Tag Archive: John Liu

Mar 19 2014

Race to replace Avella gets more interesting

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John Liu’s name recognition is strong, if not stronger than Tony Avella in District 11.

The future is unwritten, or is it?

Since his recent betrayal of the Democratic Party left him alone in the woods, everyone is wondering who will rise to the occasion and primary “maverick” state Sen. Tony Avella?

With all the hypotheses circulating around town we’ve all managed to miss one little thing: With every possible candidate in north Queens comfortable and safe in their seats, there’s only one viable candidate that has enough political clout and name recognition to battle the 800 pound gorilla that is Tony Avella.

That candidate is none other than John Liu, the only candidate with nothing to lose.

With Liu’s recent endorsement of Grace Meng, Congress was out of the question and Peter Koo easily won reelection, so a Council run won’t happen, at least not for another four years. And since no incumbent in their right mind wants to risk losing their seat to take on Tony, what’s left? Where will Liu run? Everyone knows Liu is a natural leader destined to run again, so how about where he lives in SD 11?

Could it happen? While whites are a majority in the district, Liu’s name recognition could overcome the tribal nature of politics in Queens; where people tend to vote according to race. But this is not a general election, and Joe voter on the street (who love Tony unabashedly) won’t be showing up for a primary, county supporters will. If it comes to pass, the low turnout primary will be a bare knuckle, door-to-door marathon not an endorsement and fundraising sprint. Tony will have to get enough boots on the ground and run the ultimate pull operation to have a fighting chance against a strong County-backed candidate like John Liu.

Reality will soon set in when Avella’s traditional support network will not be there for him. This matchup could split labor forces as well, further diminishing Tony’s chances. In this scenario, Liu could win. And While the hunt to replace Avella may end with John Liu  (the only candidate that could beat him) it’s also Liu’s best option right now.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/race-to-replace-avella-gets-more-interesting-everyday/

Mar 18 2014

Email From John Liu: Reform The CFB

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It’s not about politics, it’s about equality under the law.

The bottom line?

An email from LiuNewYork explains the real meaning behind Liu’s federal lawsuit against the CFB for denying matching funds during his bid for Mayor.

“Bottom line: it’s about free speech and equal treatment, and the inalienable rights thereof.”

While the lawsuit is yet to be heard, the principle behind the suit will at the very least force us to examine the inner workings of the CFB and shed some light on where we need reform.

The email includes links to recent clips highlighting his position and can be viewed below:

Dear Friend,

John Liu has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Campaign Finance Board, for violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, in their outrageous, wholesale denial of all matching funds for John’s campaign for mayor. Unbridled control leads to fundamentally disparate treatment across cases, and that’s just not right.

Bottom line: it’s about free speech and equal treatment, and the inalienable rights thereof. Take a look at some of the news reports…


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: “The ghost of John Liu – Playing politics by a non-partisan board” - 3/18/2014
EXCERPTS – John Liu was mugged by the Campaign Finance Board.

New York City’s system of public financing for political campaigns is often cited as a model that enhances democracy. Not so for John Liu, and now he is properly seeking redress in federal court.

Suddenly, only five weeks before last year’s Democratic mayoral primary, the Campaign Finance Board disqualified the then-city controller from receiving the taxpayer subsidies that were crucial to his shot at City Hall.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “John Liu Files Federal Lawsuit Against Campaign Finance Board” - 3/12/2014
EXCERPT – According to the lawsuit, which Mr. Liu announced at a news conference on Wednesday, the board delivered his campaign a “death sentence” when it decided in August not to give him any matching funds. The lawsuit alleges the board based its decision on a “shoddy investigation” and that its treatment of Mr. Liu was “wholly arbitrary and without rational basis.”

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: “John Liu Sues Campaign Finance Board For Denying Him Funds” - 3/12/2014
EXCERPTS – The former City Controller charges in the suit, filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court, that the board unconstitutionally took away his $3.8 million in campaign cash over possible improprieties in his fundraising operations.

