Monday, March 2, 2009

Obama text to Cabinet Hopefuls: "OMG guys! Pay Your %#$! Taxes And STOP being Lobbyists"

You are going to think I'm making this up. In fact, I would be afraid to make something like this up because it's just too ridiculous to believe. I will document it the best I can just so you know I'm not making this up.

Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, who has been tapped to be US Trade Representative for the Obama Administration, owes $10,000 in back taxes.

For those of you keeping score at home, it's now safe to add Ron Kirk to the list of Unpatriotic Democrats.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

WASHINGTON – Add former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk to the list of Obama Cabinet picks with tax problems.

The Senate Finance Committee says he underpaid by $9,975 in the last three years.

Senate aides uncovered the shortfall during weeks of vetting, and Kirk – the administration’s designated point person on trade -- has promised to pay the Internal Revenue Service in full.

The problems: Kirk deducted too much for season tickets to the Dallas Mavericks and too much for tax preparation fees, and failed to report as income speaking fees that he donated to his alma mater, Austin College.

The full political implications won’t be clear until at least next week.

So what does this mean for Kirk's potential confirmation. Well, it appears that rests solely on the moral shoulders of the nominee considering the past nominees who have not been confirmed because of tax problems only avoided confirmation by stepping down willingly. Timothy Geithner, on the other hand, went ahead with the confirmation without showing any moral qualms and now enjoys his position as Treasury Secretary.

UPDATE: Not only does Kirk owe back taxes, but according to WFAA in Dallas, he's also been working as a lobbyist for Energy Future Holdings.
In 2007, Mr. Kirk helped usher the buyout of TXU Corp. through the Texas Legislature. He reported lobbying income that year of $745,765 from Energy Future Holdings, the private equity partnership that purchased TXU, according to ethics commission records. Mr. Kirk earned between $25,000 and $50,000 from Merrill Lynch; state rules allow lobbyists to report income specifically or as a range.

In 2008, Mr. Kirk reported total lobbying income between $75,000 and $150,000.

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