Though his campaign is under intense scrutiny following a fundraising scandal, City Comptroller John Liu is moving forward, but he may have a long way to go compared to other potential mayoral candidates. NY1’s Courtney Gross filed the following report.
City Comptroller John Liu is working nonstop lately, moving from Brooklyn Borough Hall through Sunset Park and Sunnyside to a Democratic club in Flushing. On Friday, he visited the Three Kings Day Parade in East Harlem.
Despite a federal investigation into his campaign account, Liu is not quitting the campaign trail.
"My primary focus as comptroller has been rooting out waste, find money that has been improperly kept or spent," said Liu.
But in November, a Liu fundraiser was accused of setting up straw donors to get over-the-limit contributions to the comptroller.
Since then, Liu's 2013 campaign, presumably for mayor, has come under increased scrutiny, leading the comptroller to lift a self-imposed contribution cap of $800.
"Supporters wanted to do more than the $800 limit that I had imposed on my own campaign," said Liu.
So far, Liu is unwilling to back down.
"He's out there being proactive, being positive, and he's doing what he does well, which is meeting with people, talking about what he wants to do and building support," said Richard Fife, a Democratic consultant.
At the events, however, Liu gets mixed reviews.
"Because he is from immigrant parents, he understands the plight of the immigrants," said one New Yorker.
"I think it's hard to be the comptroller and be under investigation for situations involving money," said another.
As Liu struggles with his campaign, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, another likely candidate for mayor, announced she has already reached the primary contribution cap more than a year and half before the contest.
"We've had folks that have given a few dollars, folks that have given the maximum. Every contribution shows a message to me that people are excited about the future of New York City," said Quinn.
When asked about it on Friday, Liu said, "We congratulate Chris... We're fundraising out there and I appreciate the community support."
In less than two weeks, candidates will report how much money they have raised so far to the city Campaign Finance Board, but before that, the comptroller is scheduled to hold a fundraiser at a downtown restaurant next week.