Comptroller John Liu will have $3.5 million less than expected to spend on television advertising, door-to-door canvassing and mailers touting his mayoral candidacy after the city's Campaign Finance Board voted Monday to deny his campaign public matching funds.
The board denied matching funds to Mr. Liu's campaign, citing evidence of pervasive violations of campaign finance laws. Mr. Liu's campaign treasurer and a prominent fundraiser were convicted earlier this year of lying to federal authorities about reimbursing contributions in a straw-donor scheme. Mr. Liu has not personally been accused of any wrongdoing, but the CFB says the responsibility to uphold campaign finance laws lies with the candidate.
"The choice to withhold payment does not require a finding that the candidate has personally engaged in misconduct," board Chairman Joseph Parkes said in a statement. "Under the [law] and board rules, the actions of a campaign's treasurer or other agents are legally indistinguishable from the campaign."