Back in 2008, The Alliance Defending Freedom launched a project called Pulpit Freedom Sunday that encouraged pastors to explicitly discuss political issues and candidates during their Sunday sermons in an effort to provoke the IRS into revoking their church’s tax-exempt status so that the ADF could then take the IRS to court in order to challenge regulations prohibiting tax-exempt churches from engaging in direct, partisan political activism.
Among the pastors who agreed to participate was Jody Hice, a right-wing radio host who is now the GOP nominee for an open House seat from Georgia, who openly brags about his involvement on his campaign website:
In September 2008 – and in years since, Dr. Hice joined with pastors across the nation in challenging an IRS code that he considers an attack upon religious liberty. The IRS threatened churches with loss of tax-exempt status and with criminal sanctions if political issues were addressed from the pulpit. Hice took his bold stand by formally endorsing a candidate in a Sunday message and sending a copy of it to the IRS. The IRS backed down.
This Pulpit Freedom Sunday effort has taken place every year since 2008 and the IRS has consistently refused to take action against any of the churches or pastors who participated, much to the dismay of church-state separation organizations.
Eventually the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed its own lawsuit against the IRS, seeking to compel the agency to enforce these regulations and then withdrew the lawsuit after the IRS convinced the FRFF that it had not been ignoring the issue.
As Sarah Posner explained today, this latest development is now being spun by the Religious Right to claim that the IRS is colluding with atheist groups in order to target and persecute churches.
Among those fuming about this supposed persecution is none other than Jody Hice, who spent an entire radio broadcast last week declaring that it is a violation of the separation of church and state and accusing the IRS of threatening, bullying, and intimidating Christians into silence:
Of course, the entire point of the Pulpit Freedom Sunday was to get the IRS to take action against churches so that ADF could sue. And now that it looks like the IRS might actually do the very thing that ADF has been trying to provoke it to do for several years, Hice is livid even though he has personally participated in the effort to bring about this very result!
h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW
Burger King confirmed Tuesday that it struck a deal to buy Tim Hortons Inc. for about $11 billion, a move that could help give the fast-food company a stronger foothold in the coffee and breakfast market. The corporate headquarters of the new company will be in Canada, which may also help Burger King lower its taxes. Such tax inversions have been criticized by President Barack Obama and Congress because they mean a loss of tax revenue for the U.S. government. Burger King and Tim Hortons said the chains will continue to be run independently and that Burger King will still operate out of Miami. The tie-up could help each Burger King and Tim Hortons chains pose a greater challenge to market leaders such as McDonald’s and Starbucks. It also reflects a desire by both companies to expand internationally. Burger King, which has about 14,000 locations, has been striking deals to open more locations in developing markets. The company sees plenty of room for growth internationally, given the more than 35,000 locations McDonald’s has around the world.
American fast food chain Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Hortons, a doughnut and coffee chain based in Canada, the New York Times reported Monday.
A deal, which could be reached as soon as this week, would mean the iconically American company would be headquartered in Canada, and benefit from the country’s lower corporate tax rate, 15 percent, compared to the on-paper 35 percent rate in the U.S.
The tax benefits may not be the biggest driver of the deal. Burger King has been seeking more coffee offerings to keep up with competitors, keeping headquarters in Canada may placate that country’s regulators, and the combined entity would be the third-largest quick-service restaurant in the world. But it will reduce Burger King’s tax rate from the 27 percent it currently pays.
So-called “inversion” deals that moved a company headquarters from the U.S. and reduce tax rates are common, even when they are to somewhere as close Canada. In 2010, Valeant Pharmaceuticals moved from California north by combining with Biolvail Corp., lowering the tax rate it paid to less than 5 percent.
Yet despite the nominally high 35 percent American corporate tax rate, most multinational companies based here don’t pay that rate — the average is 12.6 percent thanks to a variety of ways they can lower their bills. A recent paper argued that the ability to lower their taxes actually makes American companies more competitive than others around the world. Meanwhile, companies that have done inversion deals haven’t necessarily seen a payoff in better performance. There’s no evidence suggesting that higher corporate tax rates lower economic growth and instead companies that pay the highest rates actually create the most jobs.
