He’s out of office, no longer running for election, and supposed to be weighing jobs in the private sector, but that isn’t enough to stop ex-comptroller and unsuccessful mayoral candidate John Liu from ending his perennial politicking.
Indeed, Mr. Liu, who was known to log a dozen stops across the five boroughs during an ordinary day, seems to be having trouble giving up the trappings of elected office, continuing his break-neck schedule of events even after his term as comptroller ended on December 31.
On Friday evening, Politicker spotted Mr. Liu, now back from a family vacation in California, attending a swearing-in ceremony for Brooklyn Councilwoman Inez Barron. Mr. Liu, who was greeted warmly by those in attendance, was joined by a longtime campaign aide who insisted she was off the clock and simply volunteering for Mr. Liu.
Over the weekend, Mr. Liu was off again on a four-borough tour–relayed to reporters by an emailed public schedule he has continued to release via his campaign address “firstname.lastname@example.org”–also compiled by the same loyal aide.
“I’m not going to have a public schedule everyday. But we’ll have one this weekend, really not much during the weekdays, but evenings and weekends,” Mr. Liu told Politicker Friday when asked about his peculiar post-election schedule.
Wasn’t it a bit unusual, Politicker asked, for him to continue to broadcast his whereabouts?
“It’s a much more limited distribution … There are a number of reporters who indeed asked me what am I doing,” said Mr. Liu, who once sent out a note to political reporters asking if they wanted to keep abreast of his plans.
“You know, I had said back in December when I was asked by various reporters, I said, ‘No I’m not gonna be having any more public schedule.’ They’re asking for it. You know, I got asked on Wednesday, ‘So what do you mean? You’re not gonna go attend any of the swear-ins?’ And I’m like, ‘No, I am gonna go’. So they want to know which ones. So what am I supposed to do?” he asked. “[It's] only the reporters who actually says, yeah, keep in touch.”
Mr. Liu went on to say that it didn’t cost him anything to release the schedule or attend the events, which he said he’s been driving to himself now that he no longer has a city-supplied car and driver.
“This is no different than before I was elected. There’s always going to be lots of volunteers,” he said. “Oh yeah, I’ll be driving. I know how to drive. I’ve been driving all these years.”
As for what he’ll do next, Mr. Liu said he hasn’t made a final call.
“I haven’t decided,” he said. “I’m not going to rush into it.”