Antoine Thompson: Mail Call

2 Aug

State Senator Antoine Thompson loves marketing himself on the public’s dime.  It’s substantively no different from what any State Senator does, so to have George Maziarz criticize Thompson in the article seems particularly hypocritical.  It’s also technically not electioneering on the public’s dime because the mailings tout Thompson’s “work” in the State Senate, but it’s also clear that Thompson has spent hundreds of thousands of public dollars on these mailings since 2008, and exactly no money on campaign postage so far this year.   No one should be surprised by this:

Thompson is also big on mailing birthday greetings to constituents.

“I’m a taxpayer and I don’t need Antoine Thompson to send me a birthday card with my money,” said Fabiano, the retired Grand Island resident.

Spelling, punctuation and factual errors are common in the mailings, whose content is drafted by Thompson’s staff. One headline misspelled “soldier.” A flier reporting on the results of a spelling bee promoted by Thompson misspelled the name of a school attended by one of the winners. A third mailing that urged citizens to vacation in state parks listed some facilities that are not state parks, including the Darwin Martin House.

Senators as a group are not shy about using their mailing privileges, but at least one of them is openly critical over what Thompson is doing.

“Birthday cards, picnic invites — that’s way over the top,” said Sen. George Maziarz, a Newfane Republican.

Many of Thompson’s mailings promote events his office is sponsoring.

Something he terms “community leaders and stakeholders breakfasts” are a popular topic, and his Web site lists 21 such breakfasts over the course of this year. Other mailings have promoted senior citizen cookouts and dances — “senior balls,” as he terms them. These events are always free to the public.

How is Thompson paying for them?

He has insisted in the past that state funds are not involved. But a review of his campaign disclosure reports since January 2008 shows few expenses that appear to be related to these. And his most recent ethics disclosure statement filed with the state does not list any relevant donations.

One former member of Thompson’s staff said the senator and members of his staff often solicit businesses for cash or product donations used at the social functions. The News documented one such effort in March, when Thompson’s staff solicited food donations from 20 restaurants for his annual St. Joseph’s Table celebration.

Thompson is practically the poster child for every stereotype that exists about self-interested, self-aggrandizing, self-enriching politicians. That he continues to be re-elected to go to Albany as the most dysfunctional local member of a dysfunctional anachronistic clique is embarrassing and outrageous.  With 2010 being supposedly flush with anti-incumbency fever, this is his time to go.

4 Responses to “Antoine Thompson: Mail Call”

  1. Barbrady August 2, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    You are just like Buffalo News literass terrorist James “Osama” Heaney! You both do vacuous front page diatribes against our fine Black leaders! Move along, there’s nothing to see here!

  2. Aaron August 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Hit the nail on the head. He’s an embarrassment and I have no clue how he got reelected. Certainly wasn’t from my vote. 
    @Barbrady- it’s people like you that are causing the demise of nys. 

    • Barbrady August 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

      @Aaron- settle down. Apparently you don’t frequent the website that I basically quoted, and you missed the South Park reference.

  3. JLD August 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    AN emberassment every time he mutters a word…but even more…a reflection on the stupidity of the voters in WNY who voted for him.
    And you know what…the stupidity of Buffalonians and other areas he represents…will re-elect him. NYS deserves everything it is now getting, sky hi taxes, fees, late budgets , nepotism thievery, cronyism etc…because this is the caliber of politician you have put in office..reap your ignorance!

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