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I guess i'll post this as a diary since people were yelling at me for overly long thread comments.  Hopefully you won't find this too irrelevant or parochial for diary material.

John Liu technically has not said whether he is staying in the mayoral contest or not.  As Azi Paybarah correctly noted you can really take his statements either way.

Of course the fact he is so non-committal in and of itself speaks to his dire circumstances.

His opponents (well serious opponents if we're going to exclude Tom Allon) are not criticizing him in the least.  He even got a statement of support from Bill Thompson.

What this tells you is they no longer see him as a threat and are looking towards courting him and his supporters.

What also should tell you something is this bizarre story about his own labor supporters being afraid to speak with him because they are afraid he himself might turn states witness to save his own back.

As the federal probe into city Controller John Liu’s mayoral campaign widens, the embattled Democrat is so politically toxic that some of his bigwig union supporters are afraid to speak with him, sources said Thursday.

In recent days — as the investigation reached higher up the campaign hierarchy, ensnaring the 25-year-old treasurer for her role in an alleged fund-raising conspiracy — Liu quietly called around to labor leaders, seeking their backing of his plan to reform the city’s pension funds. But one union president said he was very nervous to be chatting with Liu — for fear the controller might be wearing a wire.

“He’s under federal investigation,” said the union president, who spoke under the condition of anonymity and speculated that Liu might be cooperating with authorities to bust others. “I know how this game works.”

His supporters can't be much thrilled by this bizarre statement.

Liu: I was stunned by the news of Jenny. And at this point, there are probably few things that will stun me again.
It's never a good sign when the candidate expects to be "stunned" again.

The current crisis was started by his 25 year old campaign treasurer being arrested.  Many expect her to flip rather than risk 60 years in prison.  But there are a few things which say she will in fact take the fall.

First Jenny Hou’s lawyer is on retainer to the John Liu campaign and is being paid by the Liu campaign.

Are her attorneys going to advise their non-paying client to turn on their paying client?  Big conflict of interest.  And one that does not work towards her favor.

The Newsday article above about labor leaders being afraid of speaking to John Liu has this little tidbit from Jenny Hou's family.

Hou’s parents, who are close with Liu and have donated to his campaign, appear to be proud of her. They told a Chinese-language newspaper that they were grateful for her part in Liu’s quest to politically empower the Chinese community. They added that they could accept their daughter being imprisoned because she would be able to use the time to complete her master’s degree, the paper reported.
Yes you read that right.  Her parents are fine with her going to jail because she could pursue her graduate degree there.  You can't make this stuff up.

Ever the dutiful daughter and employee Jenny Hou has only kind words for the boss she may end up taking the fall for.

“John Liu is the most hard-working person I’ve ever met,” Hou said Friday.

“He’s done a tremendous amount of work for New York City and the people of this city,” she continued.

“I have no doubt that he will continue to be one of the best elected officials in the city.”

According to Jenny Hou's mom her main concern is not for herself but her boss.

In fact, her mother claimed Hou is not blaming Liu but actually consoling him, according to comments the mom gave to the Chinese-language World Journal newspaper.

“Jenny even gave him comfort and said, ‘How come you are not as calm as my parents?’ ” Hou’s mom, Sui Xiang Zhu, recounted when Liu spoke with Hou following the arrest of his campaign aide Tuesday.

“What John Liu is doing is not for his personal benefit, but for all of the Chinese community. Hou Jia’s [Jenny Hou’s] sacrifice is also for the Chinese community,” Zhu said.

Her mother goes on to say Jenny Hou going to prison for Liu might be a "good thing for her".
Her mom also said that Hou will work to get her master’s degree — even in prison if necessary.

“She’s so young, and for her life, this can be a good thing for her,” Zhu said.

Which brings up something interesting.  The whole affair is being covered quite differently in the Chinese language press both domestic and foreign.  I'll note this article is by a newspaper associated with the Falun Gong who have (quite legimately) issues with the Chinese government and those who are friendly with it.

One of the folks they find too friendly with the Chinese government is Liu himself.  Again it's a partisan story by a newspaper with a very biased point of view.  And is nothing I can verify anywhere else.

The CCP launched a campaign to “eradicate” Falun Gong in July 1999, in response to the group’s popularity in China.

In March 2008, violent, organized protests against Falun Gong erupted in Flushing, protests, which the then PRC Consulate General Peng Keyu took credit for in a recorded phone call.

Liu refused several requests from Falun Gong practitioners living in his district to meet with him to discuss the attacks. On one occasion, Liu was meeting with individuals who had been charged with attacking Falun Gong practitioners. When the practitioners arrived at Liu’s office, he showed them the door, saying, “Bye, bye, bye.”

Of course Jenny Hou's silence doesnt end the investigation.  The feds are looking for others to charge and potentially flip.

