How Eric Adams, mayoral candidate, mixed money and political ambition


In interviews, several personalities in the real estate industry said that Mr. Adams’ campaign contributions were not just transactional, but reflected his overall support.

Whatever the specific dynamic, Adams had raised at least $ 937,000 from developers, property managers, architects, contractors and others by the time of his campaign filing in March. This represented more than a third of its total private contributions, excluding matching public funds, according to one analysis, and included money from developers of luxury buildings in gentrified neighborhoods.

(In order to qualify for the matching public funds, Mr. Adams’ campaign returned over $ 300,000 of that money to the real estate industry because it exceeded the program’s contribution limits.)

Among the early supporters of Adams’ mayoral bid was Mr. Schwartz, co-founder of the Slate Group.

ALSO READ  One thing missing from Biden's budget: booming growth

On May 25, 2018, a subsidiary of Slate filed an application to use the city’s land to build a 40-story tower on wedge-shaped land in downtown Brooklyn zoned for approximately 24 floors. Mr. Adams is expected to issue an advisory opinion on the proposed zoning change.

Three weeks after the filing, on the evening of June 13, Mr. Schwartz organized the fundraiser for Mr. Adams at his offices on East 29th Street. According to those in attendance, Mr. Schwartz organized the event and personally invited guests.

ALSO READ  How Trump's political legacy is on the ballot in Virginia governor race

Mr Schwartz, who was on the city’s activity list, walked himself and Slate away from the event. He did not personally contribute; he last donated $ 320 to Mr. Adams’ campaign in 2015. And he sent out the invitation on behalf of a management company that operates in the same offices as Slate. The invitation – in blue, yellow and white, with an “Eric Adams 2021” logo – suggested contributions ranging from $ 300 for a “friend” to $ 1,000 for a “sponsor”.

Several of Mr. Schwartz’s salespeople donated: a demolition contractor donated $ 2,000, a real estate lawyer donated $ 2,500 and a home appliance seller $ 5,000.