“This agency is in dire need of reform. It is at best rife with whim and caprice, and at worst tainted politically,” Liu said, charging the city’s campaign system has been “adulterated by some out of control bureaucrats.”

“I’m not looking for a re-do of the election. The election’s long past, and I’m past that,” he said. “This isn’t about me or my election of my campaign. This is about a system that I believe in for the good of democracy here in New York City. But it’s broken and it needs to be fixed.”

NY1 Online: “Liu Discusses Lawsuit Against City Campaign Finance Board” - 3/14/2014
NY1 VIDEO: Former City Comptroller John Liu joined Inside City Hall to discuss his lawsuit against the city Campaign Finance Board for denying him matching funds during his bid for City Hall last year.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/email-from-john-liu-reform-the-cfb-now/

Mar 12 2014

Liu sues Campaign Finance Board over matching funds

johncliu

He’s fighting back.

In a federal lawsuit, former Comptroller John Liu says he “suffered extreme mental and emotional anguish, along with dignity harms, resulting from being unfairly and unwarrantedly accused of wrongdoing.”

The lawsuit also alleges that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg improperly appointed Rose Gill Hearn as the board’s new chairwoman.

Stay tuned for more details.

[From The WSJ] John Liu, a former New York City comptroller who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, accused the city Campaign Finance Board in a federal lawsuit of unlawfully denying his campaign millions of dollars in public matching funds.

According to the lawsuit, which Mr. Liu announced at a news conference on Wednesday, the board delivered his campaign a “death sentence” when it decided in August not to give him any matching funds. The lawsuit alleges the board based its decision on a “shoddy investigation” and that its treatment of Mr. Liu was “wholly arbitrary and without rational basis.”

The lawsuit alleges Mr. Liu “suffered extreme mental and emotional anguish, along with dignity harms, resulting from being unfairly and unwarrantedly accused of wrongdoing.”

“The board’s decision led to incalculable damage to Liu’s professional reputation and earning potential,” the suit alleges.

In May, a federal jury convicted Mr. Liu’s former campaign treasurer, Jia “Jenny” Hou of various charges involving campaign finance fraud. She was later sentenced to 10 months in prison and is in the process of appealing her conviction. Mr. Liu was never charged in the case.

Amy Loprest, the board’s executive director, responded to the lawsuit in an email: “Over 25 years and seven mayoral elections, the board’s oversight has always been tough, but fair. It protects taxpayers, and ensures campaigns that receive funds are playing by the rules.”

Under the city’s public-funding system, candidates may receive $6 in taxpayer funds for each of the first $175 donated by a city resident, for a maximum of $1,050 in public funds per contributor. Mr. Liu could have received a maximum of $3.53 million in the Democratic primary.

In the September primary, Mr. Liu won 7% of the vote, coming in fourth place among the five major candidates.

Mr. Liu’s lawsuit also alleges that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his final days at City Hall last year, improperly appointed Rose Gill Hearn as the board’s new chairwoman. According to the City Charter, the mayor has the authority to appoint the board’s leader following consultation with the speaker of the City Council.

For full article: http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2014/03/12/john-liu-files-federal-lawsuit-against-campaign-finance-board/

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/liu-sues-campaign-finance-board-over-matching-funds/

Mar 03 2014

Grace Meng ‘Disappointed’ With Tony Avella

Grace Meng, Queens Politics

What does it mean when the nicest person in politics is suddenly calling you out?

You’ve been a bad boy Tony.

At her campaign announcement, Grace Meng said how deeply disappointed she was with Avella’s switch to the IDC.

This means a little more than at first glance: Meng is an optimist known for her sincerity, warmth, and candor to everyone – even her political enemies – which comes in part from longstanding roots in her hometown district and an old school sense of respect. Grace gives a mother’s touch to everything, sort of like the district’s ever-watchful matriarch, always reluctant to scold you in public, so when she  spoke of her feelings during a press conference about Tony Avella and his IDC debacle (an old colleague mind you), we couldn’t help but feel like our mother just gave us that look of REAL disappointment.