As far as my views on all this.  I liked John Liu.  Until very recently he was my preferred candidate for Mayor.  He's done a good job as City Comptroller and keeping tabs on all the crooked and foolish contracts Bloomberg signs in his never ending quest to outsource every New York City government job out of state.  And probably would've done a good job as Mayor.

I did view the initial charges against Liu as being overblown.  The whole half million dollar fine from the sanitation department for illegally posted marterials was blatantly partisan.  Particularly when the Bloomberg administration ordered the fines refiled after the court threw them out.

And when you're dealing with an immigrant community becoming involved in politics often for the first time you'll have folks not understanding the rules (or the consequences of breaking them) who get themselves into unncessary trouble.

But someone running for high city office almost always chooses someone with experience as campaign treasurer.  The city finance rules are very stringent and the Campaign Finance Board of New York City is no joke.  Jenny Hou would not be the first campaign treasurer sent to prison.

Now for a neophyte running a token campaign they can't possibly win for city council.  They might appoint a family friend who is an accountant or something.  But anyone else will appoint someone with experience.  Because you really need to make sure everything is in compliance because if it isn't there are serious consequences.

There are only two reasons why someone running for Mayor wouldn't.  First that they are just really cheap and or foolish.  John Liu is no fool and as a City Comptroller who was the son of a banker thrown into prison for financial misdoings he knows very well the need for tight control over ledgers and the consequences of not doing so.

You could argue that they went with someone inexperienced because they needed someone with contacts in the Chinese American community.  But there are people with experience in that community.  And the best person for making those contacts is not a 25 year girl.  No matter how talented she may or may not be.

There is only one possible reason I can think for hiring a 25 year old.  All the folks who have prior campaign experience and know what they are doing would know the consequences of pulling the type of stunts the John Liu campaign was pulling and would've resigned rather than risk facing prison.  Hence the hiring of a 25 year old girl who is far too green to know exactly what she was getting herself into.

He seems guilty as hell.  And for better or worse he only really has one card to play.  He can offer the DA his resignation as City Comptroller as part of a plea bargain.  So don't look for his voluntary resignation any time soon.


Would will benefit most from John Liu's implosion?

15%9 votes
11%7 votes
15%9 votes
44%26 votes
13%8 votes

| 59 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Liu always struck me as a douche (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3, R30A

    None of this surprises me in the least.

  •  So who do you think benefits the most from this? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3, gabjoh, Taget, MichaelNY

    Does this make anyone the front-runner?

    20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 03:41:41 PM PST

    •  Last poll I saw had Quinn in the lead (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George3, MichaelNY

      Beaten only by NYPD Chief Ray Kelly.

      Kelly has never expressed an interest in the job, and has since suffered some not unsubstantiatial blows to his own public image.

      It's Quinn's to lose.

      But, as she is seen as Bloomberg's pet, she could lose it, depending on whether voters want continuity or change.

      She hitched her fortunes to Mike some time ago, so we'll see if that works out for her. Daily Kos readers would say no, but I think New Yorkers in general may feel differently.

      •  Kelly (as of about a week ago) still has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        really strong approval numbers. Surprisingly strong given various problems. I don't think he would ever win a Democratic primary but I could see him winning the general.

        And I still think Thompson will win the Democratic primary.

        Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

        by tigercourse on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 04:18:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kelly Is Not A Democrat (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          He's a Republicon and after 20 years of having Republicons as Mayor don't you think it's time we retake City Hall?  Besides, I'd like to see that poll whereby Kelly has good numbers because the only borought that fully supports him is Staten Island.

          Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

          by Rosalie907 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 04:26:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here is the poll, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Scott Wooledge, gabjoh, MichaelNY


            And I don't want Kelly to win but I just think he's the only Republican who could do it. There must be alot of pressure from the Republicans to get him to run.

            Given the current Mayor (Democrat turned Republican turned independent) I could see Kelly running on either side. But I don't think he'd win the Democratic primary.

            Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

            by tigercourse on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 04:34:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kelly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Is not a public speaker, ever hear him at a news conference stumbling over his words?  Anyway, the Cons would be hard up to have him run and he won't get elected with 4 out of 5 boroughs.

              Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

              by Rosalie907 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 07:00:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for the poll results (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              But if Kelly were to run, he'd have to personally answer for the NYPD's racist "stop and frisk" policies, and he would get very few black or Latino votes. I hope he doesn't run, and I'd like to see him be replaced and for the NYPD to end its racist policies and indiscriminate spying on Muslims.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 10:09:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  geez. Thompson? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Even his supporters couldn't drum up any actual enthusiasm for him in 2009.

          Their schtick to me was "He's really not that bad..."

          I think Quinn will lock it up. She will make the machine fall in line.

