Tag Archives: CFB

John Liu sues over campaign cash in failed mayoral bid


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

John Liu may have lost his bid for mayor months ago, but he is still seeking justice for wrongdoings he believes hindered his campaign.

The former comptroller is suing the city’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB) for withholding $3.8 million in public financing from his mayoral campaign, claiming that the move “crippled” his chances in the Democratic primary.

The lawsuit asserts that the city’s public financing system violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments and that Liu was treated “differently than other candidates who have been suspected of violating campaign finance laws.”

“I am a strong believer in and supporter of the New York City campaign finance system. However, the system has been broken by out-of-control bureaucrats and unaccountable board members,” Liu said in a statement announcing the lawsuit on Wednesday, March 12.

Last August, the CFB denied Liu’s campaign the funds because it said there was “reason to believe that violations of the Act and Board rules have been committed by his campaign.”

Months earlier, a former Liu campaign treasurer was found guilty of attempting to commit fraud, obstructing justice and making false statements. And an ex-fundraiser and contribution bundler for his campaign was convicted on charges of conspiring and attempting to commit fraud.

Though Liu has not been accused of any wrongdoing in connection to the case, the Board said the decision to deny matching funds doesn’t require the candidate to personally engage in misconduct.

Liu’s suit also alleges that the appointment of Rose Gil Hearn as chair of the CFB, made shortly before then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg left office, was illegitimate because it was done without consulting the City Council speaker.

“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,” said Amy Loprest, CFB executive director, in a statement. “We will not comment further on the litigation until the appropriate time.”

 

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City Council candidate Joe Concannon calls ‘fraud’ on Campaign Finance Board


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Joe Concannon’s campaign

The retired police captain running a pointed City Council bid against a popular incumbent says the city’s Campaign Finance Board should have accommodated his late entrance into the race.

Joe Concannon, who is taking on Councilmember Mark Weprin in a general election next month, said he was a “victim” of the CFB’s “incompetence and fraud” when his profile did not appear in the board’s widely distributed voter guide.

“I am running for public office to ensure that New York City government is more transparent and to alleviate the corruption, fraud and mismanagement,” said Concannon, who is on the Reform and Independent line. “The CFB seems to have succumbed to all three.”

About 4 million copies of the nonpartisan newsletter were mailed out throughout the city this week, a CFB spokesperson said. The guide contains voting information and detailed profiles submitted by candidates.

CFB spokesperson Matt Sollars said the hopefuls have until early July, at the latest, to submit their profiles, which then go through a timely process of getting translated into five languages in Queens.

“These are reasonable deadlines that are necessary for us to collect and produce a voter guide that is printed and mailed to every registered voter in New York City,” he said.

Concannon did not register with the CFB until September, Sollars said, months after the submission deadline.

But Phil Orenstein, the candidate’s campaign manager, said there should have been an exception, or at least an addendum.

“Accommodations should be made for his independent line candidacy, but nothing of the sort was done,” he said. “To us, this smacks of voter fraud and we hold the CFB culpable. They have failed in their responsibilities to properly inform the voters.”

Concannon leaped into the race August 8 because Weprin voted in support of two controversial police oversight bills in the Community Safety Act.

Concannon said the bills would increase crime and handcuff police, a belief numerous police unions shared when they endorsed him.

The Bellerose candidate unsuccessfully tried to unseat State Senator Tony Avella last year.

 

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John Liu to go ‘full steam ahead’ with campaign despite no matching funds


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of the New York City Comptroller

City Comptroller John Liu has vowed to go “full steam ahead” with his mayoral bid despite losing out on millions in funds.

The city’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB) on Monday denied Liu’s campaign public matching funds that could have doubled the approximately $3.5 million the candidate has raised so far.

Liu’s campaign was denied the funds “because there is reason to believe that violations of the Act and Board rules have been committed by his campaign,” said CFB Chair Father Joseph Parkes in a statement.

“The evidence suggests that the potential violations are serious and pervasive across the campaign’s fundraising,” he added.

“The [Campaign Finance Board] has chosen to make certain characterizations of my campaign–they are absolutely wrong in their characterization and we will utterly dispute and repudiate those kinds of comments,” said Liu in a statement released Monday evening.

In May, Jia “Jenny” Hou, who was Liu’s campaign treasurer, was found guilty of attempting to commit fraud, obstructing justice and making false statements.

Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, who was a campaign fundraiser and contribution bundler for the Liu campaign, was convicted at the same time on charges of conspiring and attempting to commit fraud.

Though Liu has not been accused of any wrongdoing in connection to the case, the Board said the decision to deny matching funds doesn’t require the candidate to personally engage in misconduct.

“The candidate is ultimately responsible for the campaign’s compliance with the law,” said Parkes.

Under the Campaign Finance Program, candidates who agree to spending limits receive $6 for each dollar a city resident contributes, for a maximum public matching funds amount of $3,534,300, which Liu was expected to receive.

“Although we may not have the millions of dollars that the [Campaign Finance Board] has chosen to withhold from our campaign and from our donors, the strength of this campaign has never been just in the money — it’s always been in the people” said Liu. “And we’re going to draw upon that strength over the next five weeks throughout all five boroughs.”

 

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Candidates release campaign filings for 2013 city, Queens races


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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The city’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB) has posted the following campaign filings for 2013 city and Queens races. More will be trickling in throughout the day.

Candidates collected the following net contributions from January 12 to March 11. Disclosures were due to the CFB today.

MAYOR

  • Joseph Lhota: $731,601
  • John Liu: $105,775
  • John Catsimatidis: $15,950
  • Scott Stringer: $2,550
  • Hilda Broady-Fernandez: $525
  • Philip Marks: $100
  • Kevin Coenen: $0

QUEENS BOROUGH PRESIDENT

  • Peter Vallone Jr.: OLD $1,050,646; NEW $22,025
  • Jose Peralta: OLD $134,680; NEW $110,106
  • Barry Grodenchik: OLD $56,773; NEW $48,721
  • Tony Avella: OLD $6,857; NEW $34,216
CITY COUNCIL 

District 19

  • John Duane: OLD $35,270; NEW $9,190
  • Paul Vallone: OLD $34,700; NEW $4,605
  • Dan Halloran: OLD $24,035; NEW $16,755
  • Matthew Silverstein: OLD $8,654; NEW $703
  • Austin Shafran: $58,802
  • Paul Graziano: $8,760

District 20

  • Peter Koo: OLD $266,190; NEW $30,130

District 22

  • Daniel Peterson: OLD $4,995; NEW $385

District 23

  • Mark Weprin: OLD $137,239; NEW $3,925

District 24

  • Rory Lancman: OLD $85,339; NEW $16,099
  • Andrea Veras: OLD $2,940; NEW $2,710

District 26

  • Jimmy Van Bramer: OLD $111,778; NEW $20,305

District 27

  • Bryan Block: OLD $100; NEW $0
  • Joan Flowers: $8,423

District 28

  • Ruben Wills: OLD $11,510; NEW $725
  • David Kayode: NEW $760

District 29

  • Karen Koslowitz: OLD $57,459; NEW $11,680

District 30

  • Elizabeth Crowley: OLD $132,363; NEW $13,060