N.C. Democratic Party chair owes $286K in back taxes

posted at 2:31 pm on February 28, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

The left is ramping up its efforts to turn North Carolina blue again, and this is the man who shall lead them:

Court records show the new head of the North Carolina Democratic Party owes nearly $286,000 in back taxes and penalties.

Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller was elected party chair earlier this month, pledging to rebuild an organization still reeling from defeats at the ballot box in November.

Records show the North Carolina Department of Revenue filed a 2010 lien against Voller and his wife with a remaining balance of nearly $98,801. The following year, the Internal Revenue Service filed a second lien with a remaining balance of nearly $187,715.

A real estate developer, Voller said Wednesday his family business was a casualty of the national economic downturn, which triggered a credit freeze in the homebuilding industry.

Voller, 44, said he is making monthly payments to the state that has brought his current balance lower than what’s on records obtained by The Associated Press, to about $67,000. He said he is negotiating with the IRS on a payment plan to settle the rest of that debt.

Lots of people can get a little behind, especially when times are bad. Or, just confused when the tax code is complex, but almost $300K? Voller will be the guy tasked with leading the charge against attempts to eliminate North Carolina’s state income tax— an idea favored by a group of state Republicans looking to spur business investment and in-migration to the state. Why should people listen to anything he says about taxes when he owes more than most North Carolinians make in a year? Voller says this liability is actually a plus:

“We’re keeping our obligations, but it has been very tough,” Voller said. “That’s why I feel that as party chair I have a real good insight into what a lot of folks are dealing with here in North Carolina.”

“This is an emotional issue for me,” Voller said. “My feeling is most North Carolinians understand what it’s like to actually go out here and try to create jobs and fight. I think it gives me a lot of empathy for people in the state who have tried to do what’s right, help their family and still end up in a tough circumstance.”

The Democratic Party is the party of taxes. It is nearly always their desire to raise taxes on someone, somewhere, somehow, to pay for the spending habit they can’t otherwise control. Republicans certainly have their bad actors in this area, too— lookin’ at you, Gov. Bob McDonnell—but there is only one party that is defined by its insistence on the righteousness of higher taxes. Paying taxes, they say, is patriotic and a sign of one’s compassion for others. When someone refuses to quietly submit to whatever new, problematic rate is foist upon them, daring to point out problems with that plan, one is tarred by Democratic operatives as selfish, heartless, and dishonest. Voller, by his own party’s logic, is something far worse. He’s not just critical of tax policy, but derelict. If taxes are social goodness, Voller is -$300K caring.

Taxes are to Democrats as family values are to Republicans. A tax scandal for a Democratic official should get exactly as much coverage and shame as a sex scandal does for a socially conservative Republican. We are told Republicans’ affairs are more important because of the hypocrisy, you see, not because Democrats care what goes on in people’s bedrooms. This applies even when the Republican is not a particularly outspoken social conservative. Well, a Democratic tax scandal has the advantage of being both incredibly hypocritical and nowhere near anyone’s bedroom or personal life. Have at it, press! And yet, Tim Geithner.

Speaking of staying out of everyone’s personal lives, the liberal 501(c)3 Blueprint North Carolina had its attack strategy memo leaked last week, causing lots of embarrassment and possibly a loss of funding. Among the suggestions— private investigators assigned to anyone and everyone in new Gov. Pat McCrory’s executive branch. Turns out, liberal foundations aren’t really keen about being associated publicly with the idea:

A group that sent out a memo with tips on how to attack Gov. Pat McCrory and other Republican leaders exercised “bad judgment” that could jeopardize its funding, the director of a foundation that finances the group said Friday.

Leslie Winner, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, said she was “surprised and disappointed” by the actions of Blueprint North Carolina.

“(Z. Smith Reynolds) believes in robust debate on issues of public importance, (it) does not support attacking people,” Winner said. “We were disappointed to learn that Blueprint is advocating this strategy…

“We are taking this seriously. We are determining our options and our obligations. We will get to the bottom of it.”

The Foundation is providing $400,000 of Blueprint’s nearly $1 million budget, Winner said.

Blueprint now claims it didn’t author the memo, and another liberal group, America votes has taken credit, saying it came out of a brainstorming meeting they held in December about “fighting for what they believe in.” Nice for the state’s voters to see in print what Hope & Change looks like behind closed doors. The talking points from the memo, which was forwarded to friendly liberal non-profits and supposed to stay private, have already made it into the Democratic response to the State of the State address:

When House Minority Leader Larry Hall of Durham gave his response to McCrory’s State of the State address last week, he talked about how McCrory’s plan for charter schools “lacks accountability and would allow out-of-state corporations to create online, for-profit virtual charter schools.”

Those remarks, and ones about charters that followed, were identical to language in the memo forwarded by Blueprint.

Hall said Thursday he’s not sure where his language came from, that he researches a variety of sources. He said the memo may have taken the language from earlier speeches he gave on the subject.

Uh huh.


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