Ticketers Union Throws Their Backing to Thompson

NEW YORK -

In the realm of unwanted endorsements, tax auditors, used-car salesmen and ticketing officers are rarely auditioned for, let alone welcomed.

Bill Thompson, a former city comptroller, embraced the support Wednesday of the traffic enforcement agents union for his Democratic mayoral bid.

“Thank you for the work you do for the people of this city,” Thompson said as he accepted the backing from the New York City Uniform Traffic and Sanitation Enforcement Agents. “I know it is not easy, and you’ve had many struggles to overcome.”

But some people reacted with skepticism hearing that support from a ticketers’ union could actually be beneficial for a candidate.

“Really?” Councilman David Greenfield wondered on the news. “We give out tickets and we say vote for Billy!”

“The sight of a traffic agent coming down the street distributing pieces of paper would scare off most voters,” Kenneth Sherrill, an emeritus professor of political science at Hunter College, joked to The New York Times.

But Thompson, if he had any qualms, did not show them. He praised the 3,000-strong union, saying that agents’ reputation for overzealousness was actually pressure from the Bloomberg administration.

“I think that there is a huge difference between tickets that are issued and the people being pushed to do those tickets,” Thompson said, as union president Robert Cassar nodded behind him.