Posted on October 23, 2009

Harrisburg Mayoral Candidate Linda Thompson Tells More About Her Finances

Sharon Smith, Patriot-News (Harrisburg), October 22, 2009

Over the years, mayoral candidate Linda Thompson has taken Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed’s administration to task for not being transparent. When it comes to answering questions about her sources of income, her nonprofit, her car, or the unemployment she claims to have once received, she’s less than crystal clear.

In a debate Wednesday night, Thompson said she had given her life to Loveship Inc., the nonprofit she created in 2000. “I’ve taken all of my unemployment checks that I had before I started Loveship and put every dime of it into Loveship,” Thompson said during the debate.

The Patriot-News followed up on Thursday and e-mailed Thompson questions concerning her unemployment and other issues that emerged from the statements of financial interest–which are from the state Ethics Commission–that she filed with the city.


Here are the questions and Thompson’s written responses. She would not clarify any of her answers by phone.

Question: When were you unemployed, and from what organization did you lose your job?

Thompson: “I didn’t lose my job. I voluntarily resigned from my employment with the Urban League of Metropolitan Harrisburg.” {snip}

Q: How long did you collect unemployment? How long were you unemployed?

Thompson: “Approximately six months to 1 year.”

Q: On your statement of financial interest that you filed on March 10, 2009, it indicates that you received a zero-percent-interest loan from Loveship Inc. What was the amount of the loan and what was its purpose? Was that money used to fund your campaign? Have you repaid that loan?

Thompson: “My loan was for personal reasons unrelated to my campaign. The amount of the loan is reflected in my statement of financial interests and the repayment terms are in accordance with contractual terms negotiated by the board of directors. My campaign finance reports show the sources of all my funding for the past decade, none of which came from Loveship Inc.”

On Wednesday, in an earlier interview, Thompson indicated that her car was a gift from a brother. (One of her brothers, Steven Crawford, received a settlement from the state after his murder conviction was overturned and he was released from prison in 2002 after 28 years.)

Question: You indicated yesterday that your car was a gift from your brother. The statement of financial interest lists an 8.25 percent Chase Auto Financial Loan. Is that for your Mercedes, or do you own another car?

Thompson: “I never stated my car was a gift from my brother. Quote me accurately. I stated that my brother was very generous to me. The auto loan indicated in my statement of financial interests is for the vehicle which I currently drive.”

Following Gov. Ed Rendell’s endorsement of Thompson at the state Democratic headquarters on Wednesday, Thompson was asked about her car and sources of income. Here is how she answered:

Question: If you get $20,500 from City Council and a Mercedes far exceeds that amount of money. . . .

Thompson: “I have a brother that was very, very kind to me,” she said. “Period.”