Monthly Archives: January 2012

Romney’s Father Released 12 Years Of Tax Returns; Revealed That He ‘Seldom’ Used Tax Loopholes

The New York Times has a swell editorial this morning reminding the public that George Romney, father of Mitt Romney, led the way in transparency in 1968 by offering not one but twelve years of tax returns.

I looked back at the news coverage in 1968, and it’s quite interesting. When he was first asked for his tax returns, George Romney balked. He explained that just “one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.” But he eventually relented. According to this write up by Drew Pearson, the returns showed that George Romney donated 19 percent of his income to church, 4 percent directly to charity, and most surprisingly, the returns showed that the Michigan governor “seldom took advantage of tax loopholes to escape his tax obligations.” View a screenshot below:

For Mitt Romney, who has stubbornly refused to release his tax returns (although he hinted that he may have to in the debate last night), there are many political dangers with releasing his own tax returns. His windfall profits from Bain Capital, his questionable charitable giving, and of course, his preferential tax treatment and likely use of loopholes.

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Congresswoman Judy Chu: Will She Sacrifice Her Future Political Career Over SOPA?

Congresswoman Judy Chu

Lobbyists from the copyright industry, from Hollywood to big software and big media corporations, along with some small-minded unions, are preparing to make a final push for SOPA/PROTECT-IP, the legislative power grab that threatens to destroy and censor the Internet. And sadly, the corporate media, even MSNBC, is refusing to cover the debate, for obvious reasons.

But in the grassroots, across the country, a firestorm is brewing. Anti-SOPA/PROTECT-IP activism has flooded websites like Reddit, liberal blogs like DailyKos, and even RedState’s Erick Erickson and Tea Party-types like Ali Akbar have enthusiastically joined the fray. When Congress gets back from recess next week, there will be a citizen uprising; I can guarantee it.

The New York Times reports that the original cosponsor of the bill, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) — who laughably violates copyright law on his own website — is facing unexpected anger in his home district over the effort. But what about the other cosponsors?

That’s the question for Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), a rising star in the Chinese American community and among California Democrats. In my estimation, after seeing her stellar, cross-racial victory in the special election in 2009, her savvy floor speeches, and her overall approach to lawmaking, she could be first female Chinese American U.S. Senator. I’m serious. She’s that good, and Boxer will retire after her current term, so the real opportunity is there in 2016.

Chu, however, is one of the first co-sponsors of SOPA. She signed onto the bill in late November, about a month after Smith introduced it.

Joining the effort to destroy the Internet as we know it will forever tarnish Chu’s record. If she wants Bahrain-style web censorship, that will stay with her, especially when she needs the tech and youth community to support her future campaigns. Moreover, SOPA doesn’t only smother liberty, it crushes tech innovation, the lifeblood of California’s economy. Support SOPA, and Chu bids farewell at any prospect of running statewide.

On the other hand, if Chu breaks from the bill and becomes the first bonafide SOPA sponsor to switch teams, she would become famous for all the right reasons over night. Do the right thing, congresswoman.

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