John Liu wasn’t happy about Tony either, but it’s Grace’s comments we should be mindful of, no matter how delicate.

[From The Politicker] State Senator Tony Avella’s decision to join the Independent Democratic Conference is irking ex-Comptroller John Liu and Congresswoman Grace Meng.

Mr. Liu and Ms. Meng–who like Mr. Avella, are Democrats hailing from northeast Queens–criticized Mr. Avella when asked about about his recent move to join the breakaway conference Democrats governing the State Senate with the Republican Party.

“It’s disappointing to say the very least,” Ms. Meng told Politicker at an unrelated press conference. “I think the Democrats, especially the Democratic senators, have worked very hard on issues that not only affect Democrats throughout the state, but affect everyone, all working families. And so I was disappointed at the very least.”

Full article: http://politicker.com/2014/03/grace-meng-and-john-liu-slam-tony-avella-for-joining-idc/

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/meng-disappointed-with-tony-avella/

Mar 03 2014

John Liu: Congress still an option

johncliu

It ain’t over till it’s over.

John Liu, hometown hero, antes up and denies widespread rumors of a challenge to Congresswoman Grace Meng in NY6, even offering his endorsement to the beloved incumbent in his hometown.

Despite the endorsement, rumors are still floating about Liu gunning for Congresswoman Nydia Velazaquez’s seat, a fact he doesn’t deny, so it still seems a run for Congress (where you only have to be a resident of the state to run in a district) is still an option for Liu.

[From The PolitickerJohn Liu still won’t rule out another try for elected office. 

The ex-comptroller and mayoral candidate refused to swat down rumors that he is mulling a bid against Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, even as he put another batch of rumors to rest by endorsing his own congresswoman, Grace Meng, for re-election.

“Let met me just say that rumors are rumors and I’m not in the business of denying nor confirming rumors. So I’ll leave it at that,” Mr. Liu told reporters at the endorsement press conference today. “Obviously we have a capable incumbent in the 7th District [Ms. Velázquez's district] as we do in other districts that rumors have been floated about me.”

When Politicker asked if Mr. Liu would rule out a congressional bid of any kind–he was also rumored to be mulling a challenge against Ms. Meng before he endorsed her today–Mr. Liu played coy. 

For full article: http://politicker.com/2014/03/john-liu-is-keeping-his-political-options-open/

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/john-liu-congress-still-an-option/

Sep 06 2013

Final Thoughts: GOTV Weekend Edition

Once more unto the breach, dear friends… -Henry V

AdamLombardiBilldeBlasio

Me and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

It’s certainly been an adventure so far in this electoral season to say the least. As the candidates gear up for one last push to consolidate their voting blocs, Queens-Politics continues to ponder the possibilities that Tuesday’s Primary results will present us with.

So without further adieu, here are my suggestions to help guide you through this process. 

Hailing from North Queens, I’ve kept a watchful eye on the developments in Council District 19 because it’s important to me, it’s home. The real race comes down between two candidates: community activist Paul Vallone, whom I fully support, and a trained operative and spin doctor named Austin Shafran. This weekend, Shafran will be making his final push to concentrate the Jewish voting bloc by emphasizing his Jewish heritage – sort of ironic for a man who graduated St. Francis Prep and was married in a Catholic church, but I digress. Did I mention Shafran received money from special interests yet held a press conference to denounce such contributions and outside spending?

