Why We File Everywhere
by Chris Bowers, Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 05:14:17 PM EDT
If only we had a Democrat to reward like that in the CA-42 now. Even as we celebrate great advances in our pledge to run everywhere in 2006, tonight we discover just one more reason why Democrats need to file everywhere, every year:When U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) sold 165 acres to the city of Monrovia in 2002, he made a profit of more than $10 million, according to a financial disclosure form he filed in Congress. Ordinarily, he would have had to pay state and federal taxes of up to 31% on that profit.
Instead, Miller told the Internal Revenue Service and the state that Monrovia had forced him to sell the property under threat of eminent domain. That allowed him to shelter the profits from capital gains taxes for more than two years before he had to reinvest the money.
But there is a problem with Miller's claim: Monrovia officials say that Miller sold the land willingly and that they didn't threaten to force him to sell.
Miller, whose 42nd Congressional District includes chunks of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, claimed the same exemption in two subsequent Fontana property transactions, allowing him to continue sheltering his profits from the Monrovia sale. And in each of those cases, the purchasers say eminent domain, which allows a government agency to force a sale if it's in the public interest, was neither used nor threatened. We have in CA-42 a congressman who ripped off taxpayers by more than $3M, and then pocketed the money himself. Suddenly, the CA-42 looks like it might be winnable. If this story blows up, than Gary Miller is finished. Defrauding a local town for more than $3M of taxpayer money? Look at me with a straightface and tell me that won't make this district close.
Actually, it will not make this district close, because no Democrat qualified for the ballot here. Even in 2006, when we broke all district filing records, the CA-42 was one of the ten districts where we failed to get a candidate on the ballot. As Howie Klein has noted, Gary Miller is the most right-wing congressman in California, and he could soon go down as the biggest congressional crook in history. Yet we failed to run a candidate against him.
For all of our great successes in the fifty-state strategy this year folks, we still have more work to do. We pulled it off in 2005 and 2006, but there will be many more elections to come. Celebrate our filing records tonight, but keep in mind where we need to make improvements. Never rest on your past accomplishments.