Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Liu raises funds but doesn't pay bills
From the NY Times:
Since his election to the city comptroller position in 2009, Mr. Liu has showered people and groups with official commendations, handing out more than 760 — with nearly one-quarter of the recipients connected to his political campaign, according to an analysis conducted by The New York Times.
A Liu donor who runs a business importing hair from China to make wigs got one. So did a travel agent who has booked busloads of gamblers on trips to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut and backed Mr. Liu’s campaigns. Then there is the hotel developer in Chinatown, another loyal contributor, who collected three Liu commendations within six months.
The pace with which Mr. Liu is bestowing the awards — more than one a day — and the priority he gives to such ceremonies suggest a political outreach effort as much as an official duty. While other officials might send the commendations along in the mail, he personally delivers most of them, in every borough, posing for photos with recipients and building good will at the events.
Those being honored sometimes have only vague connections to Mr. Liu’s job as the top fiscal watchdog for the city. But they could be crucial constituencies in any citywide campaign: black churches, labor unions and influential political leaders.
One Chinese-American donor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation said that the commendations — printed on high-quality paper with a prominent backdrop of the city seal and italicized lettering — were especially coveted in the Chinese-American community, where they are viewed as evidence of success or access to power.
City Comptroller John Liu's 2013 campaign account may be the subject of a federal investigation, but that does not mean he has stopped fundraising.
For his 45th birthday, Liu hosted a Monday fundraiser at the aptly named City Hall Restaurant in TriBeCa, with the hopes of raising $100,000 during the event.
"I came tonight cause I know John Liu is a good man," said Queens Councilman Daniel Dromm. "He's done a lot of good for the city. I've been friends with him for almost 20 years."
High-profile politicos made a appearance, like former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. and some of the city's major union leaders.
From the NY Post:
Whoa! John Liu is the fellow who oversees billions in tax dollars — and he can’t be trusted to pay a $500 Con Ed bill?
Or to clear up an equally piddling $943 in unpaid state payroll taxes from his 2009 campaign for city comptroller?
This guy’s contempt for the responsibilities of his office — to say nothing of the law itself — borders on breathtaking.
Con Edison has filed two lawsuits against Liu’s deadbeat campaign committee, People for John Liu, and now the state Department of Taxation has gone to court for its cash, as well.
Sure, the sums are tiny compared to the $120 billion in city pension funds that Liu helps steer — but sometimes it’s the little things that shout the loudest.
Not that there’s any lack of evidence as to Liu’s lack of fitness for the office he holds.