Even though the federal authorities are investigating his campaign finances, even though a fund raiser was arrested, and even though his political future is up in the air, NYC Comptroller John Liu still thinks he's got a shot at being mayor in 2013. He reportedly told a group of Chinese supporters, "I want to run for the highest office in New York City... Of course, there will be many challenges, some expected, some unexpected, on the election road."
Last month, the NY Times ran a page 1 story noting inconsistencies between some of Liu's campaign donors and, well, reality ("Some two dozen irregularities were uncovered, including instances in which people listed as having given to Mr. Liu say they never gave, say a boss or other Liu supporter gave for them, or could not be found altogether."). Then this week, work leaked about the federal investigation and then fund raiser Xing Wu "Oliver" Pan was arrested for allegedly accepting a $16,000 donation, which is higher than the allowed $4,950, from a FBI undercover—Pan is accused of intending to mask the donation with straw donors. Liu said of Pan's arrest, "I am very sad one of my supporters was arrested, and if the allegations are true, his behavior was wrong."
After the Times article on the inconsistencies, Liu hired noted former NY Attorney General Robert Abrams to investigate his campaign finances, which many thought was impressive because of Abrams' track record. But after news of the federal investigation, Liu told Abrams to suspend his work (because it would be redundant)—but that made Abrams angry to the point of resigning, "Your request that I suspend my work on this matter is untenable, as it compromises my independence and my ability to do a thorough and effective job. Accordingly, this confirms that I must herewith resign the appointment at this time."
The Times has an editorial today saying Liu shouldn't run in 2013: "Mr. Liu has boasted of raising $1 million in the first half of this year, widely seen as a step toward seeking the mayor’s office. He should put those ambitions on hold. As comptroller, Mr. Liu’s job is to audit city agencies to make sure that taxpayers’ money is safe. He will have no credibility if he cannot clean up his own political operation."