Friday, February 19, 2010

Ford: Tobbaco and Taxes

Where are the tax returns from New York's unelected Senator from when she worked as a tobacco lawyer?

Did she file and pay her taxes while making big bucks as the cigarette industry's lawyer?

No one knows. The unelected Senator, who shows great hypocrisy on taxes, wants me to release my tax returns, but she won't release hers. I will gladly release my returns when I run for or serve in office again. That's what honest politicians do.

Now, I would respect the unelected Senator's consistency in not releasing her tax returns from her tobacco apologizing days if she didn't ask others - including unannounced candidates for public office - for their tax returns. But the unelected Senator can't help herself. She wants it both ways. However, as I have said, I will release my tax returns if I run, as I have done every time I've run for office, regardless of whether the unelected Senator releases her tax returns from her years as a high-paid tobacco lawyer.

It is important to note, I'm not taking issue with the unelected Senator's work as a lawyer. I hold the profession in high regard, and she evidently was a very good lawyer. That's not the issue. The issue is whether she filed and paid taxes on her work as a lawyer. Unlike the unelected Senator, I'm not demonizing the law profession as she has the financial services sector, which is the largest tax generating industry for New York City and State.

To clear this up, the unelected Senator should immediately release her tax returns from those mystery years and rid the confusion around whether she filed and paid taxes on her tobacco bonuses. Stop attacking the financial services sector and stop lying on me. We aren't your problem.

Instead, the unelected Senator persists in blaming others for her shortcomings - mainly the financial services sector and me. Problem is, I - and I'm pretty certain the financial services sector isn't at fault for the unelected Senator's failure to disclose her tax returns - have nothing to do with whether or not she filed and paid taxes on her tobacco income and bonuses. Still, the unelected Senator believes others are the problem.

Whether I run for Senate or not, New Yorkers deserve to know whether she follows the same rules we all do and files and pays her taxes.

What are you hiding?

Finally, I had a great day in Rochester yesterday. See the news coverage from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the local newspaper.  

Harold Ford, potential Senate candidate, visits
Rochester today

Jill Terreri• Staff writer • February 18, 2010
Harold Ford Jr. today said he supported Mayor Robert Duffy's plans for mayoral control of the City School District.
"I like the ideas behind what he's seeking to do," Ford said after a meeting with Duffy in City Hall.

Ford spoke to reporters after the meeting, Duffy did not.
Ford looked very much like a candidate, eating at Nick Tahou Hots with Democratic leaders and rubbing elbows with the locals.
A Tennessee native, Ford is considering a run for U.S. Senate against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Columbia County, and is making his first visit to Rochester.

In a visit to Rochester on Tuesday, Gillibrand did not take a position on mayoral control when asked about it by reporters.
Also on Ford's agenda today was a meeting with Mayor Robert Duffy, a meet and greet at Democratic headquarters on University Avenue, a meeting at the Rochester Area Community Foundation and a speech at 7 p.m. at the University of Rochester on civil rights.
"The jobs and tax challenges across the state are two familiar concerns that have been expressed over and over again," said Ford, who has made visits to Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo. "It's not uncommon, what I'm hearing here."
Unlike Gillibrand, Ford said he would not have voted for the Senate health reform bill because it would have created more costs for New York.
Ford lives in New York City, was a congressman and ran for U.S. Senate in 2006.
He is on leave from his job as a vice chairman at Merrill Lynch. He said he would disclose any bonus pay and salary information if he becomes a candidate.
Ford ate with Monroe County Democratic Chairman Joseph Morelle, Morelle's staff members and other party activists, and said he expects to make a decision around the end of the month.

Republican Bruce Blakeman of New York City is also running for U.S. Senate.