Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Great News for NYC: Labor Stooge Set to Become Comptroller

It may be a much more low-profile position that the mayor, but do New Yorkers realize they may soon have a man who is beholden to the hard-left Working Families Party and ACORN controlling the city's purse strings?

Well, unless they wake up and have a good look as John Liu, that's exactly what's in store for them.
Councilman John Liu, the leading contender for comptroller, is so tight with the Working Families Party that some insiders fear his election would hand the left-wing party and the unions backing it the run of the city's second most important office -- and access to big bucks from the pension fund.

"I would certainly be troubled by someone that closely associated with the unions," said one former top official in the comptroller's office.

Supporters of Mayor Bloomberg are known to be concerned about the possibility of a Liu victory.

The race for comptroller will for all practical purposes be decided in a runoff Tuesday between Liu (D-Queens) and fellow Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn).

Liu is considered the heavy favorite because he finished first in last week's four-way, low-turnout Democratic primary and because he has the backing of the well-organized Working Families Party.

The party has a close relationship with the disgraced ACORN group and has been accused of trying to circumvent campaign finance rules.

Veteran political analyst Jerry Skurnick estimated that as few as 150,000 to 175,000 voters -- a dismal 5 percent of the Democratic electorate -- will turn out for the runoff.

That would make the clout of the WFP more critical than ever -- and Liu's debt to it as large as could be.

A former city official said there's good reason for voters to have doubts that Liu would safeguard the public purse.
The comptroller's responsibilities range from oversight of an $85 billion pension portfolio to setting "prevailing wage" rates for city employees in trades that have counterparts in the private sector.

The comptroller also has to approve all contracts, including those for consultants that one major union -- District Council 37 -- has charged are taking jobs away from their members at the Department of Education.
Oh, when we say hard-left, we're not stretching it, since they are viewed favorably by the Communist Party.
In the meantime, we support many efforts to build alternative political formations (see FAQs about "Third Parties" such as the Green Party, the Labor Party, the Working Families Party, etc.). We work to build the political strength of the labor movement. We work to support candidates within the two-party system who offer real alternatives to the ultra-right, such as Paul Wellstone did. And we are working to build our Party in size, experience, and strength.
By the way, you might remember the WFP from their infamous trip to Connecticut to harass AIG executives last March when the media outnumbered protesters.

This NY Post editorial sends out the warning flare.
Big Labor may be about to score a huge -- and dangerous -- victory by installing its puppet, Queens Councilman John Liu, in the enormously powerful job of city comptroller.

Heaven help New York if it works.

City unions -- acting through the shadowy Working Families Party -- have lined up squarely behind Liu in Tuesday's Democratic runoff election for comptroller.

And, as The Post's David Seifman reports today, union and WFP support could well put Liu over the top, given expected low turnout -- leaving him all the more in their debt.

A Liu victory would be a huge coup for labor and WFP-types: The comptroller, as the city's chief financial officer, oversees the city's $85 billion pension fund and must sign off on all city contracts.

Imagine what they could do with that pot of gold.

"I would certainly be troubled by someone that closely associated with the unions," a former top official in the comptroller's office told Seifman.

Liu wants to use the fund to invest in "affordable housing" -- a field dominated by scandal-scarred housing giant ACORN, which is bolstered by unions and joined at the hip to the WFP. And with the power to OK contracts, he'd be able to hold up outlays that don't contain enough public-employee goodies.

Big Labor has even more reason to be so gung-ho for Liu: He's dead-set against reining in crippling public-employee pension perks. And he's backed just about every proposed tax-and-spend scheme to keep the money flowing to his union friends -- even, at one point, a dangerous stock-transfer tax that today would drive the city's struggling financial sector straight out of town.
Just what New York needs during a recession: A business stampede out of town.

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