          •  Nonetheless, he won the primary by (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gabjoh, MichaelNY

            a landslide and nearly won the general election (though that was likely because Bloomberg supporters didn't think he  could and didn't bother to vote).

            He has been elected city wide twice while Quinn has only won in her small district. I doubt the majority of voters have ever heard of her. And the demographics back him more then they do her.

            Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

            by tigercourse on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 04:54:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't really have a horse in this. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ndrwmls10, gabjoh, MichaelNY

              I am not arguing Quinn is the best choice. But I think you are underestimating her, how badly she wants it, what she'll do to get it, what ducks she has already lined up in her multi-year plan to get into the Mayor's office.

              And the majority of voters haven't heard of her? The sitting Council Speaker, who is anything but press shy, but do know a former City comptroller?

              We see that differently.

              I mean, if her name rec was really that low it would be impossible for her to be a polling front runner.

              •   I'd say I prefer Quinn to Thompson. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                (I don't live in the city though) I think she's done a good job as speaker. But I see no real reason that Thompson shouldn't win the primary again. She might have more money but he won't be poor. I don't know the exact name recognition numbers but he is a 5 time (including primaries) city wide winner while she's never stepped up to the plate. If there was another African American in the race I'd say it will turn out differently. But right now, my bet is on him.

                Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

                by tigercourse on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 06:05:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I should also say that there seems to be (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  a large contingent of liberal democrats (likely voters in the primary) who almost hate her for not being more adversarial with Bloomberg. I guarantee that on this site there will be a host of "Not that Bloomberg shill puppet!" posts during the primary. That's a problem for her.

                  Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

                  by tigercourse on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 06:08:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

                    But I think the progressive influence is overrated in NYC, sad to say.

                    I have watched lots of Democratic machine/corporate shill Democrats beat the grassroots progressive choice in primaries.  

                    I think Quinn has the balance of grassroots progressive affectations and corporate fealty that seems to prosper in New York politics.

                    •  Who says the machine will back her? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Outside of maybe the Manhattan Democratic Party I do not see any county party endorsing her.  Bloomberg's main legacy is being anti-union.  The weasel unions who went for Bloomberg in 2009 like the UFT have mud on their face.

                      The "machine" that cleaned up in the 2009 primary was the Labor Union oriented Working Families Party.  While they got raked over the coals in the press for it they had an effective get out of the vote operation for their candidates.

                      That is in addition to the progressive grassroots not liking her.

                      What she does have is the support of the business and media establishment in NYC.  Which is no small thing.  But that is more the engine of a general election victory than a primary victory.

                      •  I guess we'll see. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I have no idea who the machine will back.

                        But if Thompson keeps promising to rip out bike panes nothing will compel me to vote for him.

                        •  Who says those are the only two choices? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MichaelNY, gabjoh

                          A year ago my money would've been on Bill de Blasio.  And it is more so now.  WFP loves him.  Every county organiztion endorsed him last time.  And he has not stopped vigorously courting the party leaders since.  Besides possibly Lui nobody has visited and courted the various political clubs across the city more.

                          Scott Stringer is making a play for the liberal grassroots and he has made a good impression at the various political clubs he has spoken to.  Of course he's shown a tendency to take it too far.  Like comparing Bloomberg's handling of Occupy Wall Street protesters to Tiananmen Square.

                          Despite the fact Quinn is the one who the business community and Republicans like Jimmy Oddo prefer it is an open question how she will perform outside of Manhattan.

                          Bill Thompson also seems to be making a play for more conservative voters with his emphasis on such issues as rising crime.  His moderation and generally congenial but boring disposition make his campaign seem tepid and uninspiring.  But steadiness can be an attractive quality and if he can mobilize African-American voters in the primary that will be key.  Then again if he had been able to do that in the 2009 general he'd be Mayor right now.

                          I'd also caution taking early polls too seriously.  Primaries tend to be low turnout and dominated by activists.  And even then most people don't decide until the last minute.  Just look at the Public Advocate race where Mark Green had early ridiculous 40 plus point leads.

                          Right now all they reflect is the tenuous name ID of the candidates running.  People are not paying attention nor do they have particularly strong opinions of the people running.  Yet.

                          •  I can't honestly say (0+ / 0-)

                            I have much faith it matters much who is in the mayor's office.

                            I think Beblasio may be my first choice.

                          •  Why do you so it wouldn't matter? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            You think the mayor doesn't have much power? I would beg to differ. Let's take some examples: Did life in New York change significantly between the Dinkins and Giuliani Administrations? I certainly think it did, and I could go into detail if you like.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 01:28:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yuck on that subject line (0+ / 0-)

                            That should have been "Why do you say it wouldn't matter?"

