Some people just can’t seem to catch a break. It’s been well documented that MSNBC Host and National Action Network front man Al Sharpton has had more problems with the IRS than the average man on the street. In fact, virtually every business which Sharpton has launched has wound up having tax problems with the IRS. But thanks to a new investigative report from National Review, we may have found one reason for all of these nagging problems. Imagine how much easier it would have been for Sharpton to clear his good name if the buildings where his tax records were stored didn’t keep burning to the ground.
As Al Sharpton ran for mayor of New York City in 1997 and for president in 2003, fires at his offices reportedly destroyed critical financial records, and he subsequently failed to comply with tax and campaign filing requirements.
The first fire began in the early hours of April 10, 1997, in a hair-and-nail salon one floor below Sharpton’s campaign headquarters at 70 West 125th Street. From the start, investigators deemed the fire “suspicious” because of “a heavy volume of fire on arrival” and because many of the doors remained unlocked after hours, according to the New York Fire Department’s fire-and-incident report…
Six years later, on January 23, 2003 — one day after Sharpton filed paperwork to create a presidential exploratory committee — another fire caused heavy damage at National Action Network, located at 1941 Madison Avenue. (The Federal Election Commission (FEC) later determined that Sharpton had actually become a candidate no later than October 2002, although, contrary to law, he had not filed his statement of candidacy until April 2003.)
The battalion chief who responded to the fire initially coded it as suspicious. On the fire-and-incident report, the cause of fire is designated as “NFA [Not Fully Ascertained] — Heat from electrical equipment (Extension Cords).” But by the evening of January 24, the chief fire marshal told the New York Times that “both an eyewitness account and a physical examination by fire marshals point to the cause as accidental.”
This is a long and convoluted story which NR has turned up and it really must be read to be believed. Sharpton has been accused of plenty of things, always seeming to skate away, and these fires follow the same pattern. To be clear, this may have all been nothing but a Lemony Snicket style series of unfortunate events. Hey… fires happen. And sometimes they happen to buildings where all your tax records are kept. Er… twice.
Sometimes we seem to forget how often Sharpton has managed to find himself in the national limelight for the strangest of reasons. Before many of our readers here were born Sharpton was making a name for himself by leading protests against Bernhard Goetz for having the temerity to shoot some gang bangers threatening to kill him on a subway car. From then on it has been one story after another, almost always along the same lines. But along with the “activism” for whatever cause he was espousing, Sharpton always managed to have his name associated with situations where it seemed like he was all about the money. Even Eric Garner’s daughter told the press that Sharpton’s interest in her father’s death seemed to be focused more on cashing in than righting any wrongs.
But I’m probably just being overly suspicious again. And the National Review report might just be the result of the bad luck that hangs over certain sad sacks’ heads. I mean… buildings burn down sometimes, right? Darn the bad luck.