Tag Archive: Comptroller

Sep 11 2013

Queens Primary Election Results

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Bad news for Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer.

Congratulations to all of the candidates, whether you won or lost. It was a long hard summer for everyone, and some of you really deserve a pat on the back. I especially want to give a shout out to all of the campaign workers, volunteers, and behind the scenes folks that really made this possible. Above all else, a thank you to all of the voters.

As a Democratic town, there were resounding victories all over Queens. I don’t want to rehash what you already heard, so let’s briefly go over some results:

Bill de Blasio defeated all of his opponents and put an end to Christine Quinn’s reign in city government.  A runoff election is still up in the air and is set for Oct. 1st after a recount where Bill will need to garner 40% of the vote to avoid a runoff. And runoff or not, it’s not over for Bill. In November he will still have to face off with Republican Joe Lhota, who won the Republican nomination against John Catsimatidis. A democrat has not won the mayor’s seat since David Dinkins did in 1989.

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Mayoral results courtesy of CBS
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/election-results-sept-10-2013/

Melinda Katz defeated Peter Vallone Jr. for Queens Borough President. The machine came out strong for Katz who will still have to face Republican Aurelio Arcabascio in November. Peter ran an excellent campaign, he stood up when others sat down. I’m sure he’ll be back soon. Congratulations are in order for Melinda.

Comptroller? Scott Stringer took the cake soundly defeating former governor Eliot Spitzer.

Cathy Guerreiro did not win the Public Advocate seat. I still believe she would have been an excellent P.A, her voice and thoughts on public policy were refreshing, however with the foundation planted for a solid campaign, she can make a run next time with better odds. It’s not often you win on your first try. Still too close to call, Letitia James, a City Council member from Brooklyn, will face Brooklyn Senator Daniel L. Squadron in a runoff.

Phil Ragusa defeated Sal Baccarella as the Republican State Committeeman for the 26th AD. A lot was at stake in this election and it looks like Ragusa will maintain his post and keep the power in northeast Queens. Dozens of other republican leadership races took place across town. As results come in, we’ll keep posting them.

In the 19th City Council District, Paul Vallone declared victory last night. It was a long hard battle, but Vallone won with 31%, or 2,723 votes to Austin Shafran’s 2,579 votes. A total of 98% of precincts reported leaving one precinct in College Point which did not report for some odd reason. Certainly Tony Avella must not be having a good morning, his handpicked candidate did not win. In November, Vallone will face off against Republican Dennis Saffran. It’s still a race to watch, but the first hurdle has been cleared.

In the 22nd City Council District, Costa Constantinides  defeated Gus Prentzas and John Ciafone (Gus lost by one vote to Ciafone coming in third place). Congratulations to Costa and his campaign team.

Rory Lanceman also declared victory in the 24th Council District as did Ruben Wills in the 28th, Lew Simon in the 32nd, and Donovan Richards in the 31st.

Lastly, Vito Lopez is no more. Antonio Reynoso took the 34th Council District, which is mostly in Brooklyn, but includes a part of Ridgewood so it’s worth mentioning.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/to-the-victor-go-the-spoils-queens-primary-results/

Dec 01 2011

Northern Woodside Coalition Reveals Overwhelming Support For John Liu

Comptroller John Liu chats with constituents at the Northern Woodside Coalition Civic Holiday Party.

In Queens, John Liu is above suspicion.

In light of a continuous smear campaign by opponents and armchair politicos, a visit to Queens civic meetings will reveal strong support for John Liu. This is just one of many examples.

The Northern Woodside Coalition Civic is an activist organization and a steam valve for distressed residents. They are the superheroes of  Woodside and their mission is to protect and improve the quality of life from overdevelopment and to increase public safety. The group also sponsors neighborhood cleanups and a summer concert series. It’s a mixture of folks young and old and they have a standing membership of over 200 friendly people. The group meets the second Wednesday of every month at the White Castle Headquarters Community room, 69-01 34th Ave. and yes they serve sliders at their meetings.

A host of elected officials were in attendance at the holiday party including City Councilman Danny Dromm, Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, although Jimmy was a little late, but that’s okay. There wasn’t much parking. Maureen Ellen from the JFK Democratic club was in the audience as was Donna Raymond, president of the North Queens Homeowners Association. I sat across from my friend Judge Carmen Valasquez from the Queens civic court. I told her not to start a Facebook, not for a judge. She agreed.

I finally got to meet Roberto Perez from the Perez Notes. Roberto said he’d like to have me on his show perhaps side-by-side with my colleague Colin Cambell from The Brooklyn Politics blog. Roberto and I might have just formally met this evening, but I felt like I’ve known him for a very long time.

Many of my fellow board members from the New Visions Democratic club were present and in good spirits – at this holiday party they were serving drinks and Michael DenDekker was bartending. At my request he made a perfect rum n diet coke while shooting the breeze with me. I thought to myself, what a nice man that feels passionate about his community and connected to the issues affecting his constituency. But I digress.

When John Liu arrived he was welcomed with open arms. Michael DenDekker proudly exclaimed, “This is a man saving tax dollars and he’s looking out for my pension!”

Liu said his office was keeping a close eye on Washington and the European nations. “We are caught in the middle,” he said while doing his best to save the city money.

No one present at the meeting cared about the exaggerated and trumped up political charges in the media, in fact Maura Casey stopped reading the NY Post. She was “sick of the bullshit headlines.”

My friend Danny Dromm was enthusiastic about John’s arrival too. I’m sure Danny remembers how Christine Quinn stepped over him by endorsing Helen Sears during his run for council. It was an incumbent thing, Quinn had to do it, allegedly. Now I bet she wished she didn’t.

