Category: Archive

The Comptroller’s race

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

He said, in effect, that aside from political junkies, few people knew much about what was going on in the race to succeed outgoing comptroller, William Thompson.
It was fair comment.
That said, the race for the office this year is a particularly crowded one with four Democrats lining up to do battle in the Sept. 15 primary. The sole Republican doesn’t have to worry about a primary, but once there is an agreed Democrat the worry begins because the Democratic primary has been, over the years, effectively the election.
This, needless to say, is not the healthiest state of affairs in any Democratic process.
Be that as it may, the Democratic field is a strong one this year with one woman, Melinda Katz, and three men, David Yassky, David Weprin and John Liu all working hard to impress.
There are no obvious Irish candidates here but the office they are seeking is very important to Irish Americans. For years, the comptroller’s office has been a watchdog and guardian of the MacBride Principles on fair employment as they apply to Northern Ireland.
In more recent times, and under the watchful eye of Mr. Thompson, it has been the inspiration for a $150 million investment fund aimed at the kind of economic development that the North, and its ongoing peace and political process, most definitely needs.
We would trust, then, that whoever ultimately becomes comptroller will continue taking an active role in the effort to foster economic and political progress in the North.
Who might that he or she be? At time of writing the race among the Democrats is a close one. A candidate needs to pass 40 percent of primary votes cast in order to avoid a runoff. And a runoff appears a distinct possibility.
Thus far, Queens City Council member John Liu is the one candidate who has reached out with regard to issues of Irish American concern. In this issue, he sets out his stall in an interview.
Councilman Liu, by virtue of his interest and outreach, has thus emerged, as the most known “Irish” quantity in the Democratic field to date.

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