From the NY Post:
It's good to be the comptroller.
As the pension time bomb ticks, city Comptroller John Liu took in the Yankees' home opener, a whiskey tasting with the British consul- general and countless photo ops with community groups.
A 250-day schedule of the city's top financial watchdog -- obtained by The Post under the Freedom of In formation Law -- suggests he spends more time chasing his mayoral dreams than sniffing out budgetary waste and confronting the city's mounting financial troubles.
While Liu attended just one of the dozen meetings of the city's biggest pension fund in his first eight months in office -- and ducked out of that single NYCERS meeting after just 15 minutes -- he did find time to attend two stickball parties and a dragon-boat event, meet with foreign diplomats, take in a preview of MoMa's Matisse exhibit, drop by the grand opening of the restaurant Valentino's on the Green, and hit an endless circuit of galas, award dinners and press conferences.
In fact, Liu regularly showed up to as many as seven grip-and-grins a day that had little or nothing to do with his comptroller duties.
Elected comptroller last year, the Flushing-based Democrat is custodian of the city's five pension funds and their $100 billion in assets. Underfunded, snakebitten by years of stock-market losses and with mounting annual obligations -- $6.8 billion this year and expected to double in six years -- the pension system threatens to bankrupt the city.
"The absence of business groups, academics, and financial-service professionals on his schedule is startling," said a fellow Democrat who has met with Liu this year and reviewed his schedule. "He's showing no intellectual curiosity. There are a lot of labor meetings, but that's it."
Political observers say Liu's schedule is less about auditing agencies and managing pensions than about crafting a campaign strategy for a possible mayoral run in 2013.
In particular, it shows an interest in rallying support from gay and Irish New Yorkers -- two constituencies thought to support City Council speaker and potential mayoral-race rival Christine Quinn.