He’s really worried Vallone is going to win this thing, and I can’t blame him. Despite the misleading blog headlines, Vallone ran a completely positive campaign. Sure, this statement will certainly raise eyebrows on the blogs (which have apparently aligned themselves against Vallone and for lobbyist Paul Graziano) but the whole Jobs For NY issue was NOT connected to his campaign, after all that’s illegal. The powers that be behind the real estate backed PAC independently sent mailers which offended the delicate sensibilities of candidates who obviously could not handle the heat in the kitchen to face the truth about themselves: you can’t have a seedy past and expect to come up smelling like roses. Ignoring these issues is a disservice to the electorate. In politics your record will be challenged and sometimes it’s just not pretty. I believe it’s all part of the vetting process and definitely not for the feint of heart. I’ve faced it myself despite not running for public office and I took it all in stride. If I can do it, so can they. But never in my life have I witnessed such two-faced bigotry from questionable candidates who have fallen to the wayside and become desperate for a headline.  And it got even worse on TV. On the NY1 debate, to which everyone of Vallone’s opponents united against him in attack mode, all I saw was a bunch of insecure politicians that ganged up on the frontrunner and showed the public one thing: Paul Vallone will be the very best candidate for the 19th City Council district. 

As for Queens Borough President, it’s well known that I’m supporting Peter Vallone Jr. and as of now – despite not having the County’s endorsement – it looks like he could win, that is, if enough votes are pulled out. Name recognition credit goes to Vallone, as well as his unwavering support of public safety issues. Queens will be a safer place with Peter Vallone as Borough President. Did we mention the NY POST just endorsed him as well as the PBA?

Comptroller? I’m going to go with Eliot Spitzer, and I’ll even go as far as to say he will win Queens just based on name recognition. After all, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has never come around to these parts. No one here has ever heard of him and that’s got to mean something.

Public Advocate? We’ve endorsed Cathy Guerriero. Cathy has also been endorsed by practically every law enforcement union in the city, and for good reason. The office of Public Advocate is not meant to be held by a career politician. The Public Advocate is the city’s chief ombudsman – and we need someone in there who’s outside the scope of politics and unafraid to call people out, cut the red tape and do the job well. Hailing from the outer boroughs, Cathy knows the issues important to Queens. That’s why I chose Cathy and I hope you do too.

AdamBillThompsonPeterVallone

Borough President candidate Peter Vallone Jr. and Bill Thompson.

Now I’ve helped out on elections across NYC and I’ve become quite familiar with poll site politics. Poll workers are political hires. They have allegiance to their District Leaders, whom in turn have their allegiance to the County organization (not all but most). In recent elections, there were instances when newly registered voters were told by poll workers they “accidentally” showed up at the wrong poll site and were redirected (sometimes across town). Upon arriving at the new site, they were told yet again they’re in the wrong place and they simply gave up at that point. And who could blame them? Some of these voters were even mailed the wrong poll site location from the BOE. It certainly has the makings of a conspiracy theory.

In NY politics, voters are easily disenfranchised especially if your recognized as supporting another candidate running against a County candidate at the polls; they just don’t want your vote to count and it’s hard to prove. As voters, our only defense is to be armed with knowledge and insist on an Affidavit ballot to protect our vote and mitigate any political factors that may have come into play at the polling site.

AdamandJohnLiu

Me and Comptroller John Liu.

I can’t honestly go on and accurately predict results because this season there’s too many factors and variables to take into consideration which change minute to minute. My only hope is that people like you will take my suggestions on candidates who have proven themselves to be strong advocates for Queens and cast your ballots accordingly. Now, it may be unscientific, but it’s what’s best for our borough (and yet still more scientific than some of the polls I’ve read), which is my guiding philosophy. Ultimately, neither official polls nor unofficial ones can truly say what will happen with certainty this year. However, the unpredictable nature of this primary election has not stopped a seemingly endless array of pundits, wonks, and psychics from bombarding the airwaves with their half-witted predictions. So who will be the predictive champion? Time will tell.

Yes, our posting schedule is quite random but Queens-Politics is here to stay. So check back often for the unfiltered commentary and if you have a tip email info@queens-politics.com. Again, no matter whom you choose, it’s time to get out the vote.

Polls are open from 6 AM – 9 PM.

