On launch day, Liu crowds out investigation questions

Briefing: Liu. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
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City Comptroller John Liu launched his campaign for mayor yesterday, with a crush of events in all five boroughs. He had too many supporters to accommodate at City Hall, and the ones who were there nearly crowded out some of the reporters trying to get near the candidate.

The events were designed to dispel the notion that Liu has in any way been hampered by the federal investigation and charges against his former campaign treasurer and one of his contributors.

Nearly every question Liu got from reporters at City Hall was about that investigation. But the crowds seemed to illustrate, at least, that not everyone cares as much about the investigations as the media does.

In addition to the crowds, there were also some local political figures: City Councilman Charles Barron of Brooklyn and his wife, Assemblywoman Inez Barron, Councilman Peter Koo of Flushing and William and Valerie Bell, the parents of Sean Bell, who was shot and killed on his wedding day by NYPD officers six years ago.

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They were standing in front of the City Hall steps before the crowds arrived.

I asked William Bell about the federal investigation into Liu's fund-raising contributors.

"You're always going to get somebody in your camp that do something wrong," Bell said. "That can happen. Not one politician never had that happen."

Later, Liu hopped on a bus his campaign provided for reporters and spoke at length about the scrutiny his campaign faced, and how pollsters routinely undercount minorities. He also talked about how he has thought about running for mayor since the day he was sworn in as city comptroller.

Quote

"[H]e has a cult-like following" — Brad Gerstman

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Today is the start of a federal trial over the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy. [Sean Gardiner]

An editorial page thinks the judge handling the stop-and-frisk case is biased and is set to rule against the NYPD. [Daily News]

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is "definitely" going to support the bill creating an inspector general for the NYPD, according to one unnamed source. [Sally Goldenberg]

The FDNY commissioner's son, 23-year-old EMT Joseph Cassano, apologized for writing some offensive tweets. The Post highlighted some that were offensive to blacks, Jews, the NYPD and poor people. [Josh Saul and Jeane Macintosh]

The 2013 mayor's race "could be both the least and most racially obsessed in modern city history." [Chris Smith]

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 Events

"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in Albany."

10 a.m. New York City Comptroller John Liu joins others at a rally about immigration reform, on the steps of City Hall. @JohncLiu #ImmigrationReform

10 a.m. State Senator Adriano Espaillat and others release a report detailing how the "lack of paid sick days impacts the Latino community," on the steps of City Hall. @EspaillatNY #PaidSick

10 a.m. On Fred Dicker's show: Guests to be announced. [Talk1300]

10 a.m. On Brian Lehrer's show: Nancy Cook of the National Journal talks about the "The Ryan vs. Murray Budgets" in Washington; plus, George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU explains why healthcare workers support New York State's gun control bill. [WNYC] @BrianLehrer @NanCook @1199SEIU #NYsafe

10:30 a.m. Mayor MIchael Bloomberg considers signing into law several bills related to street vendors, the NYPD and Corrections departments, at City Hall. @MikeBloomberg

11:30 a.m. Bloomberg has a Q&A after announcing new legislation to further reduce smoking in New York City, at Queens Hospital Center, 82-68 164th Street, Queens. @MikeBloomberg #SmokeFreeNYC

Noon. Liu, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and others join a press conference for inclusion of LGBTQ families n the immigration reform bill, at the LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, Manhattan. @JohncLiu @ScottmStringer #ImmigrationReform

6 p.m. Liu hosts a town hall meting on stop-and-frisk, at the Latino Pastoral Action Center, 14 West 170th Street, Bronx. @JohncLiu #StopAndFrisk

7 p.m. On "The Road to City Hall:" John Liu. @RoadToCityHall @JohnLiu2013 #NYC2013

7:30 p.m. Bloomberg speaks at NYC & Company Foundation Leadership Award Gala, at the Plaza Hotel, 768 5th Avenue, Manhattan. @MikeBloomberg

2013

John Liu launched his campaign with a day of events in every borough. [Crisitna Loboguerrero]

On Staten Island, Liu "was repeatedly asked about his position on the soda ban." [Anna Sale]

"Liu seemed to suggest that the probe came about in part due to his populist message." [Andrew Grossman]

Liu: "I think people will understand that I have nothing to do with it and I'm sure all will become clear, although newspapers like NY Post , The New York Times and NY Daily News will continue attacking me." [Carolina Ledezma]

The News zeros in on Liu's claim of having worked in a "sweatshop." [Erin Durkin, Celeste Katz and Bill Hutchinson]

Almost every question Liu faced at his City Hall event was about the federal charges facing his former campaign treasurer and one of his contributors. [Hunter Walker]

"Many Asian-Americans here have looked to him as a standard-bearer for increasing their community's political visibility and influence." [AP]

Liu's entrance into the mayor's race got three sentences in the Post. [Sally Goldenberg]

Independence Party mayoral candidate Adolfo Carrion claimed $250,000 in pledges and contributions, but filed only $46,000. [Celeste Katz]

Republican mayoral candidates George McDonald and Tom Allon do not have much money in their campaign accounts. [Celeste Katz]

Almost every Democrat running for mayor will be in sync with UFT president Michael Mulgrew, one editorial page warns. [New York Post]

"[T]he next mayor will have an abundance of success to manage and to grow." [amNewYork]

City Hall / City Council

Despite the growing number of people in homeless shelters, the city and state "have saved millions" because "of an increase in federal funding." [Michael Howard Saul]

"More people who gave their last address as outside New York are entering the city’s shelter system." [Sam Roberts]

A look at some of the new technology being used by the NYPD. [Ivan Pereira and Alessandria Masi]

Albany

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly wrote a letter to legislative leaders in Albany in support of adding speed cameras in New York City. [Glenn Blain]

A critic knocks down how legislative leaders will spin their extension of the "temporary" tax on high-income earners. [E.J. McMahon]

State Island District Attorney Dan Donovan's handling of the investigation into Assemblyman Vito Lopez is baffling. [Ken Lovett]

The second in a four-part series on Buffalo mayor Byron Brown's tenure. [Jill Terreri and Susan Schulman]

Washington

Senator Chuck Schumer wants a cruise ship passengers' bill of rights. [Dan Rivoli]

The current gun laws should be better enforced. [Robert Morgenthau]

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