Thompson Fined $126K for Putting Up Campaign Posters

This guy just can't get a break

By Jennifer Millman
|  Saturday, Oct 24, 2009  |  Updated 10:30 AM EDT
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Thompson Fined $126K for Putting Up Campaign Posters

AP

It's been an uphill battle all along, but the city isn't making things easier.

Things just aren't looking up for Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson.

He already doesn't have the money to compete with a billionaire in terms of campaign spending. And now the city wants to take a hundred thousand dollars from him for trying to boost his campaign the old-fashioned way.

The city has fined Thompson nearly $126,000 for putting up campaign posters on city property. City rules bar candidates from hanging posters and fliers on public property, and the Sanitation Department says its workers regularly rip down unauthorized material. 

So far, the Thompson campaign has been ticketed 1,677 times over such postings.
    
Campaign spokesman Mike Murphy suggested that incumbent Mayor Mike Bloomberg was behind the ticket-writing effort.

"Is anyone really surprised by the power of the incumbent to fine his opponent?" Murphy told The New York Post.
    
Sanitation officials deny that charge. Spokesman Vito Turso told the Post that it's the job of agency enforcement agents to take down unauthorized posters, regardless of who put them up or what message they're trying to convey.
    
Bloomberg's campaign has been fined too, but just 70 times this year.
   
That's a big drop from four years ago, when Bloomberg was fined nearly $308,000 for poster violations.

"The campaign has made a concerted effort [not to repeat 2005]," Howard Wolfson, the mayor's campaign spokesman, told the Post. "In fact, those 70 were from overzealous supporters."

The mayor has already spent more than all other candidates in history seeking public office in terms of the personal money shelled out for campaigns. Thompson, on the other hand, has spent less than previous Democratic candidates for mayor and only raised $270,000 from 3,000 donors, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

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