Comptroller Liu Releases Long-Delayed List Of His "Bundlers"
After much delay, City Comptroller John Liu released on Tuesday a list of people who collect donations for him, but he is not the only candidate to use these fundraisers, who are known as "bundlers." NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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On December 16, 2011, City Comptroller John Liu told NY1 that a list of people who collect campaign contributions for him would soon appear, saying, "We will release it as soon as possible and it will be thorough and complete."
After months of delay, the comptroller released that list on Tuesday.
"It did take longer than I would have liked, but nonetheless they are in in full, and I do hope that... and I do hope we do a better job going forward," Liu said on Wednesday.
The comptroller's fundraisers have been under scrutiny since one of them was accused of a straw donor scheme in November.
Liu said everyone that bundles for him has been asked to do so by his campaign.
"No, we don't have people that come out of the woodwork, people we don't know something about, and help with our campaign," said Liu.
Those that have collected for Liu's potential mayoral run include Dr. Raymond Fong, who raised more than $18,000, and Republican Queens Councilman Peter Koo, who raised $7,200.
Some of those bundlers told NY1 the comptroller is being unfairly targeted.
"Here is somebody who can perhaps represent not just Chinese, but everybody else and I think that's a worthwhile cause for everyone to get involved in. And I represent the other 99.9 percent of legitimate donors, you can call them bundlers or whatever you can call them," said Fong.
"When you run a citywide campaign you have thousands of people donating. There is absolutely no way he knows every contributor," said Koo.
Liu's use of bundlers to raise campaign cash is by no means an uncommon practice. In fact, others eyeing a run for City Hall have relied on them much more.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has 115 bundlers and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has 72, compared to Liu's 59.
Good government advocates want to know the motives for these dozens of bundlers.
"Are they seeking to do business with the city? Are they trying to leverage their influence by trying to build stronger relationships as a result of raising money for these candidates?" said Dick Dadey of Citizen Union.
As for Liu, he does not see his reliance on bundlers ending, at least until 2013.