March 02, 2012
The campaign treasurer, Jia “Jenny” Hou, is only 25. I remember when I was 25 (Clinton was president and people still watched movies on VCRs), and there was no way I was responsible enough to balance a multi-million-dollar political campaign’s books. Your average young Asian woman is much smarter and responsible than I was at 25, but I doubt this woman was masterminding wire fraud on her own.
The idea that Liu, who reportedly ordered his staff to call him “Mr. Comptroller,” would be so laissez-faire as to let a young campaign worker commit wholesale fraud under his nose is ridiculous. To borrow from a future New York Post headline, it”d be “Liu-nacy.” He would have us believe he is somehow incapable of policing his own high-level campaign staff and that a young campaign aide dreamed up a fraud scheme all by herself. He”d have an easier time convincing us that Asians are bad at math.
The indictment on his campaign treasurer refers to “persons known and unknown,” which suggests there will be more indictments. The question now does not seem to be if Liu will be indicted, but when. Liu’s campaign next year may not be for mayor, but for staying out of jail.
The New York City Democratic Party is a dysfunctional ethnic bouillabaisse that hasn”t elected a Democratic mayor in 20 years in one of the country’s most liberal and Democratic cities. The smart money in the race is being donated to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, an openly lesbian Democrat who is expected to have departing Mayor Bloomberg’s support. Quinn is by far the front-runner, and the race to catch up to her may have led the Liu campaign to start cutting legal corners.
F. Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives. There are no third strikes in New York City politics. John Liu is out.