Behind every politician - flawed and otherwise - stands a cadre of contributors whose money help the incumbent remain in office.
So, who is the money behind Antoine Thompson?
For starters, there is a lot of it.
I searched his campaign disclosure reports on the New York State Board of Elections site Tuesday and learned that Thompson received almost a quarter-million-dollars in contributions since January 2009. The figure, to be precise, is $249,608.74.
I pulled together a list of everyone who has contributed at least $1,000. There are 66 such contributors, who collectively account for a little more than half of Thompson's contributions - $126,700.
In a general sense, a lot of the usual suspects. Lawyers, labor unions, lobbyists and other Albany interest groups.
Oh, and folks associated with Steve Pigeon, in particular Hormos Mansouri, who, individually and through his companies, lead the pack with $8,500 in contributions.
Gary Parenti, also tight with Pigeon, gave Thompson $1,900 as an individual and through his company. New Yorkers for Pedro Espada, the state senator who happens to employ Pigeon as his chief counsel, gave another $2,000.
Add it all up, and there's at least $12,400 of Pigeon-related money.
The biggest non-Pigeon contributors include the Buffalo law firm of Phillips Lytle, which gave $6,500, and Battaglia Demolition of Elma, which contributed $6,000.
Update, 9:30 a.m.: Readers are looking at the list of contributors, connecting the dots and sharing with me via e-mail. Feel free to join in. Also, check out the most-recent comments on my story from Tuesday, as readers are connecting the dots there, as well.Now, we return to our regularly scheduled broadcast ...
The list is populated with other interesting names.
Former Mayor Anthony Masiello gave $2,400.
Earl Wells, who is lobbying the Power Authority on behalf of big hydopower customers, gave $2,000.
The Buffalo firefighters union gave $4,700, something that I can't imagine will go down well with the rank-and-file, given they just got through picketing the state of the city address given by Thompson's buddy, Byron Brown.
The Rev. Richard Stenhouse, who the mayor is accused of trying to steer business to, gave $1,200.
Then there are the stalwarts of the business community, guys who privately grumble at the drop of a hat at the sorry state of political leadership in this community. Guys like Howard Zemsky and Lou Ciminelli. Ciminelli gave Thompson $1,000 through his company. Zemsky gave a total of $3,500 as an individual and through his company.
You might want to ask them how they can complain when they are bank-rolling the campaigns of folks like Antoine Thompson.
You might even ask them if Thompson sent them a postcard from Jamaica. After all, they helped pay for the trip.
taggedPolitics | State government