In a heavily Republican, and very conservative, state it’s easy to label the lone Democrat as the worst member of Congress but Congressman Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi’s Second Congressional District, can easily take that prize.
His Liberty Score with Conservative Review is but a 20 (which is only 4 points below Thad Cochran and just 10 below Roger Wicker). With the Heritage Foundation he rates a 14, while ACU scores him at 9.
Despite his votes straight down the liberal line, Thompson has been in the news lately with more evidence of corruption and playing politics.
His chief of staff, Issac Lanier Avant, was recently convicted of tax evasion yet Thompson refuses to fire him. He is still working in his DC office.
From The Daily Caller:
The chief of staff to Rep. Bennie Thompson spends his days in the halls of Congress and his weekends in jail for tax evasion, after the Mississippi Democrat violated his pledge to fire his wealthy chief if the aide was found guilty of stiffing the treasury of $150,000.
Issac Lanier Avant made $170,000 a year in Congressional pay, yet the court found he didn’t pay any tax returns for seven years. Prosecutors said he was dishonest throughout their investigation, and when he did file tax returns, he lied about donating $50,000 to a religious group and tried to take a “bizarre” tax write-off for rollerblading. Prosecutors asked for a one-year prison term, but Avant was sentenced in January 2017 to a month-long stint in jail followed by a year of weekends in jail.
Between 2008 and 2012, Avant didn’t have any federal income taxes withheld from his pay after, a U.S. Department of Justice release reads, “he caused a form to be filed with his employer that falsely claimed he was exempt from federal income taxes.”
When the charges first hit, Thompson refused to fire him.
“He’s charged and if he’s proven to be guilty then obviously that would be the result, but I’m not going to fire him now because he hasn’t had his day in court,” Thompson said in August 2016 of the original tax evasion charges. A few months later, Avant pleaded guilty, yet Thompson quietly kept him on staff. Pay records show Avant took a month off in March, presumably while he was in prison.
Now Avant has been indicted on new charges: Filing a false security clearance form, which he had to fill out as a staff member of the Homeland Security Committee. Yet he remains in his job.
There’s also good news for Thompson’s district, as the Trump sons, Eric and Donald, Jr., are planning an investment in the Mississippi Delta.
From the Washington Post:
President Trump’s hotel company, the New York-based managers of luxury properties and golf courses around the globe, seems an unlikely presence in this struggling stretch of the Delta, where new businesses are hard to recruit and black residents are eight times more likely than whites to face unemployment.
But in June, the Trump Organization, now run by the president’s sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, bestowed a singular distinction upon Cleveland, population 12,000, and two nearby towns. It announced it would debut two new hotel brands here, beginning with a four-star, 100-room Scion hotel originally designed to replicate an antebellum plantation.
In a partnership with local owners, the company said it would reopen two Comfort Inns and a Rodeway Inn after bringing them up to Trump standards and use the properties to launch its newest brand, known as “American Idea.”
The president’s explosive Twitter forays into racial issues — like the violent white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, and the NFL kneeling controversy — also have begun to shade how Mississippi residents view the expansion. The Scion hotel is designed to take advantage of the Delta as a growing destination for blues enthusiasts, a plan that some black residents view as Trump’s effort to monetize the threadbare music invented by slaves in the Mississippi cotton fields.
“It shows he really doesn’t have a conscience. It’s about money,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who is black and represents the area, said in a phone interview.
Both of these stories demonstrate one thing: Bennie Thompson cares nothing about the people of his district. He only cares for himself and his DC friends. Corruption, Cronyism, and Influence Peddling marches on in Mississippi.