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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

John Liu Opens Up: I've Been Running For Mayor Since 2009

Mayoral candidate John Liu, who has dominated the race since he has officially kicked off his campaign in a 14 hour tour on Sunday, opened up to the press. Asked, by Colin Campbell  when he decided to pursue the job of mayor, he said, "Probably from the moment I got elected comptroller."

"I'm going to get quoted for that, and I'm going to be tagged as the only one who sees comptroller as a stepping stone. Maybe I need to hold my tongue more," Liu said a little later. "I just said 'from the moment I got elected.' How many other comptrollers or public advocate or borough presidents [would admit that]? That they're thinking about running for mayor the second they get elected to their position?"

In a follow up Q&A, Liu was asked by Azi Paybarah whether his mayoral aspirations has affected the way he has done his current job as comptroller. "Absolutely not," he said. "I don't have a direct hand in my audits. They're run by professional auditors. I'm not an auditor. Just like I don't insert my hand in our investments, into our contract reviews. I have no idea what to look for in a contract."

Jill Colvin of DNAinfo followed up by noting that Liu still takes credit for what those auditors and contract reviewers reveal. "Of course," Liu said. "Because I put them in place and I'm proud of them and I gave them the resources. I don't tell them what to uncover."

Speaking to Politicker, Mr. Liu also claimed that the polls–which continue to put him in fourth place–are missing Asian voters and thus undercounting critical elements of the electorate. 

“I’m sure you guys all thought about it, you just never wrote about it, right?” he asked the group. “Look, if you want to talk about voters who are undercounted or absent from the count, you understand pollsters are people–live people–on the end of the phone asking questions. But they have to have a phone number to ask a question. …. You look at voter lists, generally speaking, the people who have phone numbers on them are senior citizens who registered to vote a long time ago. Nowadays, people don’t like to list their phone numbers. You also think, ‘Do the people who are making those phone calls know how to ask questions in Chinese? Or Bengali? Or Korean? Or Urdu?’ I don’t know for a fact, my guess is no.”

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