John Liu Is Denied Millions in Matching Funds for His Mayoral Campaign

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John Liu has hit another stumbling block in in a bid to become New York's first Asian-American mayor. The city's Campaign Finance Board has denied Liu public matching funds to the tune of $3.5 million. Liu already trails the rest of the Democratic mayoral candidates, and the latest fallout from his 2011 election as comptroller is not going to help matters.

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Comptroller John Liu Picks Up Huge Labor Endorsement From DC37

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In late 2009, after a tumultuous back-and-forth in contract negotiations, DC37 ended its support for Mayor Bloomberg--a leader whom they viewed as emotionally numb towards union layoffs and benefit cuts with the Great Recession settling in. For the 2010 mayoral election, DC37 switched from a mayor it once endorsed in 2006 to Democratic nominee Bill Thompson. New York City's largest public union consists of over 121,000 members; with those numbers in mind, DC37 stands as a formidable force this November. And, last night, they chose their favorite in the post-Bloomberg detente: Comptroller John Liu.

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Comptroller John Liu Gives Back His Campaign's Dirty Cash

With the primaries in four months, this is probably a good idea.

By now, the controversy over John Liu's run for comptroller in 2010 is an old wives' tale in recent New York City scandal history. His campaign's treasurer and one of its fundraisers set up straw donors--which is when a person illegally taps into another person's cash funds and makes donations in their name. By doing so, they paid themselves thousands in fraudulent kickbacks. But don't worry: Kustice was served earlier this month when the two were found guilty of campaign fraud in federal court.

As damage control, Liu has been trying to distance himself from that story since it happened, stating time and time again that he had no part in the scheme and could not have known about it. Naturally, the mayoral race has kicked that PR effort into high gear. According to his most recent campaign filings, it's been discovered that Liu refunded every cent in his fundraising treasure chest left over from the scandal.

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Mayoral Hopeful John Liu Files Claims For Over $3M In Public Funds

Who knew the Comptroller would come somewhat close (read: nowhere near) to Bloombergian levels with his finances for City Hall?

After only announcing his official candidacy two weeks ago, the New York Post has reported that John Liu is in line for $3.4 million in public matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board for his campaign. Regardless of the fact that the agency is still investigating Mr. Liu's comptroller campaign in 2009 - it is uncertain whether this will harm his public funding efforts in the future.

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Comptroller John Liu Will Officially Join Mayoral Race On Sunday

Looks like we have another candidate to keep in mind come November.

The New York Observer's Colin Campbell reports that multiple sources have told the publication that Comptroller John Liu will announce his bid for City Hall this Sunday. Like with Christine Quinn's official video released a few days ago, the Democratic candidate's announcement is no surprise for most spectators, as Mr. Liu has been making appearances at debates and talks for the coveted position.

And, akin to Ms. Quinn, this will be his first time running for Mayor. Also, the two will both have ground-breaking campaigns: Ms. Quinn's as the first woman and openly gay individual and Mr. Liu's as the first Asian-American. So many similarities.

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Marriott Marquis 'Sweetheart Deal' With Giuliani-Era City Hall Is the Gift That Keeps On Taking, Comptroller John Liu Says

City Comptroller John Liu says Mayor Bloomberg should reopen a sweetheart deal struck in 1998 by the Giuliani administration with the Marriott hotels corporation that, he claims, will end up costing the city $345 million.

"This is one of worst deals since Manhattan was sold for $24," Liu said.

The back story: in 1982, when Times Square wasn't in such good shape, the city agreed to lease land in along Broadway to Marriott on which the company would build the big hotel that now sits on the parcel, the Marriott Marquis. In the deal, Marriott agreed to pay rent equivalent to a percentage of the hotel's annual revenue. After 70 years, or in 2057, Marriott could buy the land for fair market value.

In 1998, the Giuliani administration cut the original 70-year lease in half to 35 years, meaning that the deal ends in 2017. The deal also deleted the payments based on a percentage of revenue in favor of straight property tax, and gave Marriott a decade rent-free. In 2017, Marriott could then buy the parcel for $19.9 million.

That may seem like a lot of money, but today, the parcel is worth $193 million. So, Marriott will get it for a relative pittance in four years, Liu says.

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John Liu, Comptroller, Slams Consumer Affairs Tech Contract, Demands Investigation

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City Comptroller John Liu is claiming that the city's Consumer Affairs Department stonewalled his attempts to audit a technology contract, and wants investigators to look into it. A DCA spokeswoman called Liu's broadside an "irresponsible misrepresentation."

Liu refered the circumstances surrounding an audit of the agency's contract with Gartner Inc. to the city Department of Investigation, his office said, because his auditors "encountered unprecedented interference" from DCA officials. The Gartner contract was originally for $2.7 million over two years, but the contract ballooned, Liu says, to $11.5 million, and the project still isn't done after more than five years.

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John Liu: Companies Get Free Pass on Parking Fines, While Regular New Yorkers Suffer

While regular New Yorkers get waxed with ever-increasing parking fines, big corporations often get a pass from the city, Comptroller John Liu says in a report released today. The city has failed to collect more than $9 million in fines from these companies.

A Department of Finance official disputed the accuracy of the audit.

Under two program called "Delivery Solutions," and the Commercial Abatement Program, the city gives discounts on parking tix. To get into the programs, the firms are supposed to pay all outstanding tickets, give up their right to challenge summonses, and pay their fines within 15 days.

But Liu found that the city failed to penalize companies which didn't live up to the agreement, and let them continue to remain in the discount programs.

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John Liu, Embattled Mayoral Candidate, on Bulgaria Terrorist Attack

John Liu, who has spent more than half of his campaign expenses on legal fees, has issued a statement condemning the recent terrorist attacks in Bulgaria.

Recall that a suicide bomber -- reportedly using a fake U.S. ID -- killed five Israelis and the driver of their tour bus, as well as injuring dozens more.

Of course, cynics might wonder: Is Liu commenting on the attacks just to make himself seem more...mayoral and leader-like, or to get the support of pro-Israel primary voters?

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Comptroller John Liu Talks Racial Profiling at Stop and Frisk Father's Day March

During yesterday's Silent March to End Stop and Frisk, the Voice caught up with Comptroller (and mayoral hopeful) John Liu. Liu, who was marching with a small contingent at the midway point of the assembled, took a break from the silence to speak (very quietly) with us.

Being Father's Day, we asked him how he explained the point of the march to his young son, Joey, who was gleefully marching with his dad. Liu told us about why he thought anyone was out there marching, and told us about the ways stop and frisk, usually considered in terms of Black and Hispanic New Yorkers, specifically affects Asian, South Asian, and Muslim New Yorkers, too.

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