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Posted at 9:58 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Developers and labor gave big to Kwame Brown's transition fund

By Tim Craig
Tim Craig

Developers, real estate big wigs and business leaders largely funded D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown's transition, showering him with more money than he needed to pay his staff and fund his inaugural activities, according to fundraising records released by Brown late Friday.

Brown, a former two-term council member, announced that a committee set up to pay for his transition as chairman had raised $91,800 between the November election and earlier this year. But Brown said he spent only $77,241, the bulk of which went to pay staff and media consultants. Brown has transferred his unspent funds to another account that will be used for charitable purposes.

Brown, the former head of the Economic Development Committee, received about one-ninth of his transition funding from the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington. The lobbying and advocacy organization gave him $10,000.

Brown also received $5,000 from Donatelli and Klein, the Bethesda-based development company that has built numerous residential projects in the District.

Bozzuto Development Company, Capital Construction Enterprises Inc., the Keystone Plus Construction Company, The Potomac Construction Group, and the Associated Builders and Contractors also wrote four-figure checks to the Brown's transition account.

Brown also reached out to labor, picking up $5,000 from the Laborers Mid-Atlantic political committee.

The dueling donations from the Laborers and the Associated Builders and Contractors sets the stage for the looming debate in the council over whether to approve a bill requiring project labor agreements on all major government-assisted projects. Organized labor is fighting for the proposal while builders and contractors strongly oppose the move.

Brown also picked up more than two dozen contributions from individuals, many of whom also have ties to the construction or real estate industry.

Carlos Perdomo, founder of Keystone Plus Construction Corporation (KPCC), contributed $2,500. LuAnn L. Bennett, a developer married to, but separated from U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.), gave Brown $2,000.

Brown also listed a $2,000 contribution from a Franklin L. Haney Jr. of Chattanooga Tenn. That appears to refer to Franklin L. Haney Jr., a Tennessee developer who has been pursuing efforts to redevelop the Anacostia waterfront.

Haney and several other Brown's donors were also contributors to Mayor Vincent C. Gray's inaugural committee, highlighting the role that deep-pocketed developers play in funding local political efforts.

Brown picked up two $1,000 checks from David Jannarone, a longtime friend and associate for former mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D). Premium Title & Escrow LLL, owned by Fenty friend Ben Soto, also gave Brown $500.

One of Brown's most generous supporters was David Falk, the Washington mega sports agent best known for representing Michael Jordan.

By Tim Craig  | February 7, 2011; 9:58 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election, Kwame Brown, Tim Craig  
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