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[POLITICS] John Chiang - "Victim of Political Drive-by Shooting"

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  • madchinaman
    State Controller Candidate John Chiang is Victim of Political Drive- by Shooting Says Speaker of the Assembly: Read the Facts Behind This Charge, It May
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4 4:09 PM
      State Controller Candidate John Chiang is "Victim of Political Drive-
      by Shooting" Says Speaker of the Assembly: Read the Facts Behind
      This Charge, It May Affect Your Vote.
      Make sure you pay attention to this low visibility but important
      state office and that of the Lieutenant Governor's office which is
      also involved. Your vigilance is the only way tax cheats and other
      special interests will not control the outcome of these races.
      By Frank D. Russo


      fyi: For California residents, one is encourage to being politically
      involved. Mr. Chiang has Parke Skelton as his consultant. An
      invitation is extended to review his background and position before
      making your voting decision.

      Unfortunately, without access to substantial financial resources -
      he's had not the opportunity to gain a high public profile and has
      had inexperience supporters from his camp unable to provide or
      willingness to provide a complete picture.


      John Chiang, the Democratic candidate for California State
      Controller has received some good news and some bad news in the last
      couple of days. A dedicated public servant, the good news is that he
      received a ringing endorsement from the Los Angeles Times this
      morning, which said:

      He chairs the state Board of Equalization, a post that steeps him in
      tax and financial policy. He has done a good job of going after tax
      cheats, while also reaching out to businesses to make sure they know
      how to comply with the law and aren't needlessly overpaying.
      The bad news is that a group of powerful special interests, who
      would not responded to press inquiries and who operate in secrecy,
      have decided at this last minute to spend millions in effort to
      defeat him in "independent expenditures." In what is normally a low
      visibility race with candidates not able to buy television ads,
      software company Intuit deposited $1,000,000 into the account of a
      group called "Alliance for California's Tomorrow." At the same time
      this group announced that they would begin running TV ads to defeat
      Chiang and elect Republican Tony Strickland. Intuit, the owner of
      the software program TurboTax, vehemently opposes John Chiang's
      efforts to make free software available from the state for those who
      want to pay their taxes online.

      This shadowy group, the Alliance for a California's Tomorrow has
      also received large contributions from tobacco, HMO, insurance and
      billboard companies.

      But there's even more to this than the naked self interest of
      Intuit, and their fellow travelers. There are more millions of
      dollars from special interests involved. It gets even worse. Take a
      look at the LA Times article today, "Money floods race for
      controller: Tribes and a software giant, Intuit, roil the placid
      campaign with $1-million donations to groups helping the GOP's

      Independent Expenditure campaigns that have raised over $10 million
      in the past couple of days have begun spending this money in an
      effort not only to defeat John Chiang and elect a compliant Tony
      Strickland, but also to defeat John Garamendi who is running for
      Lieutenant Governor and elect ultra conservative Tom McClintock to
      that post. They don't care about what this will do in many important
      policy areas that these posts deal with, often unseen by the average
      Californian. They are just trying to buy the best officeholders
      money can buy.

      Another IE committee, Team 2006 funded by $9.1 million in
      contributions from casino-owning Native American Tribes, disclosed
      yesterday that they had begun buying TV time to defeat Chiang. Their
      initial purchase was for $917,000. These tribes have substantial tax
      issues that come before the Board of Equalization and the Franchise
      Tax Board. The Controller sits as the swing vote on both of these
      tax policy boards.

      "The Controller is California's fiscal watchdog," stated Chiang's
      consultant Parke Skelton, "But we have wealthy special interests
      that want to put a muzzle on that watchdog. California needs an
      independent Controller who will fight for California's families."

      "It is truly appalling that a couple of wealthy groups can, in a
      day, pump much more money into this critical race than both of the
      candidates have raised in over two years of work," Skelton concluded.

      The Times reports in that article that:

      The same tribes have spent $122,000 boosting Strickland's wife,
      Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks), although she is in
      a safe GOP district. Both husband and wife have been reliable votes
      for tribal casino interests.

      They also reveal the following:
      The tribes and Intuit each have one reason to support the GOP
      nominee: taxes.

      The state controller sits on the Franchise Tax Board, a three-member
      panel that oversees state income tax policy. But the controller's
      influence over tax policy goes beyond that post.

      The controller also serves on the five-member Board of Equalization,
      which oversees sales and property tax issues. Additionally, the
      controller votes for that board's chairman, who also sits on the
      Franchise Tax Board. Whoever wins the controller's race Nov. 7 will
      determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the boards.

      Intuit has inserted itself into the controller's campaign as part of
      its fight to block the Franchise Tax Board from simplifying the
      state income tax filing process. From his post on the Board of
      Equalization, Chiang embraced "ReadyReturn," a program designed to
      remove some of the agony of tax season by having the government
      complete low-income Californians' tax returns.

      The program alarms Intuit. If it were to be fully implemented,
      ReadyReturn could threaten sales of one of the company's most
      successful software programs: TurboTax. Facing a fierce lobbying
      effort by Intuit, the Legislature this year blocked the state from
      spending money on ReadyReturn.

      Neither Chiang nor Garamendi voted on or had anything public to say
      about the massive tribal gaming pacts that Republicans tried to
      shove through the legislature at the last minute at the end of the
      session. You can read about the politics of the end of session where
      Republicans attempted to pass the largest expansion of casinos in
      California and perhaps United States history without a public
      hearing on most of them.

      The Times concludes their article:

      By siding with Strickland and against Democrat Chiang, political
      experts believe, the tribes are taking a backhanded swipe at
      Assembly Democrats. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican,
      negotiated compacts for major expansions of the tribes' gambling
      operations. Assembly Democrats blocked the deals in August; Chiang
      had no role in the action.

      "If the intent is to send a message to me, it is a damned weird way
      of doing it," Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) said
      Wednesday. "This is a political drive-by shooting. The guy did
      nothing to hurt them."

      If there is a payback here, the voters should deliver one and elect
      two reformers: Chiang Controller and Garamendi Lieutenant Governor.
      Don't let them be the victim of this last minute shooting.

      CAPA October 31, 2006 at 05:36 PM
      The Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans is asking consumers to stop
      buying Quicken software and other products made by Intuit in
      response to the company's attempt to buy an election away John

      CAPA is asking people to send pledges to boycott Intuit products via
      email or fax to co-founder and executive committee chairman Scott
      Cook, president and CEO Steve Bennett and chairman Bill Campbell.
      Their email addresses and phone numbers are listed on our blog at

      "Boycott new purchases of Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax if you're
      against blatantly buying candidates to increase corporate wealth,"
      said Dale Minami, president of CAPA.
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