reform Brooklyn

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13 responses to “Jo Anne Simon & Real Estate $$$

  1. Community Reactivist

    Incredible! Ms Simon has taken $2,125 from Nancy Shuh of Pinnacle Management. I do believe these are the slumlords who want to rip up the historic garden, or what remains of it after multiple lousy landlords, that philanthropist AT White planted and designed over 100 years ago! To be exact,this is the Riverside Houses on Columbia Place in Brooklyn Heights. Pinnacle also did no proper construction studies and risked destabilizing the BQE with this project. Pinnacle, yes, also wrought havoc, or tried to, at the historic Dunbar Apartments in Harlem, where members of the Harlem Renaissance lived! Inredible also that Simon has plenty of donations from BHA governors — the same preservationist group that helped to organize resistance to Pinnacle’s heinous “garage for a garden” plan. In the end, the tenants of Riverside seem to have saved the day — or at least for now… So a candidate who’s proud of her roots and her inclusionist community-building took large sums from Pinnacle, the slumlords who worked to undermine a milestone in immigrant tenement housing. It borders on the tragic.

  2. Community Reactivist

    After a little research, I cannot determine if the Nancy Schuh Pinnnacle is the same entity as the Riverside Pinnacle. When I know for sure, I wil post again. Some of the other donations, especially Muss, are still problematic. Most worrying are her sudden about-faces on Atlantic Yards and housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park — when was the sudden conversion?? Back in college I took a philophy course that taught us about the early Greek philosopher Heraclitus. He believed in the “unity of opposites” and, using river analogies, that change is central to the universe because you can never step into the same river twice. Jo Anne Simon, the Heraclitian Canidate? that “

  3. The term ‘yellow journalism’ was haunting me as I read this article. I am one of the people that you have on your donor list. I have known Jo Anne and her husband William Harris for over 20 years and find your insinuations deplorable. I am a broker in downtown Brooklyn for over 25 years. I have also testified against breaking the height limit in my neighborhood (Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens)on many occasions. We are not all the same. Bill Harris(William)has been an honorable broker in this community for longer than myself. We have raised lots of money for years for the Boerum Hill Assoc….and Bill and I during the early years of the Aids epidemic worked very hard to stop evictions and also to find housing for dying Aids patients when no one wanted to house them. Bill is Jo Anne’s biggest real estate donor, her biggest fan and her devoted husband, it’s too bad you failed to mention this. Jean Austin

    • realreformbrooklyn

      Dear Ms. Austin:

      Thanks for setting the record straight about you and Mr. Harris. You are to be commended for your long standing work on behalf of the community.

      We did not draw any conclusions about the number of brokers supporting Simon. We merely printed the entire list. Please remember that the Biviano campaign made the insinuation. We did not necessarily agree with what he said.

      Real Reform Brooklyn

  4. Nancy Schuh is a dedicated community activist who has lived in Boerum Hill for longer than you’ve been alive. do some analysis instead of innuendo. Reform yourself.

    as for the commenter, you’ve got the wrong Pinnacle.

    • realreformbrooklyn

      The Biviano campaign made the innuendo. We merely published the list, which is a public record. Of course, your comment has done nothing to address the Muss Development contribution.

      Real Reform Brooklyn

  5. Nancy Schuh

    I’m proud to have been for many years a friend and neighbor — and now an ardent supporter –of Jo Anne Simon. I know that several others on your list of contributors can easily say the same. My company, Pinnacle Management USA Corp, is unrelated to the “Riverside Pinnacle” described by the highly irresponsible “community reactivist,” above. It is so easy to go anonymously online to attack others; why let the facts get in the way?

    • realreformbrooklyn

      The commentator actually took the time to correct himself. Just read the blog. Also, we merely published the list. We did not jump to the conclusions that the Biviano campaign jumped to.

      Real Reform Brooklyn

  6. Fed Up With Your Sleaze

    “WE didn’t say it…we’re just passing along what somebody else said!” Bunch of gutless gossips, is all. Oh, yeah, THAT’s “real reform!” And boy! has JoAnne Simon sold out! She accepted $13 donations!

    Whoever’s doing this site–whether it’s Abraham, Theis, or whoever–is doing their cause the worst kind of damage with these cowardly, anonymous, and mind-numbingly STUPID attacks.

    • realreformbrooklyn

      We have every right to publish a listing of public campaign contributions. You can carry on all you want. But your complaints are really silly.

      If we were just out to smear people, do you think that we would list $13 contributions.

      Your gripe is Biviano. Not us.

      Go complain to his campaign.

      Real Reform Brooklyn

  7. Fed Up With Your Sleaze

    And I notice you’re no longer publishing your previous entries. Shame at last? Or afraid of the libel laws?

    • realreformbrooklyn

      Truth is a defense to libel. Point out something untruthful that we’ve said and then we can talk. And, no, we are writing more pieces as you speak.

      Real Reform Brooklyn

  8. Community Reactivist

    Dear All,

    Before you slam me for “yellow journalism,” please do note again that I corrected myself re: Pinnacle donations. I did it in a rush, as you may be able to see from the even-more-than usual typos, three hours after my initial post. If I’d had time, I would have also added that William Harris is Simon’s husband, and by all accounts is great guy. Kevin Carberry is a respected long-time Brooklyn Heights realtor, and I think that Sue Wolfe is a realtor and the past and/or current head of the Boerum Hill Association. These facts, however, do not negate the ESDC donations, and the sudden changes of heart on very important local issues.

    An “irresponsible” blogger would not have posted a correction so quickly (if at all), nor would they have noted estimable people on the list. This blog is not journalism; I am not a journalist. Still, the fact that I have acknowledged my mistake should establish that I aspire to make my posts factual.

    It’s good to have friends and defenders. Still and all, this is politics — you have to be able to endure challenges and questions. The outcome of this race is VITAL to the health of our communities, and a candidate who won’t examine and acknowledge hard facts may not be prepared to lead us in making the right decisions for our future.

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