Monday, May 19, 2014

Ex-Controller John Liu will run for state Senate against Dem incumbent Tony Avella: source


The failed mayoral candidate will be picked as the Queens Democratic Party's candidate on Monday. A Liu candidacy means two members of the five-member breakaway Democratic faction in the Senate are facing primaries from traditional Democrats this year.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, May 19, 2014, 12:15 AM
Former city Controller John Liu will run for state Senate, a source says. Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News Former city Controller John Liu will run for state Senate, a source says.
ALBANY — Former city Controller John Liu has decided to run for state Senate, a source close to him told the Daily News.
Liu, 47, will enter a primary against Queens Democrat incumbent Tony Avella, who angered party leaders earlier this year by joining a faction of breakaway Dems who jointly control the Senate with the GOP. “This is John’s reemergence,” the source said. “He sees it as an opportunity to contribute.”
Liu served four years as city controller and is a former city councilman. He ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for mayor last year.
As controller, his campaign finances were probed, but he was never charged.
“A lot of people feel he got a raw deal,” the source said. “I think there’ll be an awful lot of excitement around his candidacy.”
Former state Attorney General Oliver Koppell will also be challenging one of the breakway Dems in the state Senate. Mariela Lombard for new york daily news Former state Attorney General Oliver Koppell will also be challenging one of the breakway Dems in the state Senate.
The Queens Democratic Party, which had been courting Liu, is set Monday to designate him as their candidate so his name can appear on party nominating petitions circulated in the district.
He has already met with key union leaders and hired consultant Neal Kwatra, a former chief of staff to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with deep union ties.
A Liu candidacy means two members of the five-member breakaway Democratic faction are facing primaries from traditional Democrats this year.
In addition to Avella, Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) is being challenged by former state Attorney General Oliver Koppell.
Liu will run in a primary against incumbent Tony Avella (D-Queens). Eric Jenks for new york daily news Liu will run in a primary against incumbent Tony Avella (D-Queens).
Liu is a prodigious fund-raiser, while Avella in January reported having less than $3,000 on hand.
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William Fitzpatrick, a co-chairman of Gov. Cuomo’s now-defunct anti-corruption commission, is being branded a hypocrite by some Albany insiders.
Fitzpatrick, the Onondaga County district attorney, has repeatedly ripped lawmakers for misusing their campaign cash to fund their lifestyles.
Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) will have to run against Koppell. AP Photo/Mike Groll/Ap Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) will have to run against Koppell.
But records show his own campaign account spent tens of thousands of dollars on golf, fine meals and travel.
“Bill Fitzpatrick is dripping with hypocrisy, and every time he opens up his mouth he makes it worse,” said one insider.
He’s hit the links in such places as Hawaii, Riviera Beach, Fla., and Hilton Head, S.C. And he’s eaten at upscale eateries from Toronto to New York City to Florida.
While the outlays are legal, “they seem to sit in a gray area that the commission was charged with making more clear,” a second legislative source said.
William Fitzpatrick, a co-chairman of Gov. Cuomo’s now-defunct anti-corruption commission, is being branded a hypocrite by some after records showed his campaign account spent money on golf, fine meals and travel. Kevin Rivoli/AP William Fitzpatrick, a co-chairman of Gov. Cuomo’s now-defunct anti-corruption commission, is being branded a hypocrite by some after records showed his campaign account spent money on golf, fine meals and travel.
Fitzpatrick argued that much of the travel-related spending was tied to his role with the National District Attorneys Association. He argues he could have billed taxpayers for the travel, hotel and meals, but chose not to.
He deemed the spending as legitimate campaign expenses that “promotes me as district attorney” and said that the bulk of the golf outings were for charity.
“It’s a nice way to promote my name and sometime reward staff members so they can have an afternoon off,” he said.
Fitzpatrick called the comparison between his spending and that of the lawmakers “apples to elephants.”
“I didn’t pay for tanning sessions,” he said, referencing findings of the commission. “I didn’t pay for cigars. I didn’t pay for Do-Do the Clown.”
But the first source wasn’t buying it. “If there was a god of using campaign cash for personal use, all of Albany would bow down to Bill Fitzpatrick. For now, they just dismiss him,” he said.
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