Aug. 19, 2019 By Allie Griffin
It’s taken nearly 10 months and an article in the Daily News but Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has returned a series of real estate campaign contributions as promised.
In November, Van Bramer pledged to give back between $15,000 and $20,000 to developers and landlords by January 2019, according to the Daily News. At the time, he also said that he was no longer going to accept any real estate money going forward.
He said that he’d been inspired by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez whose policy to reject corporate money has resonated with progressives.
“I don’t want there to be any doubt in people’s minds about where my loyalties lie, and so we won’t accept anything going forward — but we’re also going to return anything we’ve raised in this [election] cycle,” Van Bramer said.
However, the News reported Saturday that he had not returned a penny.
Today, two days after the News story ran, Van Bramer tweeted photos of checks written out to the real estate firms and wrote “returned all real estate contributions mentioned” in the article and more.
This morning my campaign returned all real estate contributions mentioned in the @emma_a_whitford story. And we caught a few not mentioned that we returned as well. Inexcusable that it wasn’t done sooner but I’ve honored my pledge and we will continue to return any others found. pic.twitter.com/1pNxBoAMHa
— Jimmy Van Bramer (@JimmyVanBramer) August 19, 2019
Van Bramer had received contributions from a number of real estate firms in 2018 prior to making his pledge. These included $3,950 from John Werwaiss of Werwaiss & Co Inc. in March 2018; $1,000 from Henry Elghanayan of Rockrose Development Corp. in April 2018; $3,950 each from Kenneth and Winston Fisher of Fisher Brothers in May 2018; and $2,500 from Daniel Brodsky of the Brodsky Organization in June 2018.
In his tweet, Van Bramer said it was “inexcusable that it wasn’t done sooner but I’ve honored my pledge.”
Van Bramer has announced that he wants to be the next Queens Borough President, a position that will be vacant should Melinda Katz, the incumbent, be elected the Queens District Attorney in November.