None of this has deterred the uptick in inversion deals over recent years, however. About a dozen have occurred this year and dozens are still in the works. The rate has sped up, with more than half of the 76 deals over the last three decades competed since the recession began. Drug company Pfizer is looking to acquire British AstraZeneca, and the maker of Adderall, AbbVie, is seeking to buy Irish Shire. Chiquita banana is also looking to merge with Irish Fyffes.
But public pressure has unraveled at least one deal: Walgreens, the largest American drug store, decided not to go through with an inversion through buying Swiss Alliance Boots. It was the third major deal to collapse in recent months.
Pressure could ramp up. The White House has been promising to take action to make these deals more difficult and less attractive, and the Treasury Department is looking at its options on that front. A bill was introduced in the house to close a loophole making inversions legal and other lawmakers have urged action.
Oh really?Here’s some more info:Republican Bruce Rauner Tuesday dismissed questions about his financial ties to the secretive Cayman Islands as a Democratic-driven “red herring,” calling it a “distraction” by Gov. Pat Quinn from his failed tax policies. In Chicago, Quinn hit Rauner over outsourcing allegations with regard to the venture capitalist’s former firm.
Rauner responded publicly for the first time to word that his former private-equity company set up a dozen investment vehicles in the Caribbean tax haven between 2009 and 2011, including three partnerships in which has disclosed having a personal financial stake.
“This issue of the Cayman Islands, this is a red herring,” Rauner told reporters in Springfield, where he was urging quick action by a state appeals court by the end of the week to allow a term-limits initiative on the fall ballot.
“This is a distraction. This is being foamed up by Pat Quinn and his allies to create a distraction in the media for the voters. It is not a real important issue one way or another in this election,” Rauner said. - Chicago Sun-Times, 8/19/14Latest polling shows that voters are paying attention to this issue and it is taking a toll on Rauner’s numbers:A dozen funds in total were set up in the Caribbean nation between June 2009 and July 2011 by private equity firm GTCR which, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, was chaired by Rauner at the time. He had a personal financial interest in three of those funds.attribution: None Specified
Bermuda and the Cayman Islands are popular tax shelters for U.S. corporations, as both island nations have no corporate income taxes, and disclosure requirements there are less stringent.
The Cayman Islands government agreed in August 2013 to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires foreign financial entities to notify the U.S. Internal Revenue Service about American offshore accounts if they exceed $50,000. The intergovernmental agreement took effect in July.
Campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf offered a full-fledged defense of Rauner to the paper:
Caribbean vehicles are common for private-equity funds as well as institutional investors like the Illinois’ pension fund that [Gov.] Pat Quinn is invested in, especially when the companies they are investing in already have international operations and headquarters … Bruce was also comfortable with it because that kind of investment does not reduce the taxes paid by individual investors on their income. It didn’t reduce taxes on Bruce’s income, and it doesn’t reduce Pat Quinn’s taxes either.
Rauner has refused to release a certain portion of his tax returns further detailing the investments, and GTCR has remained mum on the matter.
Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D) campaign, responded to the revelations by saying that “not only does Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner stash his own riches in the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes, he also parked his firm’s money there.”
"Mr. Rauner is great at gaming the system for his own financial benefit while the rest of us play by a different set of rules," she added. - Huffington Post, 8/19/14And Quinn isn’t the only one hitting Rauner on this issue:All of those TV ads targeting Bruce Rauner appear to be taking a toll on the popularity of the GOP nominee for governor.
A new poll out today from Garin Hart Yang Research Group, which usually polls for Democrats, shows Mr. Rauner ahead of incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn just 44 percent to 41 percent among 802 likely voters in the November general election. An additional two percent of voters lean toward each candidate, with 11 percent undecided.
The three-point difference is within the survey’s plus-or-minus 3.5-point margin of error, and definitely is less than the seven-point average margin Mr. Rauner has enjoyed in several recent surveys.
But a Garin Hart Yang survey released on May 14 had Mr. Rauner up six points, 46 percent to 40 percent. And an earlier one, in April, had the race 49 percent for Mr. Rauner to 39 percent for Mr. Quinn.
All of those polls were taken before the Quinn campaign and an independent group, Illinois Freedom PAC, began dropping millions in ads that slash Mr. Rauner for not paying enough income taxes, investing overseas and other rich guy sins. But the new survey was taken after those ads hit, specifically last week, on Aug. 12 to 14. - Crain’s Chicago Business, 8/20/14Even this guy is hitting Rauner on this issue:The business record of Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, was called into question by Paul Vallas, the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate, during a stop Tuesday at the Peoria Labor Temple.
