Gotham Gazette

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Gotham Votes 2013

Quinn On City Board Decision Denying Liu Campaign Funds

Yesterday's news that the city's Campaign Finance Board would not offer Comptroller John Liu's matching funds for his bid in the Democratic mayoral primary brought out complaints from Liu supporters asking where the other candidates stand.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she had not read over the board's decision to deny more than $3 million in public money to the Liu campaign.

"Obviously the issue of public money is one that has to be taken seriously," she said. "But I have not looked at the ruling so I can't comment."

She did, however, refute any claims of impropriety between her and her appointees to the board.

"The law the creates the Campaign Finance Board gives the Council appointments to the board," she said. "We take those appointments very seriously. And let me be very clear: I have never once and never would speak to my appointees or any other appointees about any case or decision pending before them related to campaign finance."

Her response comes on the heels of a Liu rally yesterday afternoon in front of the Municipal Building in downtown Manhattan. While Liu never connected Quinn to the ruling against him, that didn't stop some of his loudest supporters from doing so themselves.

"The two people on the board that are appointed by the Council should have recused themselves immediately in regards to this, because it shows an impropriety," Correction Officers' Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook said yesterday.

Early Tuesday, DNAinfo.com reported that at least one of Quinn's appointees — attorney Richard Davis — had previously raised money for the speaker as a bundler in 2007 and 2008. He was appointed to the board in 2009. 

Mark Piazza, Quinn's second appointee, has only donated to City Councilman James Oddo between 2001 and 2003, as well as Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro's bid for 2001 bid.

Regardless, Quinn stood firm in distancing herself from the board's ruling.

"They made whatever decision they believed was right," she said.

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