These are civic-minded citizens, the people who follow the issues and actually know what they are talking about. Making my way through the crowd and the whispers, there was not a bad thing to be said about John Liu, even on the d\l. I had a chance to share my story on how John had an abandoned lot across the street from my house cleaned up pronto.

Everyone was delighted to see him, especially the elects. If he runs for Mayor, he’ll be the only candidate to bring the bacon back to Queens because he is Queens and shares the same experiences we have.

Now it’s more important than ever to look past the nonsense. Apparently everyone is getting the message.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/northern-woodside-coalition-reveals-overwhelming-support-for-john-liu/

Nov 18 2011

Vallone Sticks Up For Liu

johncliuWhile Christine Quinn sharpens her axe, John Liu is still number one in Queens.

There’s a lot of mud slinging going around. Media kingpin Rupert Murdoch has got the word out to hundreds of journalists:  John Liu is public enemy number one, but not everyone is listening. Outspoken supporters like City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) are going to stick by Liu to ride out the political mayhem.

“John Liu is a standup guy,” said Vallone, who also serves as the Chairman of  the Public Safety Committee.

In our conversation he mentioned John Liu as a man of principal. “I remember when Liu said he wouldn’t run again when term limits were overturned, and he didn’t,” said the Councilman who recalled his election in the same year Liu was elected  as Comptroller. “John was the first Asian candidate, and I was not the first Peter Vallone,” he said jokingly. “I’m sure he’s going to get through this.”

“They are really afraid he is going to become Mayor,” said a source close to the Liu campaign.

A few elected officials speaking on the condition of anonymity expressed some serious doubt to the allegations regarding John’s connection to a recent FBI probe, but affirmed that they will keep their distance publicly. “We’re just going to wait this one out,” said an elected official.

Despite the allegations and mudslinging, John Liu has an impeccable record of accomplishment as both Comptroller and a former City Council Member. His audits have recovered millions of dollars while saving 700,000 individual pension benefits. He’s also an advocate of LGBT rights and he even helped clean up a derelict parking lot across the street from my house in Auburndale.

Colin Cambell, who runs BK Politics said the allegations are far more serious than generic mudslinging.

“They involve an undercover FBI agent successfully arranging a fraudulent contribution scheme with a Liu bundler and subsequently meeting Liu in person,” he said.

Every allegation should be looked at accordingly. But right now they are still just a set of allegations. Big or small, a lot of insiders are confident it’s going to blow over in the long run. The press is demonizing him, but I know Liu personally, I can vouch for his character. What I can’t ignore is the timing of the case and the political circumstances surrounding them.

Luckily for Liu there are a few independent voices that will not be silenced. Surely, when it all blows over, they’ll come back hat in hand.

John Liu coul be the next Mayor of New York City.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/john-liu/

Oct 14 2011

In Light Of Dubious Allegations John Liu Is Still The American Dream

Here I am watching a Poll site in Flushing, a few hours before John Liu would become Comptroller of the City of New York. I stand by my guy.

An article in the New York Times  raised some scathing questions about the source  of contributions listed on Comptroller Liu’s disclosure reports with the city’s Campaign Finance Board. What do I think? I say this is a waste of time. I’ll let Liu speak for himself:

Liu responds in Michael Howard Sauls article in The Wall Street Journal,

“If there is anything that is not fully above board, I don’t want those contributions, and I don’t need those contributions,” Mr. Liu said in an interview. “What we do is try to dot every I and cross every T.”

Let me tell you a thing or two about John Liu. He is the American dream incarnate. Liu is an effective legislator. During his tenure as Council Member, he would travel everywhere.

I live in Auburndale which is part of greater Flushing and outside his old Council District, but that did not stop him from being everywhere and helping everyone. His staff is fast and responsive and they tend to stick around.  He is a Queens man at heart, he went to Bronx High School of Science and graduated Suny Binghampton with a B.A in Mathematical Physics, whatever that is.

He’s not blue blood. I used to see him on the 7 train headed to City Hall.  I’m sure deep down inside that he feels most comfortable here. It would be nice to have a guy like this as Mayor. Really, it’s true.

Take a look at my new street light. Take a look at my new stop signs by my house. It’s all thanks to John Liu.

As Comptroller, Liu’s audits have recovered millions of dollars while saving 700,000 individual pension benefits. He’s also an advocate of LGBT rights. Many of his accomplishments tend to go under the radar, that’s because the nature of his position as Chief Financial officer. He’s a number cruncher that works on behalf of tax payers – to make sure we get the most out of our buck.

Liu has the responsibility for auditing city agencies, city contracts, and advising the mayor and city council about the city’s financial situation.

For a full list of his legislative accomplishments click here. 

I live across the street from a car lot. Sometimes they get neglected. Sometimes they become a dump. With one phone call, John Liu tracked down the owner and had the entire place cleaned up.

When John Liu ran his campaign – I volunteered on it – he tapped immigrant communities yearning for a voice in government. They helped him win the election.

I feel a little bit of xenophobia going around especially  when I mentally picture NYTimes journalists in downtown Flushing on Farrington or Prince Street at dusk for an ‘investigation.’  

If you don’t know the neighborhood, then you don’t know the neighborhood.  I think it will blow over soon and we’ll be calling him Mayor, especially if I have anything to do with it.

John C. Liu is the 43rd Comptroller of the City of New York, the first asian-american to hold a city-wide office, independently elected and sworn into office on January 1st 2010.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/johnliu/


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