“Bruce Rauner is in the business of vulture capitalism. That’s the Wall Street Journal’s characterization — not mine,” said Vallas, who accused Rauner of outsourcing jobs rather than creating them.
“Rauner has profited to the tune of millions of dollars from outsourcing American jobs and shipping those jobs overseas. He believes in cheap labor — both at home and abroad.”
Earlier this month, a Chicago Sun Times poll had Rauner ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn by a spread of nearly 51 percent to 38 percent, with 11 percent undecided.
Vallas referenced a recent story in the Sun Times that noted that, in addition to having personal investments in the Cayman Islands, a so-called tax haven, Rauner also had established a dozen investment funds there through his Chicago-based investment firm.
“The philosophy here is to maximize profits and minimize tax liability,” said Vallas, who called on Rauner to disclose complete tax records and identify his business partners. - Peoria Journal Star, 8/19/14I always knew this race was still ours to win. Polling has been crappy in Illinois in the past but this issue is taking a toll on Rauner. We can still hold onto this seat, we just have to get our base out to the polls. Click here to donate and get involved with Quinn’s campaign:Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged his buddy Bruce Rauner on Tuesday to release his full tax returns, calling it a “rite of passage” that candidates for public office simply cannot avoid.attribution: None Specified
Days after releasing his own 2013 tax returns, including schedules, Emanuel joined Gov. Pat Quinn in urging Rauner to do the same.
“Running for office and releasing your taxes is like a rite of passage. You have to do it,” the mayor said.
“When I ran for Congress, I released my taxes. When I ran for mayor, I released my taxes. I released my taxes when I was [White House] chief of staff, even though I was not in elected office, but it was an office in the public trust. I do believe in a separation. You’re still allowed a personal life and a private life. Your taxes, though … they speak to what I think is the right thing to do. And it’s a rite of passage running today for office, especially chief executive.” - Chicago Sun-Times, 8/19/14https://www.quinnforillinois.com/
I beg to differ, Mr. Rauner.
h/t: poopdogcomedy at Daily Kos
WASHINGTON — Though the network of conservative groups funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch are better known for spending millions on top-tier Senate and gubernatorial races, they may be having a more durable impact at the local level.
A report released Thursday by the left-leaning Center for American Progress Action Fund compiles example after example of how Americans for Prosperity is mobilizing supporters to campaign against local tax increases and mass transit systems and for like-minded candidates running for school and county boards. Americans for Prosperity is a key player in the Koch-affiliated universe, with chapters in 35 states.
Among the local targets cited was a proposed tax increase to provide a permanent source of funding for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. After Americans for Prosperity’s Ohio chapter mailed fliers, made calls, ran radio ads and knocked on thousands of doors, the proposal was defeated.
"There is no issue we won’t get involved in if you’re going to raise taxes," Eli Miller, director of the Ohio chapter, told a local NPR affiliate in April.
The CAP Action Fund report suggests that the Ohio effort was aimed less at protecting local pocketbooks and more at protecting Koch-affiliated business interests in Columbus. Georgia-Pacific Chemicals, a Koch Industries subsidiary, would have seen its property taxes go up at one facility if the levy had passed.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D), who leads the action fund, said that the Kochs are interfering with the ability of local communities to “determine what’s right” for them.
"The local business community was largely supportive of the zoo levy," Strickland told The Huffington Post. "It’s kind of ironic, because some of the people who in the past have perhaps been cheerleaders for the Kochs, as they have attempted to use their wealth in order to get conservative candidates elected to office, are now perhaps a little unhappy that the Kochs are behaving in ways that are not consistent with their goals — and that was certainly true with what happened in Columbus with regards to the zoo levy. They’re willing to spend whatever they need to cripple and limit government."
The report also highlights a fight over a proposed mass transit system in Nashville. The Amp, a 7.1-mile rapid transit bus project, never received the go-ahead after Americans for Prosperity’s Tennessee affiliate encouraged state senators to introduce a measure aimed at preventing cities from establishing rapid transit systems that would use separate road lanes. Though a coalition of business and community groups were in favor of the proposal, it fizzled.
The report argues that in the Nashville example, the Koch network was motivated by a belief that public transit would threaten the brothers’ oil and gas interests.
