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Thread: Florida Democratic Party slapped with a tax lien by the IRS

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    johnb is offline Verified 3-Star Forum General
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    Default Florida Democratic Party slapped with a tax lien by the IRS

    http://www.onlinejournal.com/Comment...5mccarthy.html

    The Florida Report
    Florida Democratic Party hit with double whammy: an IRS lien for unpaid payroll taxes and $900,000 missing from its coffers

    Maddox could see his gubernatorial hopes go up in flames

    By Jack McCarthy
    Online Journal Contributing Writer

    June 25, 2005óGubernatorial hopeful Scott Maddox, former mayor of Tallahassee and former chairman of the Florida Democratic party, last Wednesday made the headlines in most Florida papers.

    But not the kind of headlines he was hoping for.

    Maddox, who has bragged that under his leadership the party is "back" financially, woke up on Wednesday to read that the IRS has slapped a lien on the party.

    In a December 1, 2004, memo to party faithful, Maddox wrote of his accomplishments, noting, "Its hard to remember but just two years ago we were a party in debt."

    Maddox's optimistic picture, it turns out, was pure hogwash.

    According to media reports the state Democratic Party's account was frozen because of nonpayment of payroll taxes and is in arrears for $200,000 in interest and penalties as a result.

    The comments of state party Vice Chairman Jon Ausman must have added shock to Maddox's awe, or vice versa.

    Ausman, who also sits on the state party budget committee, and has been a Maddox supporter, is now demanding an independent investigation/audit to find out why approximately 900,000 is missing from party coffers.

    Investigators might want to look into a company called Governance, Inc. Party documents obtained by this writer for the year 2004 show Governance listed as having received $122,000 payment for public relations work.

    According to the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, Governance, Inc., is an active business that was incorporated on May 14, 1999. The address for Governance is listed as 402 Plantation Road, Tallahassee, Florida, and Scott Maddox is listed as the president and the registered agent.

    No doubt it's just a coincidence that the county property rolls list the owner of 402 Plantation Road as "Scott Charles Maddox."

    A charitable view would be that Maddox was engaged in a pricey conflict of interest.

    In a memo dated November 19, 2004, Ausman warned Maddox about providing specifics in filings in regard to the Florida Democratic Party's half million dollar payroll. Maddox only listed a lump sum figure instead of itemizing who was getting what. By doing so, Ausman wrote, " . . . it makes it more difficult for reporters and investigators to determine who is being paid what."

    For nearly a year party insiders have grumbled and complained about Maddox padding the payroll, the rise in power and influence of Maddox protege Paig-Carter Smith, and playing fast and loose with party funds.

    Many have wondered how Maddox came to own millions of dollars in property.

    Sour grapes? Inter-party rivalry?

    Woodward and Bernstein's Deep Throat advised, "Follow the money."

    Don't bet on Maddox getting the nomination much less becoming governor of Florida.

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    johnb is offline Verified 3-Star Forum General
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    http://www.tampabaylive.com/stories/...0622dems.shtml

    Florida Democratic Party faces IRS lien; $900,000 shortage
    an Associated Press report 06/22/05

    TALLAHASSEE - Broke and without enough money in the bank to pay its bills after the end of the month, the Florida Democratic Party has now been slapped with a lien by the Internal Revenue Service for failing to pay payroll and Social Security taxes in 2003.

    Meanwhile, the state party's budget and finance committee voted Tuesday to ask for a new audit to account for more than $900,000 it believes somehow disappeared from the books during the 2003-2004 calendar years when the party was led by Scott Maddox, who is now seeking its nomination for governor.

    Maddox said Tuesday that he would accept responsibility for any errors made by either his staff or the auditing firm at the time has was chairman, said his campaign strategist, David Beattie of Fernandina Beach.

    However, Maddox was not aware of the problems until Tuesday, and thought the unaccounted $900,000 must be a bookeeping matter rather than actual missing funds, Beattie said.

    Karen Thurman, who became party chairwoman just last month, did not immediately return phone messages asking for comment.

    "We're going to be on top of this a lot more than we were previously, not only in Scott's term of office, but Bob Poe's term in office," state party vice-chair Diane Glasser of Fort Lauderdale said Tuesday. "We weren't getting all the information we should have been getting." Maddox replaced Poe.

    While the party owes roughly $200,000 in delinquent payroll and Social Security taxes, the lien was against the remaining $98,000 in their account on Friday, longtime Leon County committeeman Jon Ausman said. Ausman said it cost about $250,000 a month to pay salaries and overhead for the party operation in Tallahassee and that it had been spending more so far this year than it has raised.

    The Democratic Party in Florida has traditionally gone through financial woes, selling its headquarters building in Florida a few years ago to get out of debt.

    Glasser said she was confident the party would be able to meet its commitments.

    "We've had these problems before," Glasser said. "I think that everything will resolve itself. Karen has already got commitments for money that is going to be coming into the party."

    Ausman, who is also a member of the party's budget and finance committee, said the party's 2003 year-end audit showed $609,032 cash on hand. He said it netted $586,986 in 2004 when it raised about $18 million.

