By one account, John Liu had a tremendous fund-raising period, but one that seems to have been marred by a shaky roll-out.
The New York Times seemed to stick its nose out at the City Comptroller this morning, writing in a story about how much the 2013 mayoral hopefuls raised:
John C. Liu, said through an aide that he would disclose his preliminary figures if an article about them focused heavily on him — an arrangement that was not agreed to. He had $484,000 in his account in January.
Other reporters-including this one–had trouble getting the fundraising numbers from the Liu camp as well. The end of the Daily News story about the race said ”City Controller John Liu, another expected mayoral contender, did not release fund-raising numbers yesterday and did not return calls.”
But one astute reader noted that buried in today’s Wall Street Journal story about the race was this item:
Coming in second place during this fund-raising period, City Comptroller John Liu plans to report raising $1 million. (His campaign didn’t provide his cash on hand.)
In an unusual move, beginning in mid-January, Mr. Liu decided to limit donations to a maximum of $800 because he wants to increase the number of donors contributing to his campaign, a person familiar with the matter said. Under the city’s campaign-finance law, donors may give up to $4,950, and mayoral campaigns may spend up to $6.7 million preceding the primary.
The number eight is considered a fortuitous number in Chinese culture. Mr. Liu was born in Taiwan.
Jenny Hou, Mr. Liu’s campaign treasurer, said if the comptroller hadn’t self-imposed a cap on his donations, he would have raised more than $2 million in the past six months, topping Mr. Weiner’s record haul during the January-to-July period in 2007.
The story devoted far more real estate to the Comptroller than it did to anyone else and if true–that Liu raised more than anyone save for Christine Quinn, and only in $800 increments–it would be a big boon to the Liu 2013 effort.
Needless to say, a phone call to Team Liu was not returned.
UPDATE: John Liu political advisor Chung Seto called to confirm that the comptroller indeed raised $1 million and added that they have $1.4 million on hand.
She also took issue with The Times account.
“I will say that The Times first called to ask us to release our numbers excluvisely to them,” she said. “I don’t know why The Times felt the need to say that in the story.”
UPDATE: The numbers have also led to some carping between competitors.
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