Almost no issue appears to be too small for the Kochs’ activists. Americans for Prosperity jumped into an Iron County board of supervisors election in northern Wisconsin to attack candidates opposed to an iron ore mine. The group also flexed its organizing muscle over a 1.75 percent food and beverage tax in Fremont, Nebraska, to fund emergency capital improvement projects and a 1 percent tax increase in Gahanna, Ohio, to prevent cuts to the local police force.
"What does David Koch know about the city of Gahanna?" Strickland asked.
The Kochs, he argued, “are willing to spend vast sums of unreported money to interfere with the decisions that should rightfully be made by local communities. If you look across the country, they are using their wealth to try to control what happens at the local level, to the detriment of schools, teachers, firefighters and infrastructure development. If they are successful, if they achieve their goals, it will be detrimental to the country because the decision-making is coming from the top down.”
Local education issues are another area arousing Koch interest. The network has worked to roll back efforts aimed at integrating schools in North Carolina and promoted school board candidates in Douglas County, Colorado, who supported abolishing teacher tenure, benching teachers’ unions, implementing voucher programs and paying teachers based on the subject and grade they instruct.
The CAP Action Fund report also flags a Huffington Post story about the Youth Entrepreneurs nonprofit, funded primarily by Charles Koch, which pays public school students to take courses espousing lower taxes and fewer regulations and deploring higher minimum wages and social welfare programs.
Strickland framed his group’s report as an effort at raising public awareness about the “selfish” motivations of the Kochs’ political involvement.
"I think there are many people, even in the communities affected by these efforts, who are largely unaware that these wealthy outside interests are having an impact on what happens there," he said. "The Koch brothers are looking out for themselves and their own economic interests, but they cloak that in a kind of political and economic philosophy that allows them to pretend to be high-minded in their motivations. Their motivations are selfish and people need to know that. Once people understand the threat to the democratic process and understand the source of that threat, we will be better able to help local communities protect themselves from these efforts."
Americans for Prosperity has a different take. It sees its local campaigns as a way to reach voters who wouldn’t otherwise show up for a federal election and bring them into the network.
"It’s a little frustrating when someone says, ‘Oh, this is a political effort about the U.S. Senate,’" Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips told National Journal in June. “They don’t look at the totality of what Americans for Prosperity is doing.”
"We’re genuinely a long-term effort," he added. "We’re not about some election cycle."
#ILGov: Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Rauner focus shifts from the Caymans to Bermuda
Bruce Rauner says there’s “nothing sinister” about venture capital firms using the Cayman Islands as a tax shelter, but says he has never used the investment vehicle for his personal benefit. […]
Until he stepped down to run for governor, Rauner was head of a capital investment firm, GTCR, which has several investment pools there.
At an appearance at the Illinois State Fair last night, Rauner — wearing a plaid shirt, jeans and brown boots — insisted it’s a “widespread, common practice.”
“What my firm did is what many, many financial firms do and I think the majority of venture capital firms and private equity firms do, and that is - when they invest in a foreign company, a non-U.S. company, they’ll set up an investment vehicle, often in the Caymans, so that their limited partners are treated, for tax purposes, the same way as, as if it was a U.S. company.”
He ran GTCR, so if his firm made money off Caymans investments, then he personally profited.
* But the focus is shifting today to another island nation, Bermuda…
The onetime head of a company tied to Bruce Rauner and an associate — men the GOP candidate for governor Thursday called “rogue employees” — have been indicted in federal court in New Jersey on charges they stole millions of dollars in a sophisticated trading fraud.
Anthony Blumberg, 49, of New Jersey, and Craig Marshall, 47, of Bermuda worked for ConvergEx Global Markets Limited, a Bermuda-based broker and subsidiary to a firm Rauner’s former private equity company helped found.
Blumberg and Marshall were indicted late Wednesday on criminal charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.
The indictment is here.
“These were rogue employees at a subsidiary of a company GTCR had invested in,” Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf said. “The employees were fired, and ConvergEx cooperated with the investigation. What they are alleged to have done is unacceptable, and they are rightfully being prosecuted.” […]
Rauner joined GTCR in 1981 and was its chairman until stepping down in October 2012 but “had no say in hiring either of the two people,” Schrimpf said.
