Liu Turns to Mom
August 25th, 2009

Faced with continuing — and escalating — allegations that he fabricated parts of his life story, city comptroller candidate John Liu Tuesday evening turned to core supporters and his mother for help. At a rally in Chinatown, hundreds cheered Liu, who hopes to become the first Asian ever elected to citywide office in New York. Supporters such as Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Councilmember Charles Barron and Roger Toussaint, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, castigated the Daily News for questioning Liu’s official biography and used the allegations to trumpet Liu’s background and the American dream.

But the star of the event was Liu’s mother Jamy, whose comments to Daily News reporter Erin Einhorn ignited the controversy Sunday. During his campaign, notably in a recent ad, Liu has said that at age 7 he had to work in sweatshop beside his mother. But Einhorn quoted Liu’s mother as saying, “I never go to the factory. I just go there and pick up some material and bring home because I had to take care of my kids.”

Today the News continued its articles, saying Liu now said he worked largely at home. It also cited what Einhorn and fellow reporter Adam Lisberg called “a growing list of embellishments that the comptroller candidate has made,” including describing his father as “a low level bank clerk” when one bank document portrayed him as an executive with considerable responsibilities.

Obviously uncomfortable in front of the crowd, Jamy Liu did not discuss that but she did address discrepancies in accounts of her work for a dress company. She said the factory “where I took John and his brothers” paid her by the piece so she took work home. “I was ashamed to talk about this but not anymore,” Jamy Liu said.

Choking up a bit, John Liu thanked his mother “for having the grace, the courage and the fire for speaking like she did today … and speaking about something I did not realize was such a painful experience for her.”

Seeking to turn the episode to Liu’s advantage, other speakers sought to portray Jamy Liu’s experience — and her reticence about it — as a common thread through the city’s immigrant and working communities

Stringer said the incident prompted him to ask his mother if her mother — his grandmother, who emigrated from Russia — had worked in a sweatshop. “My mother loudly said, ‘no, she worked in a factory,'” Stringer related. But, he continued, she was 15 years old, had no union to protect her, and working conditions were tough. But back then, he continued, “they weren’t called sweatshops.”

Virginia Ky of the Chinese American Planning Council compared her experience working in a restaurant to Liu’s in the factory, while Brooklyn Democratic District leader Olanike Alabi, who is black, declared, “We know struggle — some as the sons and daughters of immigrants, some as descendents of slaves.”

Alabi sounded the frequent theme that the News articles represented a distraction from more important matters. “We only wish every one was interested in talking about the real issues,” she said.”

Picking up on that, Barron advised Liu to appear at this rally with his mother and then not to “talk about it any more because they’re trying to distract us from the real issues of New York City.”

Will Liu take that advice? More important, will he be able to?

By on August 25, 2009, 8:43 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Immigrants | 7 Comments »

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7 Responses to “Liu Turns to Mom”

  1. Peter Zhou Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and City Councilmember Charles Barron are so brave so support a liar and are prepared to sacrifice their political future together with this liar.

    The liar is stupid, but the liar’s supporters are even more stupid.

  2. felipe Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    scott stringer is a corrupt fat turd who support killing democracy in NYC and overturning term limits without a public referendum. what do you expect when both Al Sharpon and Charles Rangel support this LIAR LIU

  3. gotham Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 3:02 pm


  4. gotham Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    (1) He lied that his father couldn’t find a job yet the DN found that his father was an international bank officer who has money to buy his family a split home with 2 garages.

    (2) Liu lied that his mother worked in a sweatshop factory and now he admits that his mother worked at home

    (3) Liu lied about finding the 2 set of MTA books when it was the State Audit that found it.

    (4) Liu has a history of lying and can’t be trusted. It is LIU who made this sweatshop story the center of his whole campaign. Now that his story was caught a lie Liu states he wants the focus on the real issue.

    This man had his own mother standing in the rally crying yesterday. Liu is a liar And can’t be trusted.

  5. LIU LIE Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    LIU is corrupt and dishonest. He spend a lot of money and did lot of backdoor dealings to gain endorsement from Black and latinos reps such as Larry Seabrook, Charles Rangel and Al Sharpton. But Charles Barron knows LIU is a LYING since he worked with LIU. LIU had pictures of women in a crowded sweatshop. He lied that he worked in a sweatshop and that his father couldn’t find a job. WELL IT WAS ALL LIES. he father was an international bank officer who had so much money to buy a split home with 2 garages and his mother took work home. IS LIU CALLING HIS HOME A SWEATSHOP??? what an ingrate son and disrespectful son. LIU HAS A HISTORY OF LYING. he lied about what office he intended to run and switch races after giving 10 grand to the working family for their support. He lied about finding the mta second set of books. And this asshole lied to me and he support the cruelty of NYC carriage horses. He is a nasty man with no compassion and I hope the DN exposes him again. LIU has lots of dirt. BOTTOM LINE, YOU CAN’T TRUST JOHN LIU AND MR. LOUIS IS AN IDIOT. WE ALL KNOW SWEAT SHOP EXIST BUT JOHN LIU NEVER TALKED ABOUT SWEAT SHOP UNTIL THIS YEAR FOR THIS RACE.

  6. LIU LIar Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    That’s funny, I was at the rally too and Liu’s mother looked like she was going to throw up while talking about her “oppressive” sweat shop experience.

    I also found it interesting that Rev. Sharpton, a Liu supporter, spoke such eloquent words to defend his position.

    This is like deja vu with the Tawana Brawley saga- while nobody disputed the point that there were people of color being unfairly and viciously treated by law enforcement- Tawana herself was not actually raped by the white cops she fingered.

    Just like black men did not drown Susan Smith’s young children.

    Just like people of color supporting Obama did not carve up the face of a McCain supporter.

    Nobody is disputing the fact that there are immigrants who worked and continue to work in deplorable conditions.

    What Errol can’t seem to comprehend is that there is a problem with Liu’s claim that he was a “knitting thread manager” at the age of 7 in a a sweat shop, which Liu himself wrote on a questionnaire to the DN. Did he manage a crew of younger children? Was this before, during or after elementary school hours? C’mon, this issue is just growing from the sublime to the absurd.

    You can continue to try and defend that position or just chalk it up to some bad advice on the part of his advisors.

    This is not about race or class or the plight of immigrants but about whether politicians stretch the truth for their own convenience to take advantage of the true experience of millions of immigrants who work long hours in substandard environments for substandard wages.

    Stick to your own true experience and stop trying to cloak yourself in the “universal” experience of all immigrants.

  7. liu is crook Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Mr. Louis is all wet on this subject. The bigger question is if Mr. Liu lied about this to play the race card , he should withdraw from the race. This is why the public has no faith in their elected officials. If Liu lied abouth this what else is he lying about ?? His integreity comes into question. You saw today in the DN Mr. Rangel lied about his wealth. Fabricated numbers & he’s in charge of making tax policies? The same goes for Mr. Liu . Wasn’t Mr. Liu also involved in the SLUSH FUND scandal? Case closed. He will be caught with his hands in the cookie jar. You can’t trust him to watch our money.

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