To find your poll site click here: http://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/Search.aspx

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/final-thoughts-primary-election-edition/

Apr 22 2013

Liu Raises Ante Against Casino Proposal

 

johncliu

Who will follow suit?

A casino won’t be cashing in their chips if John Liu has anything to say about it.

Democratic Mayoral Candidate John Liu signed onboard the Anti-Willets Point Casino Coalition’s petition to stop the development of a casino at Willets Point, Queens on Sunday.

“I will never support a casino in New York City much less Willets Point,” said Liu, adding, ”This community deserves more and we demand more.”

Comptroller Liu, who also served as the area’s city councilman, met with community leaders as well as members of the group to express his support for the petition.

“He is the first Citywide candidate and representative who is supporting this important community issue,” according to the group’s spokesman Michael Olmeda.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/04/john-liu-raises-ante-against-casino/

Jan 24 2013

Civics to Host Comptroller John Liu, Assembly members Nily Rozic & Ron Kim

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 6.12.23 PM[Press Advisory]

WHO: John Liu, Nily Rozic, Ron Kim, QH Civic, and University Park Tenants Association.

WHAT: Q and A plus discussion of neighborhood issues. 

WHEN: WednesdayFebruary 6th, 7-9pm.

WHERE: New York Hospital Queens 56-15 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355.

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Dear friends and neighbors,

Happy New Year, one and all!

As you know, our civic seeks to provide you the opportunity to get to know our local and Citywide elected officials in a relaxed, close-to-home setting. And so, we start our year off tremendously with a rescheduled visit from our City’s Comptroller, Flushing’s own John C. Liu, who will discuss local issues here in his own Queens backyard, touch on salient points of his recent State of the City Address, and answer your questions. (Mr. Liu is also expected by many to be making a major announcement right around the date of our upcoming meeting.)

Furthermore, you’ll get to know two newly-elected local NYS Assemblymembers, both brand-new to the political arena. Come meet Assemblymembers Nily Rozic and Ron Kim. You’ll surely be impressed by their youthful energy and exuberance, and their eagerness to serve us to their best abilities. Join us as Nily and Ron begin new careers in elected public office.

Our meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 6th from 7 to 9PM at New York Hospital Queens’ Lang Auditorium; enter the Hospital’s main entrance at 56-45 Main Street. Thanks go to our meeting sponsors: New York Hospital Queens, TD Bank & Zhong Hua Supermarket.

If you haven’t already signed up for current membership in our civic, please return your application to the address printed at the bottom of this letter, or just mail us your name and address. The easiest method, of course, is to email us your info at qhcivic@aol.com, with “Membership” in the subject line. Once again there is no membership fee for the 2012-2013 year due to the generosity of Councilman Peter Koo. Existing members: Please renew now.

We’ll again be marching in Flushing’s Lunar New Year Parade. It’s enormous fun! And the short march around Downtown Flushing helps keep you warm. So please join us! For details, provide us your address and phone number; we’ll get back to you soon. The Parade will start on Union Street & 38th Avenue at 11AM on Saturday, February 16th. Bring the family!

 

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

 

Best regards,

Donald Capalbi, president                               John Henry Byas, president

Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Assn.           University Park Tenants Council

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/01/john-liu-nily-rozic-ron-kim/

Oct 08 2012

A Clue To County’s Endorsement For Beep?

Brooklyn has the cannoli man, Queens has the kingmaker.

Melinda Katz is holding a fundraiser at Portofino restaurant in Queens where a high ranking democratic official will make a special appearance.

With the 2013 City Council races already heating up, many are wondering who will get the coveted County Endorsement and it just so happens that none other than political boss Rep. Joe Crowley will be the surprise guest at the fundraiser.

Will Crowley make a surprise endorsement?

Katz, a lobbyist, will be locked in a tough battle for control of Borough Hall with heavyweight opponents including City Councilman Peter Vallone, widely considered the frontrunner, Councilman Leroy Comrie, and State Senator Jose Peralta. Both Peralta and Comrie have considerable ties to the party, so at this point the County endorsement is really a toss up.

