Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald says one of his rivals never should have been allowed to participate in last week’s official debate–and is trying to bar him from the next one.
In a complaint filed yesterday with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, Mr. McDonald charges that the board violated its own rules when it allowed billionaire candidate John Catsimatidis to participate in last Wednesday’s televised debate because he failed to raise the qualifying cash.
City Comptroller John Liu vowed to fight on and claimed he could still win the mayor’s race hours after the city’s Campaign Finance Board voted to strip him of $3.5 million in public matching dollars following a string of fraud allegations–seemingly destroying even the slim chance he had of winning the primary.
Surrounded by dozens of impassioned supporters waving signs and chanting “Mayor John Liu!” in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Liu, buoyed by the support behind him, said the latest blow was just par for the course.
“For the last couple of years, I have taken body blow after body blow after body blow. But there is not going to be a knock-down here!” he exclaimed as supporters screamed his name.
A consultant’s report released today by the city’s Campaign Finance Board suggests the problems with City Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral campaign may have extended far beyond the findings of a federal investigation that resulted in the convictions of a fund-raiser and the campaign’s former treasurer.
City Comptroller John Liu’s campaign is still holding out hope that it will qualify for the more than $3.5 million in public matching funds it needs to have any chance at being competitive in the primary.
As the Wall Street Journal reported today, the New York City Campaign Finance Board recently sent a letter to Mr. Liu’s campaign informing them that its staff had recommended that his request be denied–though it remains unclear exactly why. The Board is set to make its formal decision Monday.
Comptroller John Liu may not be leading his Democratic rivals in the polls, but his mayoral campaign is far ahead of the field in legal fees.
Mr. Liu spent nearly $100,000 on lawyers over the past two months, according to disclosures filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board this week. That’s as much as triple what other leading Democrats funneled into legal services, the records show.
All of the major mayoral candidates have been spending cash at a relative steady clip; but no other candidate has managed to do so as fast as billionaire supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis. The self-financed Republican has spent a whopping $880,000 since he entered the race, including $615,332 in bills over the past two months.