Earlier this week, former Laura Bush press secretary Andrew Malcolm used his Los Angeles Times blog to play up tax troubles of various Democrats. Malcolm's hook was a homestead exemption claimed by California congressman Pete Stark on a home he owns in Maryland; his post was titled "So does Democrat Pete Stark represent California or Maryland?"
Malcolm's focus wasn't the local angle, it was Stark's party affiliation, and Malcolm went out of his way to stress the number of Democrats who have had recent tax controversies. Here's Malcolm (bold added):
So does Democrat Pete Stark represent California or Maryland?
Oh-oh, looks like more tax troubles for another Democrat in Washington.
California's Rep. Pete Stark, a senior House Democrat who helps write the nation's tax laws, has been claiming a $1.7 million Maryland home as his principal residence in recent years, although he represents the Golden State's 13th District on the east side of San Francisco Bay.
Now in his 19th congressional term, the liberal Democrat and one of several Californians in House leadership under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, confirmed that he and his wife Deborah are indeed not registered to vote in Maryland.
He is the second-ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Although much recent congressional attention has focused on corporate bonuses in New York, taxes seem to be the problem de la saison for Washington Democrats this winter.
Timothy Geithner had to pay thousands in back taxes before his confirmation as President Obama's secretary of the Treasury. Ex-Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew his name as secretary of Health and Human Services after revelations that he had paid $140,000 in back taxes and penalties on unreported benefits.
Nancy Kelleher, who was to be chief performance review officer for the new administration, also withdrew her name over a back-tax issue.
Another California Democrat, Rep. Hilda Solis, was confirmed as Obama's secretary of Labor when her husband paid up some 16 years of back local tax liens.
Earlier this month another Democrat, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, had his similar Maryland state tax disallowed by officials for the same reasons, his home there not really being his principal residence.
Seems it was pretty important to Andrew Malcolm that you understand that Democrats have been involved in tax controversies.
So when Roll Call reported this morning that four House Republicans have been receiving the Washington, DC homestead tax exemption, I figured Malcolm would be all over it. After all, his interest in the Stark story clearly wasn't that Stark is from California; that wasn't his focus nearly as much as Stark's party affiliation.
The Roll Call report was given wider attention by Politico, and by The Frontrunner, but Andrew Malcolm has ignored it.
Now, why would Laura Bush's former press secretary Los Angeles Times blogger Andrew Malcolm so eagerly tout a story about a Democratic congressman claiming a homestead exemption in Maryland while ignoring a story about four Republican congressmen claiming homestead exemptions in DC?