Even though Crowley will be attending more fundraisers, as reported by Colin Cambell,  we will venture to guess the the real clue is which fundraiser he doesn’t  attend.

George Arzt, the top former campaign advisor for John Liu, has also confirmed attendance.

Below is the invitation in case you decide to go and if you do, please send us video or audio.

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Please join us as we kick off Melinda Katz’s campaign for Queens Borough President!

With Special Guest Congressman Joe Crowley

When: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 from 6PM to 7:30PM

Where: Portofino Ristorante, 109-32 Ascan Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375 

Contribution Levels: Chair: $2,500.00 * Host: $1,000.00 
Sponsor: $500.00 * Patron: $250.00 * Guest: $175.00

To RSVP & Purchase tickets please click here: https://services.myngp.com/ngponlineservices/Event.aspx?Y=FrZ0S4jyDpULauwQdqsVMKXrsKMJk0laBghz%2FcCik8SnrnTS%2FCUDVQ%3D%3D

For more information please contact Katie at (347) 494-0492 or send her an email at Katie@melindakatz.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/10/a-clue-to-countys-endorsement-for-queens-beep/

Apr 27 2012

Pols Urged to Investigate Tragic Death

Queens politicians are being urged to investigate the mysterious events surrounding the tragic passing of Flushing resident Michael Lin.

In the wake of his passing friends have begun to petition local elected officials to take action including Grace Meng, Peter Koo, and John Liu,

A Facebook event was created to raise awareness while urging a comprehensive investigation into the details surrounding the tragedy.

If you have any information please contact the authorities or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS.

For more information please read, Mystery grows in death of Michael Lin, 27-year-old clubgoer who died early Saturday

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/mystery-grows-death-michael-lin-27-year-old-clubgoer-died-early-saturday-article-1.1065757#ixzz1tDK2R1HF

 

 

 

 

We need to take this further. We can’t just accept for the NYPD to tell us that his autopsy is “inconclusive”, the videos are too “blurry” to see anything and that he just fell down the stairs and died (WITH NOBODY SEEING THIS). There are witnesses that saw bouncers with him at the club bleeding and they possibly tossed him out onto the streets which may have CAUSED HIM TO BLEED MORE and DIE. We need to BOMBARD the officials because WE DO NOT BELIEVE HE JUST FELL AND STUMBLE OUT OF THE CLUB AND DIED IN K-TOWN’S SIDEWALK. 

DIFFERENT NEWS FROM DIFFERENT ARTICLES…WHO TO BELIEVE? WE WANT THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE MAKE THE CALL NOW AND MAKE MANY: 

John Liu 
Tel. (212) 669-3916

Grace Meng
718-939-0195

KEEP CALLING..CALL AT LEAST A WEEK, EVERYDAY, and MANY TIMES. IF THE LINE IS BUSY, PLEASE KEEP CALLING. 

John Liu is running for Mayor and Grace Meng is running for Congress. If they help us with this, they will gain our VOTES. IF NOT, they will lose ALL of our votes in this community.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/04/pols-urged-to-investigate-tragic-death/

Jan 30 2012

Koo Sticks Up For Liu

Three cheers for Koo as he steps up to the plate to address Murdoch’s media mayhem.

Colin Cambell Politicker: Councilman Peter Koo, who recently switched parties to the Democratic Party, said the media’s treatment of New York City Comptroller John Liu has been biased and wrong in a recent interview with Roberto Perez.

“As an Asian-American politician, I think it’s really unfair,” he said. “I think the media, they ganged up against him.”

Last year, an FBI sting against one of Mr. Liu’s campaign bundlerscaused Mr. Liu’s mayoral ambitions to take a significant hit.

