Update: Strange Doings in Thompson’s Campaign Account Explained
by Geoff Kelly - posted 11:09 am, January 25, 2011
On October 21, two weeks before the general election, then State Senator Antoine Thompson’s campaign account sent a wire transfer of $100,000 to—well, we don’t know to whom. The recipient of the transer is not named in campaign finance disclosure filings.
The transfer severely depleted Thompson’s campaign account as he entered the last days of a close race, which he would eventually lose to Democrat-turned-Republican Mark Grisanti.
Then, on the same day, $75,000 was wired back into Thompson’s campaign account. The party that transferred the $75,000 into the account is not named in campaign finance disclosure filings, either.
In the months following Thompson’s loss in a district where Democrats enjoy a five-to-one registration advantage, downstate Democrats have grumbled that Thompson had $120,000 left in his account after election day: Why, they asked, had he not pulled out all the stops to defend his seat? This surplus was reflected in the first campaign finance disclosure report that Supporters of Antoine Thompson made after election day. But that report was amended to reflect the October 21 transfers when the January disclosure report was filed. The transfers were recorded with the New York State Board of Elections, according to both filings, on December 2.
So where did the extra $25,000 money go? The committee’s treasurer, Mark Boyd—Thompson’s former chief of staff, who left the state payroll just last week but seems still to be hanging around room 305 of the Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building downtown—did not answer and did not return our calls.
Thompson did. He said he was not sure but that he suspected the money paid for TV commercials. He said he did not know why $100,000 would have been wired out and $75,000 wired back in the same day. (As opposed to, say, a single transfer for $25,000.) He said we should ask Mark Boyd that question, because Boyd handled the campaign money. “All of that stuff is a distant memory now,” Thompson said.
When asked what was next for him, Thompson said that he was enjoying his transition out of the life of a state senator.
Transition to what, you ask? He wouldn’t say, except that it would comprise public service.
UPDATE: I spoke with Mark Boyd today. He says that the $100,000 was wired to the Parkside Group to pay for TV commercials. The $75,000 came from the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee to offset the cost of that ad buy.
Boyd continues to work for the State Senate Democrats, and will be on the payroll for perhaps another month, he says. He declined to discuss his duties, saying that he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the State Senate’s Democratic leadership.