The city’s Campaign Finance Board essentially ended the mayoral candidacy of Comptroller John Liu this week when it decided to deny him millions in public matching funds—money he and his supporters were counting on.
The CFB found that Mr. Liu’s campaign finances remain a mess, and that may be putting it lightly. But the panel’s decision also serves as a reminder of the extraordinary power that the CFB wields in city politics. And it’s fair to wonder if the entire system of public campaign finance creates more problems than it solves.
This page has been tough on Mr. Liu, and with good reason. His campaign rhetoric has been divisive and irresponsible—for example, he has pandered to cop-haters and others by portraying stop and frisk as a grave threat to young men of color. And the CFB found unforgivable irregularities in the Liu campaign’s fund-raising practices—the board found that some donors do not live at the addresses listed in filings, while other donors didn’t know the names of the Liu staffers who solicited their contributions.
City Comptroller John Liu vowed to fight on and claimed he could still win the mayor’s race hours after the city’s Campaign Finance Board voted to strip him of $3.5 million in public matching dollars following a string of fraud allegations–seemingly destroying even the slim chance he had of winning the primary.
Surrounded by dozens of impassioned supporters waving signs and chanting “Mayor John Liu!” in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Liu, buoyed by the support behind him, said the latest blow was just par for the course.
“For the last couple of years, I have taken body blow after body blow after body blow. But there is not going to be a knock-down here!” he exclaimed as supporters screamed his name.
dollar dollar bills y'all
City Comptroller John Liu’s campaign is still holding out hope that it will qualify for the more than $3.5 million in public matching funds it needs to have any chance at being competitive in the primary.
As the Wall Street Journal reported today, the New York City Campaign Finance Board recently sent a letter to Mr. Liu’s campaign informing them that its staff had recommended that his request be denied–though it remains unclear exactly why. The Board is set to make its formal decision Monday.
Mathieu Eugene won the first election for the City Council’s 40th District, but in the fund-raising for the rematch this April, he’s trailing. Here are the contributions each candidate raised so far, according to the city’s Campaign Finance Board:
$1.073-Marie Gina Faustin
$0- Wellington Sharpe
Also worth noting Read More
As if the City Council race in Brooklyn wasn’t interesting enough.
As a reader points out to me, there’s a newcomer to the race for the City Council seat in Brooklyn’s 40th District, which remains vacant after an initial special election because the winner, Mathieu Eugene, was unable to prove that he met Read More
With much less chatter and attention than some other citywide elected officials, Queens Councilman John Liu has raised $1,002,771 for an undetermined race, according to recent figures filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board.
Liu seems to have capitalized to spectacular effect on his status as the first Asian-American elected to the council, Read More
Someone who read the 186-page indictment [pdf] of Brian McLaughlin points out that at least two City Council candidates benefited from one of McLaughlin’s schemes:
McLaughlin described a plan to use $2,000 from the SLA account to compensate J Division members who would make $250 contributions, in the names of their wives, Read More
People who care about campaign finance law, one way or the other, should keep an eye about City Councilwoman Annabel Palma‘s case against the Campaign Finance Board.
Palma, a former staffer for Local 1199, won a Bronx Council seat. Her campaign drew a huge wave of 1199 members and staffers, as Read More
Mike is doing his best to remove the feeding tube, as it were, from Tom Ognibene‘s campaign for Mayor, which has struggled to gain traction despite the dissatisfaction on the Mayor’s right.
Today, the chairman of the Manhattan Republican Party, James Ortenzio, sent a letter to the city’s Campaign Finance Board asking Read More
The Politicker is told that the Campaign Finance Board today will consider a recommendation from staff that a substantial portion of Gifford Miller‘s campaign spending be counted toward his overall spending cap, rather than exempted as a “petitioning” expense.
The CFB’s ruling could take one of several forms. If Miller has Read More