* Background info from the Quinn campaign…
GTCRauner formed ConvergEx in October 2006 and installed Blumberg as CEO that very month until 2011:http://www.convergex.com/about-us/history
GTCR was the largest shareholder and controlled the board (they had more seats than any other partner)
GTCR features ConvergEx on its website as an example of a successful company: http://www.gtcr.com/our-focus/financial-services-technology/portfolio/convergex-group
Rauner told Chicago Magazine in 2011 that GTCR’s - his- whole business strategy was handpicking executives. Here’s the profile.http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/June-2011/GTCRs-Bruce-Rauner-Talks-Investments/ Here’s Rauner’s q&a in the article:
Q: Most private equity firms buy mature companies and unwanted divisions of large corporations, managements intact. But you seem to go out and find management and then, together with them, go buy the companies.
Rauner: We’re in two businesses: industry research and executive recruiting. We study industries, and we network like crazy to find the superstars. Today, we’re partners with two dozen CEOs. Some we’re backing for the second, third time. It can take from six months to nine years from the time we meet someone until we actually become partners with each other.
Q: But sizing up the executive is nearly everything?
Rauner: A lot of reference checking. Are they winners? How did they handle failure in their careers? We go to all the trade shows. We call it the leader strategy. Deal flow comes to them. Talented executives come to them.
Key Point: Now GTCR Chairman Rauner wants to pretend he has nothing to do with the guy who was put in place by GTCRauner to be the CEO of ConvergEx from Day One when GTCR was in charge every step of the way? How stupid does he think we are?
* Background info from the Rauner campaign…
BNY and GTCR were equal investors in Convergex. Convergex though was staffed with BNY executives. As shown below, Blumberg was already with BNY and had been since 2002. He came with the deal.
Anthony Blumberg Came Into Convergex From Bank Of New York-Mellon. “BNY ConvergEx management includes Velli, Kerry Pack, John Meserve, Anthony Blumberg, George Costafos and Charlie Raphold from BNY. The trading grossed $297 million last year. Tom Gavin, David Quinlan and Jeff Shoreman make up the Eze contingent. The vendor grossed $43 million last year. Much of that is recurring or commission-like coming from routing orders to brokers. Goldman Sachs, previously a large owner of Eze Castle, does not have a stake in BNY ConvergEx. Operations will be split between New York and Boston, Eze’s current headquarters. The deal is expected to close this year.” (Peter Chapman, “BNY ConvergEx Eyes Hedge Funds with Eze Merger,” Traders Magazine, 8/1/06)
Anthony Blumberg Originally Worked For Credit Lyonnais, And Then Bank Of New York-Mellon, Before Joining Convergex. “Prior to the formation of ConvergEx Group, Mr. Blumberg served as a Managing Director at Credit Lyonnais Securities where he established G-Trade Services, one of the world’s largest global portfolio trading groups, which was later acquired by The Bank of New York and became a part of BNY Securities Group in 2002.” (“Our Leadership Team,” Archived Convergex Webpage, 2/10/11)
…Adding… More from the Rauner campaign…
(T)he Quinn fact sheet you just put up on ConvergEx is false and intentionally misleading. It’s not a typo, the Quinn campaign has repeatedly tried to mislead the public over the last 16 hours by claiming Mr. Blumberg was the CEO of the entire CovergeEx company to give the false impression that he was hired by or otherwise directly connected to Bruce Rauner.
That’s simply false. He was the CEO of a subsidiary to ConvergEx who was hired by Bank of New York Mellon in 2002, four years before GTCR invested. Additionally, GTCR was not the “largest shareholder” of Convergex. It was an equal investor with BNY Mellon, which is why the firm’s and its subsidiary’s leadership, including Blumberg, came over from BNY Mellon.
Photo CC by ProducerMatthew
Walgreens decision not to engage in the controversial, and potentially illegal tax avoidance scheme of corporate inversion was met with much praise by consumer watchdog groups across this country. This, of course, brought out the unpatriotic crowd who sees tax schemes as some form of sacred duty instead of a way to cheat the system.
To demonstrate how out of touch Fox Business analyst Charles Payne is, he went on the air earlier this week with a simple message – that paying your taxes is anti-capitalist. His apparent belief that tax cheating is something to be proud of is something highly disturbing for any high-profile business analyst. That he would proclaim that the CEO of Walgreens had ‘destroyed Capitalism’ instead of responded to consumer pressure (as a good Capitalist should do) shows us Mr. Payne’s priorities is not for having a good business, or thriving economy, but just plain old fashioned greed.
