Livable Streets Foe Unmasked as Mini-Madoff

Earlier this week Suffolk County prosecutors charged Donald MacPherson, proprietor of a Manhattan S&M dungeon, with orchestrating a $50 million mortgage fraud out in Southampton. If, like me, you have only a fleeting familiarity with the subterranean torture fetish community, you’re probably wondering, "Who is Don MacPherson?"

Well, in addition to running the aforementioned shell game and bondage business, he pens a blog called Soho Politics, where he’s been known to rail against car-free streets, bike lanes, and other measures to make the public right-of-way more pleasant for pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders. Followers of the downtown community board scene knew MacPherson as an ally of the Soho Alliance’s Sean Sweeney on CB 2, from which the alleged scammer recently resigned. Now the world knows him as the whips-n-chains guy who made a fraudulent fortune off the real estate bubble.

  • I didn’t think S&M could squash your head like that. Ouch!

  • Marty Barfowitz

    Are you there God? It’s me, Marty. I know that this is petty and punitive and far beneath your great omnipotence, but if you could find a way to make sure that Sean Sweeney is somehow closely connected to this guy MacPherson, that would be kind of awesome.

  • Modelo

    Yes please – Soho Alliance and the Civic Center Residents Coalition and many of their other cronies in the Downtown Independent Democrats. And please unmask thefacts from Gothamist – he is involved with all them too. I think he is a lawyer and sits on the SLA/DCA committee of CB3, or maybe CB1. Lots of influential political bike hate in this ring.

  • Jason A

    Who cares about his sex life? Why is that relevant?

    There’s a vindictive streak in this post that’s a little troubling…

  • Streetsman

    I’ll agree it’s vindictive, but actually the article doesn’t mention anything about his personal sex life – just the S&M business he was operating. You have to admit that’s somewhat amusing considering that, when railing against the Grand Street bike lane, he described CB2 Transpo Committee members Shirley Secunda and Ian Dutton as “psychologically held hostage to the D.O.T.’s wishes and desires.” Sounds like that’s a dynamic he’s quite familiar with.

    Anyway, he’s written these epic tirades about how horrible it is to have the city making livable streets improvements to Soho – the huge injustices being committed by the “autonomous fiefdom” that is the DOT and the devious capitulation of the NIMBYist community board members who deny Soho fair representation and want to make it “a testing ground for out-of-town bike enthusiasts.” These are the outrageous grievances he is forced to suffer.

    “We in SoHo, who provide the City with an arts heritage, put up with endless Film shoots, suffer from illegal billboards, breathe Downtown’s pollution from the Holland Tunnel, and bring money to the City coffers – get nothing in return. We get no support from Mr. Gerson, our Councilman, nothing but promises from Mr. Stringer, the Borough President, and absolutely nothing from the Speaker, Christine Quinn, who has let our community be developed mindlessly and then sold out to Bloomberg.”

    Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the dirtbag is running a $50 million mortgage fraud operation from his office on Broome Street. Nice.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    Who said anything about his sex life? That’s his day job, Jason: S&M dungeon proprietor. Seems like a perfectly relevant and interesting detail to me.

  • Bob

    Although I don’t see what exactly is so relevant about his career, I concede that we all have a right to know his day job.

    But Jason’s right– there is a vindictive streak in this post, and I find it kind of irritating that the author treats involvement in S&M as something to be ashamed of, or as an indicator of some greater maliciousness.

    There is a persistent but wrongminded prejudice that many people have in thinking that S&M is necessarily anything more than a sexual fetish. In fact, the kinky people I know (including those I have dated) are some of the kindest, gentlest, and most respectful people I’ve been able to find anywhere.


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