The city’s Campaign Finance Board on Monday denied matching funds to John Liu’s mayoral run, citing “serious and pervasive” potential violations across the campaign’s fundraising efforts.
The decision could cost Liu’s campaign $3.5 million. Under normal circumstances, taxpayers provided $6 in funding for every $1 in eligible contributions raised by candidates.
CFB Chairman the Rev. Joseph Parkes said the decision to not grant matching funds was made “because there is reason to believe that violations [to board rules] have been committed by his campaign.”
Liu’s former treasurer, Jia Hou, and a fundraiser, Oliver Pan, were convicted in May of multiple charges related to a straw donor scheme, in which people make contributions above the legal limit by saying they came from other people.
Parkes pointed out in his statement that although Liu was not charged with any wrongdoing, “the candidate is ultimately responsible for the campaign’s compliance with the law.
Liu was expected to make a statement regarding the decision at a 4 p.m. press conference in Manhattan.
He had $1.5 million in his campaign account as of July 15, according to the CFB. Liu’s major mayoral opponents have significantly more and when he was asked about the disparity in an interview with the Queens Chronicle last Thursday, he said the matching funds would make up the difference.