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.
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.
Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral campaign took a significant hit this afternoon when a donor, Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, and his young former campaign treasurer Jia “Jenny” Hou, were found guilty in federal court for helping to orchestrate a straw donor scheme on his behalf.
“As the jury found, Jia Hou and Oliver Pan stuck a knife into the heart of New York City’s campaign finance law by violating the prohibition against illegal campaign contributions, all to corruptly advantage the campaign of a candidate for city-wide office,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Cases like this give the people of New York yet another reason to be troubled by the electoral process, and they have a right to demand fair, open, and honest elections untainted by cynical subversion of campaign finance laws.”