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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Schumer's Advice for Obama

by Bill Claydon

A liberal commenter on another blog suggested that I salute Chuck Schumer for making sure the middle class can keep a tax credit for college tuition. And while I am not a class warrior and would prefer such a tax credit go to anyone paying for college, I can say that even if it’s got some income limit it’s still a good start. Considering the enormous expense of college what with all the six figure salary bureaucrats, some six figure salary professors, and a handful of departments offering majors that are politically correct but provide no serious job prospects (except maybe “community organizer” jobs —- which in modern times have been known to qualify at least one person for a part time US Senate position and even president) all who seem to want MORE money, poor college students are in a deep financial hole. Indeed they ought to get a tax credit for all the funding they’re giving these bureaucrats. If not for students, imagine the unemployment numbers! Besides, if the students become productive citizens who make money as college graduates, they can be demonized as part of the “evil rich” later on.

But I think it’s more important to thank Chucky for something else: being himself. He recently got some sort of new position within the Democrat Senate hierarchy (likely with a bonus of additional tax money in salary while a number of Americans don’t know where their next meal, mortgage payment, or property tax payment is coming from). This was basically a consolation prize to avoid running against a weakened Harry Reid for the position of Majority Leader. It’s something to do with communications. We know Chucky is great at communications as demonstrated with a flight attendant. Schumer likes regulations for others, but evidently didn’t react as well when a flight attendant was doing her job enforcing safety regulations that happened to inconvenience him.

But seriously, as the third ranking Democrat Senator, his um, uh, communications skills have a potential impact on other Democrat Senators facing tough reelections in red states. That ObamaCare vote did them no favors. And Schumer’s loud mouth won’t do them any either.

Still, I have to hand it to Schumer. He says what he means and means what he says. You know what you’re getting. And he’s willing to stand up and defend his views. His minime, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, started out being like that (outspoken, defended her views, meant what she said, etc.) even if a little to the right of Schumer. Now she’s a virtual clone of Schumer (albeit a bit younger) and really doesn’t get around for too many candid conversations with either her constituents or the media. Hey, if she’s going to vote almost exactly like Schumer, she ought to fulfill the rest of the picture.

But back to Schumer. He just cruised to reelection in New York. He won’t be up again until 2016, a few political epochs into the future. Besides, being in New York, anyone with a “D” after their name automatically wins in a Senate race. So, he can be as candid as he wants.

Recently, Schumer was candid about Obama, saying Congressional Democrats are “joined at the hip” with Obama. That sure sounds like a ringing endorsement of Obama’s recent (triangulating) behavior.

Schumer’s advice to Obama is not to give up his “core fundamental principles.” This is a perspective issue. See, Chucky can get away with that being a Senator from New York. He is guaranteed reelection for as long as he wants the job. He can be further left than Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, etc. and still win 60% of the vote in New York. Obama has a totally different political landscape to deal with. While Obama may personally be ultra leftwing, that stuff is no longer in. It never was, even during the end of the Bush era. What was in at that point? Bush fatigue. Bush as a Republican president doomed most Republican candidates in 2008. But that didn’t mean people embraced Schumer/Obama extreme leftwing ideals. They just bought into the vapid “hope and change” rhetoric read from a teleprompter because they were burned out.

Still, as a conservative, I wouldn’t mind seeing Obama take Schumer’s advice. It’s far better for him to stick to the hardcore left. The country can endure it for a couple of years. Then November, 2012 can come around. The “wealth” of a good shellacking should be spread around. Pelosi got it big time. Reid got it a little bit, and Obama needs to enjoy it too. I’d like to see Obama up there with other one-term wonders like Franklin Pierce, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Jimmy Carter, and George HW Bush. Wait, forget that. Hayes voluntarily announced he would be a one termer. As to the others besides listed Carter, the rest are forgotten (HW Bush is basically remembered by virtue of being the father of #43). And Obama is making Jimmy Carter’s presidency look good by comparison.

So, I salute Schumer for his advice to Obama. Keep it coming. And if Obama could take that advice it would be great. But don’t let Republicans get complacent either. We want REAL change you can believe in, starting at noon on January 20, 2013.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ann Marie Buerkle of NY-25 has the kind of tax issues one wants to see in a politician

By Sam Foster


One of the three best campaign blogs careening through the vast blogiverse has a story up on Ann Marie Buerkle's latest tax problems:

The problem began when Video King, a former tenant in a strip shopping center Buerkle owns on Kasson Road in Camillus, incorrectly reported how it paid its rent for the property, Buerkle said.