    "I don't know how you start out with $609,000 and raise a net of $586,000 and end up with $269,000" as of Dec. 31, 2004, he said.

    Ausman said he was concerned about the audits in 2003 and 2004 done by Carr, Riggs and Ingram of Tallahassee. He said they should be held accountable, certainly for the failure to pay the IRS, if the audit proved to be flawed.

    Mark Carr did not immediately return a phone message to his office about the audit.

    Last summer, a report filed in July by the party's executive committee to the Federal Election Commission showed it spent $120,000 more than it has taken the first six months of that year, including a $30,000 deficit for June. That report, however, included 2003 carry-over information that skewed the numbers and gave the appearance of far more red ink, Maddox said.

    The latest report comes at the front end of fund-raising efforts by candidates readying for the 2006 election cycle when the Democrats' lone statewide elected official, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, faces re-election and there will be no incumbent in the governor's race.

    "It's very important that we reassure our donor base and all the Democrats that we're on top of this situation," Ausman said.

    The state Republican Party, which operates with a larger staff at its Tallahassee headquarters, has raised close to $5 million already this year and has several million in the bank, a party source said Tuesday.

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    StanN's Avatar
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    Here is what makes the Republicans look stupid. from the AP

    WASHINGTON - President Bush on Tuesday reaffirmed his opposition to any legislation that would allow more federal money to be spent on embryonic stem cell research.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    "I am confident I have achieved the right balance between science and ethics," Bush said during a White House interview with reporters from eight newspapers.

    The president's comments were his first on the subject since Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., reversed his position to support more federal dollars for stem cell research.

    In 2001 Bush banned federal dollars for stem cell research beyond existing cell lines, although private groups have paid for some new research. A Senate bill would lift those restrictions.

    "There are ethical dilemmas when it comes to science, and I think it's very important for a government to recognize those ethical dilemmas," Bush told the reporters. "The dilemma I was faced with was do I allow the destruction of life in order to advance science."
    -------------------------------------------------------
    The Republicans may be ridiculous but they are not dumb. Watch Bush back down so they can have it both ways.

    stan

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    johnb is offline Verified 3-Star Forum General
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    Yes, that has a lot to do with the crimminal conduct and pending bankruptcy of the Florida Democratic party.

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    Default my 2 cents....

    Stan - agreed on the Stem cell stuff. But why don't you post it as an separate issue with a poll. This is a "hot-button" issue for some folks.

    JohnB - is that a fiscal or moral bankruptcy? Then again, they are doing one hell of a hacket job on Kathy Harris.

    Wuptdo
    “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.
    Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
    I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
    All those moments, lost in time, like tears in rain.

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    johnb is offline Verified 3-Star Forum General
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    Yep.

    The sad thing is that all that is occuring is FLA, like the rest of the South, is going to remain a one party state. We're just flipping partys. Lacking a sane alternative the GOP is gonna get fat, lazy, and corrupt the way the Donkeys did with 100 years of uninterrupted rule.

    Until the D's leadership starts addressing the concerns of the "Middle America" they view with such contempt, it's only gonna get worse.

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    Wuptdo's Avatar
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    Default what is up....

    JohnB - maybe you can fill me in. I see a perfect opportunity for the Libertarian Party to really reach out and grab "middle-America" by the privates. Is it lack of leadership or money? There are a lot folks like me that feel that both parties are $hitting on us. It seems like both of the main stream parties are being run by their "ultra's" and blowing off the folks that really count. Than again, maybe it's just me!

    Wuptdo
    “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.
    Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
    I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
    All those moments, lost in time, like tears in rain.

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    johnb is offline Verified 3-Star Forum General
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    Wup I have no answer.

    I get attacked for being a GOP wanna be by the Donkeys and an anarchist by the GOP'ers.

    May they both catch crabs.

    I don't see a shot for the Libertarians Wup, and I am one. If the candidate isn't willing to promise to rob Peter to buy Pauls vote Paul ain't voting for the sonofagun.

    No, we're in a process of realignment that is transforming the GOP into the sole dominant national party and the Donkeys are going to be at best a regional party in the north east, California, Hawaii, with occasional bouts of power in the upper midwest and northern Pacific coast.

    This is not good. In the days of one party Donkeycrat rule in the South the Donkeycrats were a vessel for every faction, wing, interest group, et al, that would normally be housed within 2 or more political parties. It's not healthy because the party cannot really be unified around a common agenda and is busy reinventing itself every election cycle. The Donkeys tore themselves apart over Vietnam, race, crime, national defense, and other issues. The GOP swooped in and picked up the pieces and the problems. The GOP advantage though is that their coalition is more disinterested in the other parts of the coalition than was true with the Donkeys. Labor and environmentalists have very little in common and a high degree of contention.


    I see a perfect opportunity for the Libertarian Party to really reach out and grab "middle-America" by the privates.

    I'm not optimistic Wup. They still have us by Crown Jewels, it's just a different hand on scepter.

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