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Bennie Thompson assets reportedly $1M-$2.4M

[06/15/01] U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, who represents Mississippi’s poorest congressional district, has more than $1 million in assets, records show.

He is the richest member of the state’s five-member congressional delegation.

Thompson, a Democrat from Bolton who represents the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Vicksburg, reported assets of $1.1 million to $2.4 million, largely by virtue of rental properties he owns in Hinds County.

By law, all congressmen have to disclose their personal finances once per year. The reports filed with the House and Senate clerks this month reflect the representatives’ finances for 2000.

Thompson spokesman Lanier Avant said the congressman’s earnings show he knows how to bring economic development to the impoverished Delta, which makes up the bulk of the district he has represented since 1993.

“Now maybe when Congressman Thompson talks about money and the economy, people will lend an ear,” Avant said. “His personal finances show he knows a thing or two about doing well.”

Avant discounted suggestions that Thompson’s financial report is out of line with his opposition to Republican fiscal policies as boons for the wealthy.

“This is a personal report about Congressman Thompson,” Avant said. “What he does in the interest of his constituents is another matter.”

Thompson, a Hinds County supervisor and Bolton mayor and alderman before he was elected to Congress in 1993, voted against President Bush’s tax cut plan in April, saying it would reduce funding for social programs depended on by many of his constituents.

Thompson’s financial report shows his most valuable assets in 2000 were rental properties in Hinds County. He collected rent of $500,001 to $1 million from Chalet Village Apartments in Jackson. He received rents totaling $200,003 to $450,000 on three other properties in Jackson.

In reporting by Mississippi’s representatives, Thompson was followed by Rep. Roger Wicker, a Republican representing the 1st Congressional District, who said his assets are between $168,019 and $620,000; 3rd District’s Chip Pickering, a Republican, $35,000-$176,000; 4th District’s Ronnie Shows, a Democrat, $1,001-$15,000; and 5th District’s Gene Taylor, a Democrat, $1,001-$15,000.