“Irregularities.” That’s such a fun word to hear in newspaper stories about elected officials, particularly ones from political parties that aren’t yours. So it is here, with regard to Democratic/Working Families Party Member John C. Liu: this NY Times article reports that a survey of Mr. Liu’s most recent campaign finance reports resulted in allegations of:
- “…instances in which people listed as having given to Mr. Liu say they never gave, say a boss or other Liu supporter gave for them, or could not be found altogether. “
- Donor cards for contributions being filled out by people other than the ones doing the donation;
- ‘Bundling’ (a practice where one person goes out and collects money from others, then delivers it to the campaign) going on, absent information on the individual donors.
The Times reported that they looked at one hundred homes/businesses listed on Liu’s finance reports and found over two dozen problems or questionable situations. The Times also reports that NYC candidates have a six-to-one ratio in public election funding: every dollar that a candidate raises from an individual translates to six dollars in public campaign financing. Liu is currently the Comptroller for NYC*, and is/was being considered a likely candidate for mayor in 2013; he’s certainly in a position to profit from an, ah, flexible approach to financial disclosure.
But not to worry: Liu plans to hold an internal investigation into the matter. One wonders if he thinks to ask his political consultant Chung Seto about the problem; as the WSJ link above notes, this is not the first time that her name has come up in relation to possible campaign financing reporting irregularities.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Liu, by the way, currently has half a million dollars’ worth in outstanding fines from the city, stemming from posters being illegally put up during his Comptroller bid. To be fair, those fines are probably politically motivated, certainly ubiquitous, and definitely primarily a revenue-maker for the City… but they’re still there, and maybe Liu can’t quite pay them and have too much of his campaign finance financial practices audited?