Election 2010: Sen. Antoine Thompson trials & Tribulations
Democratic Senator Antoine Thompson, incumbent in the 60th Senate District race should have spoken on camera instead of running away when confronted with questions about the 2010 State of the 60th Senatorial District report uploaded on his website in March. The version he published for constituents in September or October has been the cause of local controversy and debates.
Local television stations covered the story on Friday, October 15 and again on Wednesday, October 20. And TV viewers got a glimpse of investigative reporter from Channel 4, Luke Moretti going to his headquarters to ask him about the document.
Certainly, the timing of publishing it is political though called a book in the media it is more of a document of his work in the 60th Senate District.
And Thompson missed too many on-camera opportunities WIVB TV, 4 provided to explain what’s in the document instead of releasing a statement on the purpose of the report to the media.
For example, he released a statement saying , ” …the report is to chronicle legislation and initiatives we’ve accomplished. It cost $12,000 to produce in-house,” … “and brings transparency and accountability to government.” That sounded nice but why didn’t he say it on camera? Luke Moretti even tried to telephone him and stopped in his campaign office but no Thompson.
The problem is some folks are so hype up about the document published at taxpayer’s expense that no one is reading it. That is surprising since the most vocal are the Republicans from Senator George Maziarz calling it “outrageous” to his Republican opponent Buffalo lawyer, Mark Grisanti saying on camera, “I’m asking him to reimburse the taxpayers of WNY.”
Again on Wednesday instead of entering through the front entrance of Oliver’s Restaurant for a fundraiser, he enters through the side door avoiding the media a Channel 4 reporter again, causing a protester to say on camera, “I wonder why he did such a thing. If he can hold his head up and be proud of everything that he’s done and the decisions he’s made and the actions he’s taken, he should go in through the front door like everybody else coming to the restaurant.”
Instead he issues another statement through his PR person, allowing even former mayoral candidate turned Republican Matthew Ricchiazzi to criticize the Senator as well.
Sen. Thompson was Sworn into office in January 2007 re-elected in 2008. There is a time and place to duck and hide from the media but two weeks before the mid-term election is not the best time to do it. Instead, Senator Thompson missed too many opportunities to directly address his constituents essentially allowing his Republican opponents valuable television time.
And the 2010 State of the 60th Senatorial District report is a document the public should have access to whether on-line or print. The public would have wanted to here more about its contents and what the Senator is doing in the district as opposed to all the hoopla surrounding its publication, something Senator Thompson could have avoided if only he had addressed the media, his opponents and the protesters on camera.