Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, August 30, 2013

NY Times: Bill Thompson Is A Crook

Devastating NY Times article out tonight on Bill Thompson.

Here's the beginning:

As a first-time candidate for New York City comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr. was feted at a downtown fund-raiser in 2001 by two luminaries of the black business world: the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Mr. Simmons’s money manager, a veteran Wall Street financier who made his fortune promoting hybrid securities known as convertible bonds. 

Speaking in between rap and poetry-slam performances, the financier, Tracy V. Maitland, made clear why he had taken an interest in the little-watched race for comptroller. “When you control $85 billion,” he told 200 guests crowded into a popular art gallery, “you get a lot of attention.”
Over the last 12 years, Mr. Thompson has repeatedly gotten Mr. Maitland’s attention. 

After that fund-raiser, Mr. Maitland became a regular contributor to the campaigns of Mr. Thompson, who is now running for mayor. Later, he pushed unsuccessfully for Mr. Thompson’s wife to be hired as president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where he is a trustee.
Mr. Maitland’s attention was not unrequited. In 2006, Mr. Thompson honored him at a Black History Month observance. And in 2008, his office for the first time began investing city pension assets in convertible bonds, pouring $324 million into Advent Capital Management, the firm Mr. Maitland founded. By the time Mr. Thompson left office, in 2009, Advent was earning $2 million a year in fees on those investments. 

Mr. Thompson’s ties to Mr. Maitland reflect a pattern that emerges from an examination of Mr. Thompson’s stewardship of the pension funds and, more broadly, the comptroller’s office: Again and again, Mr. Thompson reaped political gains from those he awarded city business. 

As he oversaw the city’s $85 billion pension system, Mr. Thompson steered the funds into a diverse range of new investment categories, expanding from heavy concentrations in stocks and bonds into private equity, real estate and niche funds. Yet performance was lackluster: nationwide, more than half of large public pension funds outperformed the five city funds’ combined 4.84 percent return from 2002 through 2009, according to a widely used yardstick compiled by Wilshire Associates, an investment advisory firm. Meanwhile, the city’s roster of fund managers, and their fees, tripled — and Mr. Thompson collected more than $500,000 in campaign donations from them. 

Mr. Thompson’s credentials as comptroller and a seasoned manager are central to his mayoral campaign, in which he has portrayed himself as the grown-up in the Democratic field — less liberal, strident and showy, but best prepared for the sober task of managing an unruly city. 

But interviews and a review of thousands of pages of records — schedules, e-mails, pension statements and campaign finance reports — suggest frequent overlap of Mr. Thompson’s political ambitions and the comptroller’s operation, and, that like many pension overseers at the time, he raised campaign money aggressively from those seeking business from his office. 

Read the rest of the NY Times story and then recall how the Thompson's campaign has been going after Bill de Blasio for allegedly failing to disclose meetings with lobbyists, going so far as to start a website called BilldeBliar.com to suggest de Blasio is lying about those meetings.

Given how Thompson hit up so many of those seeking city business from his office for campaign donations, if anybody has some truth telling to do to the citizens of New York, it's Bill Thompson.

One more quote from the story to give you a taste of just how Thompson does business:

Nowhere was Mr. Thompson’s embrace of those investment firms more evident than on the guest list to his second swearing-in, in January 2006. The 250 names included a small number of relatives, union leaders and elected officials; more than 50 lobbyists; and another 50 fund managers, placement agents and others who stood to gain from the city’s pension funds.

A small group of friends, family and politicians at his swearing in - the rest were lobbyists, fund managers and placement agents looking to do business with the city, people Thompson would eventually hit up for campaign donations.

And Bill Thompson is hitting de Blasio for meetings with lobbyists?

11 comments:

  1. I really hope there is no runoff and deBlasio gets the votes he needs. Nothing would make me happier than to see Randi and Mulgrew eat crow once again. Bloomberg was right...a UFT endorsement is a kiss of death. That's why they endorsed Bloomberg by not endorsing any other candidate.

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    1. Well, Thompson is not going to have to be on the defensive over this story at a time when he cannot afford to be on the defensive. I dunno, maybe it doesn't matter to Thompson supporters. I bet some of them have passed envelopes with cash in them over to him in his various government offices. But for this to come out at the very time they're trying (and lamely, I might add) to hit de Blasio over lobbying. Sheesh!

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  2. After reading the Wayne Barrett expose on Quinn and now this Times story, Bill DeBlasio appears the best candidate to support. I am sorry that the UFT has endorsed Thompson as I believed he would have been the best mayor for teachers. Not so after this expose. He would most likely be a less harsh version of the Bloomberg administration.

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    1. The Barrett stories didn't stick. But a Times story on A1 is a bit different. We'll see if it sticks.

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  3. RBE if you see the Daily News today...Lhota would have killed the cats that held up the trains on Thursday. I know this has no relevance nor link to Thompson but Killingcatsgate might give Cats the GOP nomination. LOL!

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    1. Won't give Cats the nomination, but it points to something I have said all along about Lhota - he's a jerk. This is a guy who challenged a 78 year old man to a fistfight at an MTA board meeting. He's on camera cursing at a reporter and pushing him. Now he says delaying the Q train for fifteen minutes to save two kittens would cause too much agita to straphangers, so screw the kittens let them die. He is not a good candidate for the general election and a competent opponent will exploit his weaknesses. De Blasio would be that kind of opponent.

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    2. I was being facetious on the last post. As an avid reader of your blog, I think some NYC people (dumb ones) may see him as Christie or Rudy 2. As the only teacher in my family, I can see some of my family (we are in real estate) voting for him. Its a shame because Lhota is a jerk.

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    3. I have a new piece up about Lhota. I wasn't going to post about it, but your comment made me think through the whole story and come to the conclusion that this is, once again, a symbol of why Lhota will not be mayor. A truly awful man - makes Quinn seem warm and cuddly!

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  4. You may have posted this already...
    Randi echoing Thompson in attacking tax for Pre-K plan:
    http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/08/8533198/speaking-thompson-randi-weingarten-dismisses-de-blasios-nonserious-

    And this person's getting teachers' dues?

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    1. I did post about it, Geo:

      http://perdidostreetschool.blogspot.com/2013/08/randi-weingarten-attacks-bill-de-blasio.html

      Then noted how Thompson had no plan to get rid of trailers even as he said he did:

      http://perdidostreetschool.blogspot.com/2013/08/bill-thompson-has-no-plan-to-get-rid-of.html

      Concluded with:

      "I await Randi Weingarten's wise, wise counsel as she gently explains to Thompson that it isn't much of a plan if you don't know how you're going to pay for something or figure out spacing issues..."

      Knowing full well Randi won't criticize her guy for not having a plan even as she criticizes de Blasio for allgedly having no plan for the pre-K proposal.

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