Mr. Koo went on to defend Mr. Liu’s integrity. “It’s [not] proven that he directly knows about this, or his staff knows about this, so why do you link the two together?” he asked. ”The FBI used some sting operation, they offered cash to people, it’s like a political entrapment to me. I think it’s really unfair. Even though the guy is guilty, … only he’s guilty, he has nothing to do with John Liu.”

Mr. Koo, who contributed to Mr. Liu’s campaign even when he was still registered as a Republican, also argued that this type of fundraising controversy is hardly unique to Mr. Liu. “This kind of scandal happened before with Hillary Clinton, happened with Al Gore. Whoever get’s caught in the scandal, those guys should be punished, not the candidates, because they have nothing to do with this.”

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/koo-sticks-up-for-liu/

Jan 09 2012

A New Years Brunch In Whitestone…

A lovely brunch was held at the home of Debra Markell, President of Waterside Estates at Cresthaven Homeowners Association, and hosted by State Committeeman Matthew Silverstein (D-26) Markell, respectfully, and Warren Schreiber, the President of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. Many elected officials were in attendance and over 125 guests had passed through to a warm reception. Pictured above, NYC Comptroller John Liu, Matthew Silverstein, Mary Conaty, Debra Markell Kleiner, Warren Schreiber, and NYS Assemblyman David Weprin.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Matthew Silverstein, Debra Markell and Warren Schreiber.

City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and State Senator Toby Stavisky.

Matthew Silverstein, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, Debra Markell Kleinert, and Warren Schreiber.

An annual New Years Brunch was attended by over 125 friends and supporters on Sunday, according to Matthew Silverstein, who hosted the event with Debra Markell and Warren Schreiber. Queens-Politics was invited to the brunch, now in it’s second year (a hearty thank you), however our Editor  had a commitment to volunteer in Auburndale that went into overtime. Looks like big things may be happening…

Pictures courtesy of Matthew Silverstein.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/newyearsbrunch2/

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 29 2011

In The Halls Of Justice, The Only Justice Is In The Halls

Loyalty?

How does the Democratic party perpetuate its own power? Through manipulating the court system, according to the NY Times.

The Queens county surrogate court is a bastion of power hungry party loyalists. They are the batteries that makes the machine function.

Operatives and future candidates stay in the loop by towing the party line.

Luckily,  a few brave souls that are not afraid to speak out against a good ol’ boy system where loyalty is measured by submission.

Read the scathing NY Times article for the full scoop.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/in-the-halls-of-justice-the-only-justice-is-in-the-halls/

Nov 23 2011

A Former McCarthy Era Operative Gloats

Xenophobia, the fear of people who are different from one’s self.

A highly illuminating article courtesy of the Daily News. This report explores the dynamics between a longtime district leader and her political rival in Flushing.

Julia Harrison is a former City Council Member. She has some harsh comments for John Liu.

Foreword: Harrison is best known for blaming the asian population for increased crime, higher real estate prices, and displacing old timers.

Her comments became the hallmark of Harrison’s political career.

The publicized slip blew up in her face as a protest took  place on the steps of City Hall.

In 1996 the protest was led by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Governor George Pataki who joined more that 2,000 Asian-Americans and civic leaders to rebuke Ms. Harrison for her published comments.

In response, Harrison who is now 91, stood before her colleagues in the Council’s chamber and read an empty apology. She never meant to insult immigrants, she was misunderstood. But it’s par for the course considering Harrison is part of the old guard –  a dwindling bloc of grey haired voters who resist any type of change in a neighborhood that is predominantly asian.

Despite the controversy, Harrison ran for reelection and won another term as Councilwoman until she was eventually term limited out of office in 2001.

Since then, deep wounds have festered in the underworld of Queens politics and while her opponent is weak, Julia has returned  for a moment in the limelight.

During the last election, turnout was abysmal. But to Harrison’s credit, she pulled her base out to the polls.

As the newly minted elected District Leader, she’s feeling her oats.

Best Quote,

“If you survive long enough in the murky world of Queens politics you will see your fortunes change.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/a-former-mccarthy-operative-gloats/

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