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 03:35:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thompson (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            I didn't vote for him last time and don't have any interest in voting for him this time, because he's a hack. Does anyone think he did a good job at the Board of Ed?

                            Also, rising crime? Has crime actually risen appreciably?

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 01:26:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Though obviously not to what it was during the 80's and 90s during the height of the crack epidemic.

                            It is noticeable in certain categories.  But there is a very strong suspicion that the department has been cooking the books.

                            Part of why crime went down (besides demographics) is putting more officers on the street.  Bloomberg has been cutting back on officers and the results have been noticeable.  At least in Staten Island it is a pretty good issue.

                            That said.  Yes.  Thompson was a hack.  While I don't like what Bloomberg has been doing with the Department of Education the whole reason he got control in the first place was Bill Thompson's Board of Education.

                            Personally I voted for Tony Avella for Mayor in the primary.  Wish he had gotten the nomination.

                          •  I also voted for Avella in the primary. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 03:36:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MichaelNY, Taget

                            at least he rid us of Frank Padavan (R-Jurassic period).

                            21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

                            by sapelcovits on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 03:41:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  I have a reason Thompson won't win again. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  He lost the general.

                  Democrats tend to give candidates fewer mulligans than Republicans who only believe in recycling when it comes to candidates.

                  You make a good point about identity politics but it didn't stop Mark Green.

                  My handicapping also presumes that Quinn, ever the consummate politician, has been utilizing her speaker seat for years to acquire a long list of folks who owe her favors and that she intends to call in every one of them in 2013.

                  Democratic politics in NY aren't really about the voters, they are about the right people pulling the levers of power on your behalf. I give that advantage to the person who is currently in office.

        •  FWIW, Quinn already has amassed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          all the funds she's allowed to spend in pursuit of the D primary for mayor.

    •  My guess would be Bill DiBlasio is helped the most (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Since John Liu was his main competition as far as getting the Working Family's Party line.  I'd expect a number of unions that were backing Liu to drift to DiBlasio.

      Liu was also trying to make a play for the left end of the field.  Where Scott Stringer has been planting himself.

      You could make a case for Bill Thompson because Liu had been doing good outreach to the African-American community.  There was even an expectation that Liu would get the endorsement of the Ambsterdam News over Thompson.  But it is an open question whether Liu would've gotten anywhere when all is said and done.

      That said the big question mark is Asian and in particular Chinese-American voters who came out big for Liu in 2009.  That is why his opponents have been treating him with kid's gloves.

      Quinn probably remains a nominal frontrunner.  At least in terms of making it to the runoff.

    •  I don't think this changes the shape of (0+ / 0-)

      the race too much because I didn't see Liu as a frontrunner, more as a 3rd or 4th place runner.

      Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

      by tigercourse on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 04:14:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Geez. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BachFan, MichaelNY, gabjoh

    There is actual debate whether John Liu has a future in NYC politics?

    People I know who had been adamant supporters have conceded for months he's toast.

    Even the most forgiving assessment of this mess requires a person to believe he is guilty of sloppy bookkeeping.

    And no one wants that in a comptroller.

  •  Excellent Diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Taget, MichaelNY, gabjoh

    And you got your facts right.  The comments made by Jenny's Mom trouble me.  Sounds like there's some kind of pay-off for Jenny taking the fall, which is sad.    

    The Chinese community (from what I know) is a very quiet one and they don't trust banks or outsiders.  They'll keep their money in their mattress rather than bringing it to a bank.  Also, you're dealing with immigrants who rely on elders to guide them and tell them what to do and when to do it.  

    Liu may not be forced to resign  unless charges are brought against him, but will not be able to run in 2013 for re-election, let along for Mayor.  As for Quinn, who you've listed in your poll, her actions during the 2009 election to allow Dictator Bloomberg (along with the City Council members running for a 3rd term and the Borough Presidents) to run for an illegal 3rd term will hurt her (not to mention that there are a lot of people in the LGBT Community who will not support her and I get this from someone I know who is IN THE KNOW IN THIS COMMUNITY).  Stringer is unknown outside of Manhattan and therefore, I see the race as being between deBlasio and Thompson (which Thompson should have won if he had done more outreach in 2009).  I can tell you, deBlasio is already fundraising but I haven't heard of any Thompson fundraisers (it could be that most of the people I personally know are supporting deBlasio since I've already been invited to 3 fundraisers for him).

    Anyway, this won't heat up until after the Presidential election which should be our top priority right now.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 04:15:48 PM PST

    •  Wrong about Chinese and banks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Chinatown has more banks per square inch than any other neighborhood in New York. But I get the rest of what you're saying.

      Do you think any member of Congress might decide to run for Mayor?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 10:13:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I agree with your analysis. I liked Liu, too. I voted for him for Comptroller, and I'm sorry I did.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 10:06:38 PM PST

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