Joe Lhota Makes His Mayoral Pitch to the Asian Community

Joe Lhota visiting a Chinatown small business.
Joe Lhota visiting a Chinatown small business.

Joe Lhota took his mayoral campaign to Manhattan’s Chinatown yesterday, in search of votes to expand his fledgling Republican coalition.

Unlike the mad scrambles for black and Latino voters seen during primary season, few mayoral candidates focused extensively on selling themselves to the Asian community, which most observers expected to be easily captured by City Comptroller John Liu, who was vying to become the first Asian-American mayor. Continue reading “Joe Lhota Makes His Mayoral Pitch to the Asian Community”

Public Advocate Candidates Clash on Asian Endorsements

Comptroller John Liu and Councilwoman Tish James today.
Comptroller John Liu and Councilwoman Tish James today.

Councilwoman Tish James rolled out the endorsement of Comptroller John Liu today, setting up a battle for the Asian vote with her rival in the public advocate’s race.

Mr. Liu joined Ms. James in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood to endorse her in the October 1 runoff election, where she faces State Senator Daniel Squadron. But less than an hour before the event was set to start, Mr. Squadron blasted out a release flaunting his own Asian support from a coalition of 30 Asian civic leaders in Chinatown and Queens, including Councilwoman Margaret Chin. Continue reading “Public Advocate Candidates Clash on Asian Endorsements”

John Liu Looks Forward to Life After Elected Office

John Liu yesterday with his top consultant at his right, Chung Seto.
John Liu yesterday.

Even though he finished a distant fourth in last week’s Democratic primary, Comptroller John Liu was surprisingly upbeat yesterday.

Speaking at a Manhattan “volunteer appreciation party”–he has four more such parties scheduled today–the failed mayoral candidate told Politicker he was ready to look outside of politics for his next gig.

Continue reading “John Liu Looks Forward to Life After Elected Office”

Eliot Spitzer Brushes Off New Ad Campaign Against Him

Eliot Spitzer in Chinatown today.
Eliot Spitzer in Chinatown today.

Eliot Spitzer took his comptroller campaign to Chinatown today, brushing off both his past indiscretions and new political action committees created solely to defeat him in his contest against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

Despite the pending assault, the former governor said he wasn’t alarmed.

Continue reading “Eliot Spitzer Brushes Off New Ad Campaign Against Him”

John Liu’s Relentless Campaign Continues Despite Holiday

20130705 121119 John Lius Relentless Campaign Continues Despite Holiday
Comptroller John Liu campaigns with his kabab.

The only candidate for mayor with events on his public schedule today, Comptroller John Liu raced into Chinatown this morning before preparing to head to three additional stops in Brooklyn and another in the Bronx.

But Mr. Liu brushed off suggestions that he was outworking his rivals.

“I don’t know anything about work ethic, this isn’t work!” he declared, beaming below the massive Confucius Plaza Apartments in Chinatown. “I’m having fish ball shish kabob on a beautiful day at Confucius Plaza with lots of good people.”

Continue reading “John Liu’s Relentless Campaign Continues Despite Holiday”

John Liu’s Supporters Wish Him ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. Mayor’

John Liu addresses the crowd.
John Liu speaking to the crowd of supporters.

Earlier tonight, Comptroller John Liu held a birthday party extravaganza at the renowned Jing Fong dim sum restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. It was quite the affair, featuring a number of speakers, a packed crowd, a massive display of balloons, a gigantic American flag-themed birthday cake and even a celebrity impersonator. The event, which doubled as a fundraiser for his expected mayoral campaign, also served as a teaser for the expected electoral effort.

“2013 is going to be a year of change, a year of change in the City of New York, the greatest city in the world!” Mr. Liu declared in a policy-laden speech outlining his plans to achieve greater economic equality in the five boroughs while deftly avoiding directly announcing his intention to run for mayor. “We’ve got a lot of ideas. We’ve got the will to start this campaign and to win this campaign. And 2013 will be a year of change and with all of your support, I know we’re going to get there.”

Then came the “big” announcement.

Continue reading “John Liu’s Supporters Wish Him ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. Mayor’”

Chin to Knock-Off Buyers: Not in My Neighborhood

chin counterfeit presser1  Chin to Knock Off Buyers: Not in My NeighborhoodTourists scouring Canal Street for cheap imitations of designer bags would face a police crackdown under legislation introduced today by Council Member Margaret Chin.

“Our laws are incomplete in that they only target the supply of these items and not the demand,” Chin said after introducing a bill that would make buying knock-offs a misdemeanor punishable with a $1,000 fine or a year in jail. “The bottom line is that counterfeiters need to sell to do their job, and we need a law in place to punish buyers for supporting this illegal trade.”

Chin ominously noted that the counterfeit trade helps to support terrorism, child labor and international crime in addition to hurting Chinatown’s local designers and artists, bemoaning the neighborhood’s reputation as the “counterfeit capital of this country.” She estimated that fake products cost the city about $1 billion annually in tax revenue.

“It does not support the tourism business in Chinatown, it does not support the tourism business in New York City,” she said in response to a question about whether the law might deter visitors. “We have creativity, we have designers here. We want to highlight the positive aspects.”

Paul Cantor, a resident and member of Community Board 1, mentioned “turf wars and minor riots” set off by the underground industry, in addition to “having them use buildings as urinals.” Wellington Chen, the executive director of the Chinatown Partnership, cast the law as a new beginning for the neighborhood.

“I really want the community to take note that just like postwar Japan where everything was a knock-off, this will be a transitional period for Chinatown and our community,” Chen said. “Who said that our proud community needs counterfeits?”