Category Archive: Taking them to task

May 07 2014

Ruben Wills In Hot Water

Photo: NYDN

Photo: NYDN

Councilman Ruben Wills was arrested this morning as part of an ongoing corruption probe.

[From The Observer] Queens City Councilman Ruben Wills was arrested early this morning by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, a law enforcement source has confirmed.

Mr. Wills, along with a relative, Jelani Mills, were taken into custody this morning at around 7 a.m., according to the source, who said that Mr. Mills worked for Mr. Wills.

The source declined to discuss the charges against the the men, but the Daily News reported in 2012 that Mr. Schneiderman’s office was investigating a $33,000 state grant that allegedly went missing after being doled out to a nonprofit linked to Mr. Wills, who will be arraigned in Queens criminal court later today.

Mr. Wills’ attorney did not immediately respond to messages, and phones at the councilman’s legislative and district offices rang unanswered this morning. A spokeswoman for Mr. Wills declined to comment, except to say that Mr. Mills does not work for her boss. A council spokesman confirmed that Mr. Mills is not on the city council payroll.

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Mar 18 2014

Email From John Liu: Reform The CFB


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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