John Liu, who has spent more than half of his campaign expenses on legal fees, has issued a statement condemning the recent terrorist attacks in Bulgaria.
Recall that a suicide bomber — reportedly using a fake U.S. ID — killed five Israelis and the driver of their tour bus, as well as injuring dozens more.
Of course, cynics might wonder: Is Liu commenting on the attacks just to make himself seem more…mayoral and leader-like, or to get the support of pro-Israel primary voters?
First, here’s what Liu had to say:
“I and all New Yorkers vehemently condemn the vicious terrorist attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The residents of this City have a special relationship and deep ties with Israel, where many of our family members and friends reside. We send our thoughts and prayers to the families of those killed and injured. In this City, which has experienced the pain of terrorism first-hand, we know well that attacks against innocent civilians are attacks against all law-abiding nations. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.”
Maybe the way to answer this question (or at least try…) is to go back and look at some of the other stuff Liu has commented on — has he always been vocal on issues, or just when it could be politically helpful?
Recently, he spoke out against stop-and-frisk on Father’s Day.
He did draw the ire, though, of the Department of Transportation and cyclist safety advocates, as they said that his statements against the bike share program were a political ploy: Why was he suddenly criticizing bike share’s safety when his office had knowingly approved it, they wondered.
Liu’s vehemently pro-labor May Day statement also raised eyebrows, considering his background in Pricewaterhouse Coopers. However, he has voiced concern about wealth distribution in the past, borrowing Occupy’s rhetoric when explaining New York’s higher-than-average income gap.
Going back, though, Liu did comment on a wide variety of non-financial issues starting from early on in his comptroller tenure.
In 2010, for example, he issued statements on the Haitian earthquake, and slammed Arizona’s immigration law.
Later, in 2011, he spoke out about the deaths of Pt. Danny Chen, Geraldine Ferraro, Patricia Dolan, and Leiby Kletzky.
Also, he openly opposed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s eviction of Occupiers from Zuccotti Park.
He did keep up his pro immigration reform position this year, supporting Barack Obama’s order to halt the deportation of young immigrants and support of same-sex marriage.
And at the beginning of 2012, he did comment on Queens firebomb attacks, too.
So what does all of this tell us?
Well, Liu talks a lot about a lot of different issues in his position as comptroller, not just financial ones, and also seems to be pretty liberal on a lot of them.
He also seems to have been doing this for a fair amount of time — not just immediately before making known his interest in Gracie Mansion.
And that’s probably all we can say.