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Patriots to Congress - Incumbents Targets for Political Elimination

Russell Thompson, founder of a new political group, Tea New York, urges a rally in Niagara Square Saturday to agitate for reforms in state and local governments.
Charles Lewis/Buffalo News


"...A new political force calling itself Tea New York was unveiled in downtown Buffalo Saturday afternoon, and leaders promised to make things uncomfortable for incumbent officeholders.

The new group had its first public gathering as a small but enthusiastic crowd — perhaps 200 people — attended a rally in wind swept Niagara Square.

The group’s founder, Russell Thompson, and his chief financial backer, businessman Carl P. Paladino, said they will try to get incumbents voted out of office and encourage political newcomers to run for office.

They also support dividing New York State into two states — upstate and New York City.

“Get involved,” said Thompson, 53, a Grand Island contractor who has teamed up with Paladino in a fight to cut Thruway tolls in Western New York.

“Go to the public appearances of your state legislators. Call them out on these issues they have voted on. . . . Embarrass them in public.”

Thompson said he and Paladino hope to establish a new ballot line for independent candidates to run on.

“We’re talking about a new ballot line, for independents, not a new party,” Thompson said. “How many times have you gone into a voting booth, looked at the two names, and said, ‘I have to pick between the lesser of two evils’ ?”