From the NY Post:
Operating largely under the radar, Comptroller John Liu has pulled off an amazing feat in the race for mayor by filing claims that would entitle him to $3.4 million in public matching funds.
Liu’s accomplishment is impressive on several fronts.
The $564,400 he has amassed for matching purposes is second only to the $637,038 rounded up by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who leads in the polls and has raised twice as much overall as her less successful rival.
Liu has concentrated on smaller contributions and has tapped donors outside the wealthy Manhattan core — particularly in Asian-American strongholds that include his base in Flushing, Queens — to haul in about $3.2 million. He’s got $2 million left.
“That was our whole fund-raising strategy,” confided one Liu ally.
Donations from city residents are matched on a generous six-to-one basis, up to $1,050 for every $175 contributed.
So the more small donations, the higher the match.
Liu hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing himself.
But the CFB rules cover staffers as well as candidates.
In Chapter 5 of the CFB regulations, one reason cited for an “ineligibility determination” would be “if the participant or an agent of the participant has been found by the Board to have committed fraud in the course of the program . . .”
If [Jenny] Hou gets convicted, the Campaign Finance Board will be in a difficult position with regards to Liu.
As a guardian of the public funds, it’ll have to decide if there was enough evidence to trigger the ineligibility provision. At the same time, the agency doesn’t want to be accused of disenfranchising voters who are supporting one of the four major contenders in the Democratic race.