Video King filled out an IRS form showing it paid Buerkle "non-employee compensation" instead of correctly listing the payments as rent, according to Buerkle's accountant, Ken Cardarelli, of Onondaga Hill.

The mistake prompted the IRS to seek additional income tax from Buerkle. The IRS shared its information under a reciprocity agreement with New York state, which also sought additional income tax, Cardarelli said. He said Buerkle's efforts to clear her tax record were complicated because Video King was bankrupt and shut down its operations.

"Unfortunately, no one was available at Video King to remedy their error," Cardarelli said. "It took so long to get all cleared up. But the IRS eventually cleared the tax and any interest and paid her back some interest." He said the issue with the IRS was settled in the first quarter of this year, and the information was shared with New York state.

Cardarelli said he was surprised to hear about the tax warrant filed Dec. 3 in the Onondaga County clerk's office. "The state said it was on hold, and they are reviewing the matter," Cardarelli said of his last contact with state tax officials. "It could take up to 90 days."

Apparently, the DCCC is looking to capitalize on Buerkle's supposed tax error despite the fact that this has already been tried and failed.

However, it is interesting to compare Ann Marie Buerkle's situation to those of prominent Democrats.  Where Democrats are concerned, tax issues involve fraud of the creative accounting variety.  Yet, these aren't the only kind of tax issues that can arise.

Ann Marie Buerkle has the other kind of tax issues; the kind that one actually wants to see in a Washington politician.  Buerkle's supposed "tax problems" are really nothing more than a result of a business woman being in business.  It is nothing less than proof positive that she knows what small businesses are up against.

Ann Marie's Buerkle's first blush with tax issues occurred as a result of a triple-net lease agreement she'd established with a tenant.  This particular agreement assigns responsibility of tax payments to the tenant.  However, Ann Marie Buerkle's name is what pops up on the tax role.  So, while this arrangement may sound risky, it's actually common practice with commercial leases and they are often, widely lucrative. 

Flash forward to today and Buerkle faces a separate issue relating to incorrect tax preparation from a tenant.  The issue is easily resolved and probably more common for small business owners than you think which is why this latest ploy against Buerkle by the DCCC isn't likely to gain any political capital.

Because, you can try and convict Ann Marie Buerkle of being a small business owner with small business problems, but you also can't concoct a better argument for her reelection.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NY-1’s close race gets closer as ballot challenges lowers Tim Bishop’s lead over Randy Altschuler to 221

By Sam Foster

Amid evidence of voter fraud discovered by Fox News yesterday, both Bishop and Altschuler camps took to the piles of roughly 2,000 challenged absentee ballots yesterday.  Amid bipartisan agreement, some of the challenges were dropped thus diminishing Tim Bishop's lead slightly.

Sag Harbor Express reports:

This comes after the incumbent Congressman picked up a 235-vote lead against Altschuler after a rollercoaster of election results since election day when unofficial results gave Bishop a 3,500 vote lead, only to have Altschuler claim a 383-vote advantage after the county's new electronic voting machines were reread.

At the close of counting some 11,500 absentee and affidavit ballots, Bishop led the race last week 97,050 to 96,815, but according to both campaigns Altschuler has picked up a handful of votes in the counting of 71 military ballots, narrowing Bishop's lead to 221.

However, this rollercoaster ride of an election is far from over according to Randy Altschuler's spokesperson, who hinted yesterday that they expected to bring up more instances of fraud not yet reported.  Perhaps, a taste of what the Altschuler camp has up their sleeves:

"This is exactly what we have been talking about," said Ryan on Tuesday. "These are the exact things we are taking a closer look at."

While Ryan acknowledged it is legal to vote in Suffolk County while maintaining a residence in New York, he questioned the legality of casting a ballot in a district outside of where one registers their car, or files for their New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) exemptions.

"They found people registered in both places and they have one person who voted twice, and I think they will have a couple of other interesting things to put out there before this is over," said Ryan of the FOX news report."

For now, we'll have to wait to see how this pans out, but please stop back often as I'll be covering this race up until the bitter, court pronounced end.