By LOUIS FLORES
The conservative billionaire David Koch was a major donor to a Super PAC that was advised by Mercury Public Affairs LLC, a firm that lobbied on behalf of BFC Partners, a real estate developer that was recently chosen to take part in a deal that will privatise 900 apartments in public housing developments owned by the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA.
Mr. Koch's contribution, along with that of his wife, Julia Koch, largely funded a Super PAC, New Yorkers for Proven Leadership, which paid for pro-Joe Lhota advertisements in last year's mayoral race.
Mercury Public Affairs, a campaign consulting firm that doubles as a lobbying firm, also provided consulting services to that Super PAC, as well as to the conservative lobbying firm, the Committee to Save New York, which paid for political commercials to support the big business agenda by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-New York).
Rather than face scrutiny by the short-lived Moreland Commission, the pro-Cuomo lobbying group Committee to Save New York unwound its operations and dissolved. Later, Mercury Public Affairs was fined $20,000 for having failed to make certain filings, or for having filed "incomplete or inaccurate" filings, with the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
Amongst the Mercury Public Affairs clients, on whose behalf Mr. Greenspun has lobbied, included BFC Partners and the ECTP contractor, Intergraph Corporation. Last month, Progress Queens asked the press office for Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) about Mr. Greenspun's ties to real estate developers, but City Hall representatives refused to directly address this issue.
Progress Queens asked City Hall press officials to comment on whether Mr. Greenspun's ties to BFC Partners and his past fundraising for Mayor de Blasio's campaign and transition committees influenced the mayor's decision last month to appoint Mr. Greenspun to the city's Commission on Human Rights. However, press officials did not immediately answer Progress Queens' query.