Politics

Hillary Clinton’s Brooklyn Campaign Headquarters Owned by Democratic Mega-Donor’s Real Estate Firm

Nope. Brooklyn is not America. (AP)

Nothing says "Brooklyn cool" like Hillary Clinton, and nothing says "Hillary Clinton" like setting up a campaign headquarters at a Morgan Stanley building owned by a prominent Democratic donor in one of New York City’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

Clinton’s not-yet-official campaign has reportedly signed a lease for a campaign office space in Brooklyn Heights (median household income: $115,000). Morgan Stanley has offices there, which makes sense given that employees of the investment firm have contributed more than $540,000 to Hillary’s political campaigns over the years. Morgan Stanley executive Tom Nides was initially expected to land a senior role in Clinton’s 2016 campaign, but ultimately declined because he was "enjoying his lucrative life" as a Morgan Stanley executive.

The building is owned by Forest City Ratner. The company’s executive chairman, Bruce Ratner, is a multi-millionaire real estate mogul and a minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets. He’s also (obviously) a major Democratic donor. Ratner has donated more than $400,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since the early 1990s, and has enjoyed many of the perks that come with giving lots of money to Democrats. For example, Ratner was one of the loyal donors who stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom during the Clinton Administration, and he was invited to special coffee sessions at the White House. Ratner, who donated thousands of dollars to Bill Clinton, has not (yet) contributed any money to Hillary.

Ratner was a key figure in the effort to bring the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Brooklyn—specifically, to the Barclay’s Center, which Ratner’s company developed, and where the Brooklyn Nets play basketball. Ratner, who helped raise thousands of dollars for New York mayor Bill de Blasio, had sought $90 million in tax-free bonds to refinance a number of his other properties near the Barclay’s Center.

Ultimately, however, Democrats chose Philadelphia over Brooklyn, and Ratner was forced to settle for the consolation prize of hosting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign headquarters, and eventually (if all goes well) another night in the Lincoln Bedroom.