Republican recall candidates whine about taxes but pay little to nothing

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponBuzz Up!Google BookmarksRSS Feed
(7 votes, average 4.43 out of 5)
randy_hopper_and_mistress

One of the most frequent complaints we hear from Republicans is that their tax burdens are too high. It’s a GOP talking point that turns up in nearly every election, regardless of the actual data or the historical record. So it is certainly no surprise to hear many of the Republicans running in recall elections this summer complaining about their tax burden.

But it might surprise voters in Wisconsin to know that some of the candidates whining about taxes actually pay little to nothing in net income tax to the state.

Perhaps the most outrageous Republican recall candidate is current state Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac. He’s already in hot water with voters for running as a “family values” candidate and then leaving his wife to move in with his then 25-year-old aide in 2010. (Hopper and his mistress Valerie Cass are pictured).

But Hopper’s hypocrisy doesn’t end at the marriage altar. In 2008 his hometown newspaper, the Fond du Lac Reporter, highlighted that the wealthy senator had only paid Wisconsin personal and business taxes once since 1997. The one time that he did pay, it was a capital gains tax resulting from the sale of one of his radio stations.

State Sens. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, and Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, will also face recall elections this summer. Like Hopper, they rant against the high tax burden that they allegedly face. Both senators’ Statement of Economic Interest forms demonstrate a vast array of investments and personal business interests. Yet various media outlets have reported that both senators have had recent years when they owed no net income tax to the state.  For Kapanke it happened in 2008, and for Robert Cowles it was in both 2008 and in 2009. 

This phenomenon also extends to some of the Republicans’ first-time candidates this summer. Kim Simac, who is mounting a challenge to Sen. Jim Holperin, D-Conover, is the founder of a Tea Party group that makes railing against taxes its highest priority.  A Dun & Bradstreet profile estimates that Simac’s family business, the Great Northern Adventure Company, earns approximately $300,000 in annual sales.  Yet Wisconsin Department of Revenue records show that Simac paid zero net income tax to the state in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008. Records show that in 2000 she paid a total of $4 in net state income taxes. In 2007, her tax bill was a single dollar.

Any complaint that Simac has about being overtaxed shouldn’t garner much sympathy.

Jonathan Steitz is a corporate attorney working for a firm in Chicago.  If he wins his primary this month, he will go on to face Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie, in August. Like Simac, Steitz is a first-time candidate. But that’s not the only similarity they share. Records show that Jonathan Steitz owed no state net tax in either 2008 or in 2009.  But that doesn’t stop him from repeatedly bemoaning the allegedly high tax burden that he claims to have faced in Wisconsin.  

The point here is not to suggest that any of these Republican candidates did anything illegal. But voters deserve an explanation as to how most working people pay more in a single paycheck than some of these whining Republicans have paid over the course of several years. These candidates must be called on their hypocrisy. 

Comments

-2 17 Madtown90 2011-07-14 17:56
Spotschmoop, they may not actually speak on behalf of their constituents but they are technically supposed to. I doubt public union collective bargaining rights really apply to any Wisconsin Democrats and yet they fought on behalf of public unions. Its the same thing
Quote Report
+4 16 Alexandria 2011-07-13 21:39
Quoting Debs:
Quoting Jay Bee:
How about our new Milwaukee County Exec, Chris Abele? He has paid nothing in state and federal taxes according to many media sources, or is that different?


A most OBVIOUS difference is that Chris Abele is a philanthropist who puts hundreds of thousands of $$ towards charitable and educational causes.
The biggest difference is Chris Abele CARES about the middle class and poor and and these Republican candidates don't care about anyone but themselves and their rich cronies. What is so hard to understand?


That and he doesn't openly complain about it.
Quote Report
+1 15 mike 2011-07-13 21:24
the article is about how Republicans bitch about how high there taxes are and than we find out they pay little to none. It is not about Democrats bitching! So your statement is moot.Quoting Derek:
Corey,

This is an intriguing piece, but without citing any sources, you're asking the reader to accept your assertions without any scrutiny. If this info is legit, it's great to look into. But if the whole puzzle is still missing pieces, then please keep digging. And yes, like Craig noted, what's the story on the Democrats. Wealth is wealth, and most of the state Senators, presently in office or vying to be there, have wealth. And when you have wealth, your interest in being taxed as little as possible -- up to not at all -- is enhanced. Undoubtedly, some Dems fall into this trap too.
Quote Report
+5 14 Debs 2011-07-11 09:17
Quoting Jay Bee:
How about our new Milwaukee County Exec, Chris Abele? He has paid nothing in state and federal taxes according to many media sources, or is that different?


A most OBVIOUS difference is that Chris Abele is a philanthropist who puts hundreds of thousands of $$ towards charitable and educational causes.
The biggest difference is Chris Abele CARES about the middle class and poor and and these Republican candidates don't care about anyone but themselves and their rich cronies. What is so hard to understand?
Quote Report
-3 13 Jay Bee 2011-07-10 21:34
How about our new Milwaukee County Exec, Chris Abele? He has paid nothing in state and federal taxes according to many media sources, or is that different?
Quote Report
0 12 Derek 2011-07-09 11:51
Corey,

This is an intriguing piece, but without citing any sources, you're asking the reader to accept your assertions without any scrutiny. If this info is legit, it's great to look into. But if the whole puzzle is still missing pieces, then please keep digging. And yes, like Craig noted, what's the story on the Democrats. Wealth is wealth, and most of the state Senators, presently in office or vying to be there, have wealth. And when you have wealth, your interest in being taxed as little as possible -- up to not at all -- is enhanced. Undoubtedly, some Dems fall into this trap too.
Quote Report
+8 11 lip_service 2011-07-09 10:32
Quoting Craig:
Somehow this story is missing what the democrats do or do not pay in state income tax. Are we going to see how the other side of the aisle works?


I'm tired of "lip service" Republican'ts who are taught buzz words, taxes, abortion, overspending, entitlements, deficit and at the same time not paying a fair share of taxes, bemoaning too many poor people, creating unfunded mandates, unregulating banks and destroying the economy, starting unnecessary war and refusing to understand basic budget principles like expense vs revenue. (lower expense and increasing revenue. It's all words and not much action on jobs. Everything the Republicant's insist on are job killing ideas. Wake up please!
Quote Report
+9 10 jane 2011-07-09 00:09
How can republicans make the $ they do and not pay taxes? Their other argument ( besides tax burden) is pay your fair share....when will that occur?
Quote Report
0 9 Spotschmoop 2011-07-08 23:25
Quoting Chris M:
When legislators speak, I thought it was suppose to be on behalf of their constituents? How does speaking on behalf of your constitutents make you a hypocrit? Legislators routinely speak to issues that may not directly impact their lives.

Actually, they do not speak on behalf of their constituents. We live in a Republic, not a democracy. While we are "democratically" minded, they are to vote THEIR conscious, not ours. That said, a voting time, vote YOUR conscious for a moral and ethical candidate.
Quote Report
-13 8 Chris M 2011-07-08 16:48
When legislators speak, I thought it was suppose to be on behalf of their constituents? How does speaking on behalf of your constitutents make you a hypocrit? Legislators routinely speak to issues that may not directly impact their lives.
Quote Report

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.