Thompson sides with Liu on matching funds

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Bill Thompson. (Azi Paybarah via Flickr)
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Bill Thompson thinks the New York City Campaign Finance Board made a mistake by denying more than $3.5 million in matching funds to his mayoral rival John Liu.

Earlier this year, Liu's campaign treasurer and one of his big fundraisers were convicted of breaking campaign finance law.

Liu is polling in the single digits these days, and none of the major competitors for the Democratic mayoral nomination immediately issued any reaction to the board's decision.

When I caught up with Thompson this morning at an event in Far Rockaway, he commiserated with Liu.

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"You hate to see something happen that way, and you really would much prefer to see the voters decide," he said.

Asked whether he thought Liu should have gotten the matching funds, Thompson said, "I didn't see what their rationale for denying him was, but it appears as if he's gone through the process and raised dollars and is entitled to those matching funds."

I pointed out that the board's reasoning had something to do with the fact that two of Liu's associates were convicted for campaign finance fraud. (The board's rules give it discretion to withhold funds if "an agent of the participant" is found to have committed fraud in the pursuit of matching funds.)

"I understand," said Thompson. "But at the same point, you'd rather see the voters be the ones who make the decision in this."