From the 08.07.2014 edition of FNC’s Your World With Neil Cavuto:
Businessman Bruce Rauner, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee in Illinois, seems to be having trouble getting his Cayman Islands story straight. After the Chicago Sun-Times revealed on Monday that Rauner, a billionaire investor, maintained part of his fortune in offshore accounts in the Caymans, the Chicago Tribune reported that back in June, Rauner told them the private equity firm he once ran and still invests with had no funds there.
Oops: GTCR, Rauner’s former company, does indeed have money in the Caymans, a notorious tax haven. Caught red-handed, Rauner’s now trying to claim it’s all de minimis, because we’re only talking about “just a couple of investments.” I’m sure that those “just a couple of investments” are larger than what most people earn in a lifetime.
Rauner’s also not helping himself by repeatedly swearing that “[t]hose particular setups had no impact on my personal tax rate—none whatsoever.” That’s created another problem for Rauner, because he’s steadfastly refusing to release his tax returns, almost certainly because the Tribune previously reported that he’s paid an effective tax rate of just 15 percent on his earnings. Seriously, bro, you can’t claim that some exotic offshore investment vehicles didn’t affect your bottom line and expect us to take you at your word.
Rauner needs to put up or shut up. Instead, he’s doing neither. God bless him.
BREAKING: Missouri Amendment 7 has failed. #MOPrimary
BREAKING: Walgreens HQ is staying the USA
Michele Bachmann Proposes 100% Tax On Money Sent Home By Immigrants To Stop 'War That Is Being Waged Against Us'
In a conference call with the anti-immigrant group Numbers USA last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann called illegal immigration a “war against the American people” and suggested that the U.S. levy a 100 percent tax on money that immigrants send back to Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in order to put pressure on those countries’ governments.
The Minnesota Republican spoke just before House Republican leadership handed its immigration policy over to her and Rep. Steve King .
“When are we going to get serious and really deport and deport right on the border?” Bachmann asked.
“Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, those countries are laughing at us because they’re making money with their corrupt governments in conjunction with these international criminal cartels, they’re all making money and kickbacks,” she said. “What I believe we should do is have a 100 percent tax on remittances, the money that illegal aliens send back to these countries.”
“What we have to recognize is this truly is a war against the American people,” she added.
Bachmann made the same suggestion to CNS News last week. Of course, many legal immigrants also rely on sending money to family members in their home countries, something that would be made virtually impossible by a 100 percent tax.
Bachmann later complained that Obama is a “terrible president” who “doesn’t care about veterans and doesn’t care about the American people,” insisting that he only cares about “having you and me paying for his voter registration drive so that his party will be a permanent party in every presidential election in the future and in midterms.”
Later in the call, Bachmann went back to the “war” theme, saying, “What we need to do is get serious and recognize that there is a war that is being waged against us.”
“We’re rolling around looking at each other, but all the while our pockets are being picked and innocent people are being killed by illegal aliens and hurt and robbed and beaten and raped by criminal foreign nationals that are in our country,” she said.
“We are doing everything we can to hold on to this magnificent country as we see it literally fall like sand between our fingers.”
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
#ILGov: Billionaire Bruce Rauner, GOP candidate for Illinois governor, stashed part of his wealth in Caymans
Bruce Rauner: Three cheers for offshore tax havens!
Here’s the thing about really rich guys: Odds are, they’ve done a thing or two along the way to becoming really rich that ordinary folks probably wouldn’t approve of. Balzac may have been exaggerating when he said that behind every great fortune lies a great crime, but a little offshore tax evasion, the likes of which little people would never be able to take advantage of? You bet!
And billionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, the Republican nominee for governor in Illinois, has turned out to be no different than the Mitt Romneys of the world. According to a new report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Rauner’s stashed some unknown part of his fortune in the Cayman Islands, where their zeal for secrecy is matched only by their aversion to income taxes (they have none).
Of course, Rauner’s refused to release his tax returns, so it’s impossible to know just how much offshore money he’s got parked in the Caribbean. Rauner, as these zillionaires always do, swears that everything is above board, but as ever, the crime is what’s legal. And compliance with the letter of the law is hardly insulation against devastating political attacks. Remember this?Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who’s been well behind in the polls and could really use a break, has already issued a couple of press releases slamming Rauner, and attack ads can’t be far behind. After all, Rauner wants to become governor of a state whose taxes he tried to avoid paying. For 99 percent of us, that’s no winning message.
