What will the convictions do to John Liu’s campaign?
It took a federal jury yesterday only seven hours of deliberation before convicting two associates of New York City Comptroller John Liu for attempting to defraud the New York City matching funds program by using "straw donors" to circumvent donation limits.
Liu himself has never been charged and has steadfastly maintained his innoncnence. In a hastily called press conference yesterday, he reiterated his commitment to running for mayor. Some rival candidates argued that the convictions would benefit them, since it erased any doubt about the conduct of two of his associates: a former campaign treasurer, Jenny Hou, and one donor, Oliver Pan. In brief remarks yesterday, Liu defended Hou but made no mention of Pan.
But the allegations surrounding Liu's fund-raising activities have been widely publicized, and Liu's response, since ignoring them was never an option, has been to embrace them: In numerous public appearances, Liu proactively reminded audiences of the trouble surrounding him, accusing the federal prosecutors, along with the New York Times, of mounting an unfair campaign to bring him down.
It's not clear to me that these developments will scare off Liu's declared supporters, who have after all stuck by him throughout this drawn-out mess, but, as Josh Greenman argued, news of the convictions certainly won't help him with undecideds.
The more immediate cost to Liu may be assessed by the New York City Campaign Finance Board, which will now decide whether his campaign is eligible to receive public matching funds.
"Perhaps I'm young, Perhaps I don't have experience. Perhaps I don't know how to protect myself from being framed. But when the result came, I am even more calm and relaxed than people on the other side of the table. I have this deep strength inside me. You will never, ever, ever defeat me." — Jenny Hou [h/t Brigid Bergin]
The warring factions inside the Orthodox Jewish media and political scene. [Jacob Kornbluh]
The Cathie Black emails. [Wall Street Journal]
The conviction of two of John Liu's associates could jeopardize his ability to get matching funds from the city. [Sean Gardiner and Michael Howard Saul]
Governor Andrew Cuomo reminded city and teacher union officials they have until May 8 to strike a deal on teacher evaluations. [Ken Lovett]
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New York doesn't need more police officers. [Dana Rubinstein]
Watch the video. [Capital]
Rep. Jose Serrano and his son, State Senator Jose Serrano Jr., endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor, citing his positivity and record. [Dana Rubinstein]
A conservative magazine threw Chuck Schumer at Marco Rubio. [Redi Pillifant]
New York Democrats advertise the fact that Republicans here are having a fund-raiser with Ted Cruz. [Reid Pillifant]
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that based on the number of stop-and-frisks conducted by the NYPD, the program is probably not constitutional. [Azi Paybarah]
Colin Myler on the Britianized Daily News. [Joe Pompeo]
10 a.m. On Brain Lehrer's show: WNYC reporter Brigid Bergin discuses John Liu and the political fallout from the conviction of his former campaign treasurer and contributor. [WNYC] @BrianLehrer @BrigidBergin #JohnLiu #NYC2013
10 a.m. On Fred Dicker's show: "Musical selection. Guests to be announce." [Talk1300] @FUD31
"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in New York City."
10:15 a.m. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and anti-hunger advocates urge congress to protect food stamps from budget cuts, in front of the Union Square Pavillon, at the north end of Union Square Plaza, on 17th Street, between Union Square West and Park Avenue South, in Manhattan. @SenGillibrand #FarmBill
10:45 a.m. Rep. Steve Israel, Rep. Grace Meng and students discuss the need to block interest rates on student loans from rising, outside the Administration Building at Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56th Avenue, in Bayside, Queens. @RepSteveIsrael @RepGraceMeng #StudentLoans
11 a.m. Elected officials rename Palmetto Playground after the late Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, at "Atlantic Avenue, Columbia Place, State Street" in Brooklyn.
11 a.m. The Anti-Violence Project, Human Rights Watch and other groups call on the NYPD to change their policies when it conflicts with promoting public health policies, on the steps of City Hall. @AntiViolence @HRW @MakeTheRoadNY @SASYOUTHnyc @VocalNewYork #ChangeTheNYPD #IGnow #CommunitySafetyAct #StopAndFrisk
6:30 p.m. Democratic mayoral candidate Sal Albanese addresses the NYPD Columbia Association, 5945 Strickland Ave, Brooklyn. @SalAlbanese2013 #nypdColumbia
8:30 pm: Albanese discusses small business development with community leaders at 93-43 Sutphin Blvd, in Jamaica, Queens. @SalAlbanese2013 #SmallBizNYC
In his statement, John Liu ignored donor Oliver Pan and spoke positively about his former treasurer Jenny Hou. [Benjamin Weiser]
Liu: "I continue to believe in Jenny being a good person and exceptional individual." [Tom Hays]
Hou was found guilty of attempted wire fraud, obstruction and lying to federal investigators. [Bloomberg News]
Pan and Hou will be sentenced on September 20. [amNewYork]
Pan faces a maximum of 40 years in prison; Hou faces 45. [Paul DeBenedetto and Nikhita Venugopal]
"The verdicts' shadow also extends to Liu's tenure as city comptroller." [amNewYork]
The "evidence suggested that he tolerated misconduct with a wink and a nod." [Daily News]
Liu is still running for mayor. [Courtney Gross]
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's Democratic rivals were more critical of Bloomberg's budget proposal than she was. [David Chen]
Headline: "Quinn takes a Break from Candidate Forums" [Michael Grynbaum]
A rival said the app Quinn unveiled isn't really an app at all, but rather a "Web page that is optimized for viewing on a phone. [Celeste Katz]
More on Rudy Giuliani's cousin possibly running for the City Council seat being vacated by Dan Halloran of Bayside. [Lisa Colangelo]
City Hall / City Council
Bloomberg said the next mayor will have to control spending on pension and health care costs. [David Seifman]
The mayor is very proud of the city's fiscal health. [Jill Colvin]
The Bloomberg administration was forced to release the Cathie Black emails after losing a lengthy court fight. [Yoav Gonen and Beth DeFalco]
A lawyer for the city warned that releasing the Cathie Black emails will discourage public service because of the "chilling prospect of public disclosure." [Lisa Fleisher]
Headline: "Cathie Black won support for top education job after celebrity-fueled campaign orchestrated by city officials." [Corinne Lestch and Ben Chapman]
More on Bloomberg being satisfied with the NYPD staff of 35,000. [Michael Howard Saul]
An influential legal group recommended the NYPD video record all stop-and-frisks. [Celeste Katz and Corky Siemaszko]
Two reverends argued "both sides are wrong" on stop-and-frisk. [David Brawley and Tyrone Stevenson]
An NYPD spokesman said cops never would have caught an iPhone thief with a lengthy rap sheet if the Community Safety Act were law. [Rebecca Harshbarger, SallyGoldenberg and Bill Sanderson]
"A few hours after receiving inquiries from The New York Times about why it had not named a state inspector general 14 months after Ms. Biben left the administration, Mr. Cuomo’s office announced that the acting inspector general, Catherine Leahy Scott, would assume the position on a permanent basis." [Thomas Kaplan]
Joe Biden is planning a new gun control push, but he hasn't told President Obama yet. [Reid Epstein]
Senator Marcio Rubio: "[T]he conservative movement should lead on immigration reform." [Wall Street Journal]
Rhode Island became the tenth state to allow same-sex marriage. [Associated Press]
Bloomberg flirts with the Financial Times. [Amy Chozick]