dollar dollar bill y'all
Law & Order
Donors hoping to gain favor with newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio had one last chance to fill his coffers before his administration kicked into high gear. They took advantage of the opportunity.
New and loyal backers pumped more than $2 million into Mr. de Blasio’s transition effort, new campaign finance filings show. And with Mr. de Blasio already elected, it perhaps isn’t surprising that many of those offering last-minute backing have a financial stake in his administration.
John Liu has no regrets.
Visiting the masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn the day after a federal court judge sentenced Mr. Liu’s former campaign treasurer Jenny Hou, 27, and fund-raiser Oliver Pan, 47, to prison time, Mr. Liu told Politicker he didn’t regret hiring the young aide.
hack the vote
Last Tuesday’s elections settled contentious races across the city, but for good-government advocates, the fight for campaign finance reform is still ramping up.
Various winners in City Council primaries gathered with members of Common Cause New York on the steps of City Hall today to castigate the influence of independent expenditures, especially Jobs for New York, a group backed by real estate interests.
another day in albany
Voting in America is so annoying, it can make you miss the days when we were presided over by inbred British monarchs bound by laws of primogeniture.
Okay, nothing is actually that annoying, it’s just the royal baby fever talking. But voting in the U.S.A. is stuck in the mid-20th century. It’s a procedure that could use some updating, for the sake of both accuracy and convenience.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he will follow through on his threat to create a Moreland Commission–a powerful committee with subpoena powers–to investigate state legislators after they failed to come to a deal on a proposed new public campaign financing system the governor has tried to sell as an anti-corruption bill.
“That is the direction I am planning to proceed,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters at a press conference in Albany this afternoon, as the legislative session winds to a close.
City Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu continued his no-apologies tour after his former campaign treasurer and a fund-raiser were found guilty on campaign finance fraud charges last week, charging Monday that his rivals’ campaigns would also face issues if they were subjected to similar scrutiny.
“I am confident that if any campaign in New York City or elsewhere was subject to the level of scrutiny that my campaign has been put under–and that Jenny has been put under–we would be far head and shoulders above everybody else,” Mr. Liu said during an interview on NY1 last night.
What You Should Know
Hours after his former treasurer and a fund-raiser were found guilty on campaign fraud charges, City Comptroller John Liu said he was “proud” of his campaign and vowed to carry on with his bid to become the city’s next mayor.
“I’m deeply saddened by the turn of events today. I continue to believe that Jenny’s a good person, and we will continue to ask the voters of this city for their support in my campaign to be mayor of New York City,” he told reporters after a forum in Brooklyn, where he continued to act as though nothing had changed.
The State Legislature is set to look at tightening New York’s infamously loose campaign finance rules in the wake of a recent slate of corruption scandals, but State Sen. Rubén Díaz believes legislative attention should instead be focused on Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“I would like to recommend that ethics reform in New York State begin in the Governor’s mansion,” Mr. Díaz declared today in one of his regular “What You Should Know” statements. “While we consider how to restrict Senate campaign donations that are used to pay for meals, I would like my readers to know that many of my colleagues are routinely invited to the Governor’s mansion to eat his food and drink his wine with no oversight to who pays those bills.”
Law & Order
Governor Andrew Cuomo has made enacting campaign finance reform part of his “litmus test” for judging the new coalition in the New York State Senate. Based on their recent statements, it seems he may only get half of the reforms he wanted from the new merger the Independent Democratic Conference and the State Senate Republicans.
This afternoon, just as comptroller and likely 2013 mayoral candidate John Liu appeared alongside Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press conference discussing the post-Sandy state of the city’s finances, legal arguments got underway this afternoon in the trial of his supporter Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan and his young campaign treasurer Jia “Jenny” Hou, who are being accused of participating in a conspiracy to direct illegal contributions to Mr. Liu’s war chest. In the courtroom today, Judge Richard Sullivan rejected four pre-trial motions requested by Mr. Pan and Ms. Hou’s attorneys and ordered the trial to begin as scheduled February 4.