#ILGov: Super-Rich Gubernatorial Candidate Bruce Rauner Used Controversial Cayman Tax Gimmick To Maximize His Fortune
Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (R) made part of his fortune from investments in a Caribbean tax haven, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. But because Rauner won’t release details on his tax filings it is impossible to tell just how much of his wealth comes from those offshore accounts.
The newspaper found five Cayman Islands-based investment funds among the dozens of income sources Rauner listed on state disclosure forms last year. Three of the five are funds set up by the private equity firm Rauner founded. Two others, including one that manages money for a large public pension fund in Illinois, are run by separate firms.
While Rauner’s income from each fund could be as low as $5,000 — the threshold for disclosure on the state forms — a more realistic guess would be in the millions of dollars. As a self-described member of the richest 0.01 percent of Americans, Rauner is unlikely to make chump change investments. Most funds of the sort the Sun-Times identified require minimum investments of $500,000 or $1 million dollars, a tax expert told the newspaper.
Rauner has released summary tax forms but has declined to disclose other paperwork that would allow tax experts to figure out how much of his wealth comes from the offshore holdings. A Rauner spokesman told the Sun-Times that the offshore locations of the investment funds do not affect the Rauners’ tax rates since they pay state and federal taxes on that income. But the success of the funds themselves, and their ability to pay dividends to both individual investors like the Rauners and institutional ones like pension funds, is enhanced by having roots in a tax haven.
The exotic Caymans linkage will draw further scrutiny to Rauner’s wealth and tax maneuvering. Like many very rich people around the world, the Rauners are able to manipulate the tax code in ways that reduce their tax rate without violating the law. Despite pulling in $108 million in taxable income from 2010 to 2012 — more than enough to qualify for the top federal income tax bracket with rates of 35 percent or more — Rauner and his wife paid an effective tax rate below 20 percent. That is mostly due to how the tax code treats investment income differently from wage income. Capital gains are taxed at far lower rates than salaries.
Rauner has also benefited from “an accounting maneuver that blurs the lines” between normal income and lower-tax investment income, the Chicago Tribune reported in July. The IRS is scrutinizing the “fee waivers” that private equity companies use to shift their partners’ income from higher-tax categories to lower-tax ones.
Rauner’s campaign has received more than $4 million in funding from billionaire financial sector colleagues. He has injected nearly $10 million of his own money into his race against Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL). Quinn’s supporters are hoping to revive the same sorts of attacks on private equity and out-of-touch multimillionaires that helped sink Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. But Rauner, who made national news over the winter when he called for lowering the state’s minimum wage, has enjoyed a steady lead over Quinn in summer polling.
Hopefully Illinoisans have enough sense to keep Bruce Rauner out of the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.
h/t: Alan Pyke at Think Progress Election
DISGUSTING, BUT TYPICAL FOR THOSE TURDS: Fox Cheerleads U.S. Companies Moving Overseas - Because Obama
In his weekend address, President Obama denounced “tax inversions,” i.e. a loophole that allows U.S. corporations to avoid taxes by moving overseas. “They’re basically renouncing their citizenship and declaring that they’re based somewhere else, just to avoid paying their fair share,” Obama said.
Fox Business’ Stuart Varney joined the Curvy Couch Crew and right away scoffed at President Obama’s stance as little more than an election-year ploy to make himself look good by painting corporations as unpatriotic. Any loyal Fox viewer’s blood probably started boiling already. Even if those corporations are behaving - well, unpatriotically.
But just in case, Varney and company went the extra mile to make you think that if Obama wasn’t such a terrible president, those poor companies wouldn’t have to take their all-time-high profits out of the country to avoid taxes.
VARNEY: Now, the president wants to put a fence around America, stop anybody leaving, that’s what he wants to do. Instead of encouraging them to stay.
Co-host Steve Doocy just happened to have at hand a graphic showing where businesses are “not putting their money” due to high corporate rates. The country just below the U.S., ranked third, was Japan. Yet moments later, as he read a list of countries that have left the U.S., he announced with indignation that Jim Beam has gone to Japan. A quick Google search indicates the company was bought out by Suntory of Japan, not that the company fled to avoid taxes.
Georgia, Meet Mitt Romney Lite
When Mitt Romney got pummeled in the 2012 election, the GOP was forced to reboot and consider how to attract candidates who can be more competitive. In Georgia, the GOP’s conclusion was to run an elitist millionaire with a checkered business record and an inability to understand the concerns of working families. Sound familiar?
But don’t worry, David Perdue isn’t a total clone of Mitt Romney. While Romney was serving as Governor of Massachusetts, for instance, David Perdue was busy tanking a company called Pillowtex, leaving its 7,500 workers out to dry and pocketing a cool $3.1 million in the process. It wasn’t the first batch of American jobsthat was killed under Perdue’s stewardship.
From 1994 to 1998, Perdue served as a senior vice-president at Haggar. Under his leadership, Haggar implemented an enormous shift of company employment and operations overseas. Thousands of American workers lost their jobs, and nearly 50% of the company’s domestic workforce was laid off, but Perdue brushed it off as being “in the best interest of the company.”
To wrap up his tidy business career, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that while Perdue was the CEO of Dollar General, female store managers were discriminated against and paid less than men. Dollar General ended up paying $15.5 million toward the members of the class action lawsuit, and in a separate case, it was forced to pay nearly $74,000 to a former employee after a district court found that she was fired for taking time off under the Family Medical Leave Act.
So this is David Perdue’s business career–the one that he claims qualifies him to be a United States Senator. And he feels very qualified indeed: he previously attacked Karen Handel for being just a “high school graduate,” going on to say, “I’m sorry, but these issues are so much broader, so complex. There’s only one candidate in this race that’s ever lived outside the United States.”
The worst part is this: from what little glimpse we have into Perdue’s stated policy positions, they are exactly as you would expect from his self-interested business career. Massive tax cuts for wealthy folks like himself and corporations, while increasing the tax burden on working families. Opposition to raising the minimum wage. Opposition to extending unemployment insurance for job seekers. Cutting Social Security and Medicarebenefits for seniors.
David Perdue has had it pretty good. And he wants to make life even better for himself at the expense of Georgia’s working families.
Perdue Opposed Raising The Federal Minimum Wage, And Said Obama’s Push To Raise Minimum Wage Was A Sign Of Broader Economic Problems. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Georgia’s five best-known Republican Senate candidates voiced unequivocal opposition Tuesday to raising the minimum wage, striking a clear contrast from Democratic hopefuls in what could be a preview of a general election clash. The five contenders blasted President Barack Obama’s call to raise the $7.25 hourly minimum wage to $10.10 as counterproductive, dishing out red meat to a sympathetic crowd at a National Federation of Independent Business forum. […] Former Fortune 500 executive David Perdue said Obama’s push is a broader sign of mounting economic problems.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/19/14]
All Five Republican Candidates For Senate Opposed Raising Minimum Wage. During the National Federation of Independent Businesses Georgia Small Business day forum, all five Republican candidates for Senate indicated they opposed raising the minimum wage. [National Federation of Independent Businesses Georgia Small Business Day, 2/18/14]
Perdue Opposed Extending Unemployment Insurance. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Six of the leading GOP hopefuls each vowed to reject calls to extend unemployment insurance and vote against a comprehensive immigration overhaul gelling in the Senate.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/28/14]
All Five Republican Candidates For Senate Opposed Extending Federal Unemployment Benefits.During the Mayor’s Day Senate Forum in Atlanta, all five Republican candidates for Senate raised their hand to indicate they opposed extending federal unemployment benefits. [Mayor’s Day Senate Forum, 1/27/14]
Perdue Supported A National Sales Tax That Would Also Apply To Online Purchases, As A Replacement For The Federal Income Tax. According to Northwest Georgia News, “However, Perdue did say during a forum that he supports a national sales tax to replace the income tax and that it should apply to online purchases. Dickey argues that is not a new tax and that it wouldn’t amount to an increase the way Perdue wants to structure it.” [Northwest Georgia News, 6/19/14]
Video: Perdue Supported The Fair Tax. According to Hayden Collins’ interview with David Perdue, Perdue said, “Clearly, a Fair Tax in my mind, is a better solution than what we have now. And I think it warrants an active debate; I would support that debate over what we have now. And to be very direct, if I had a choice between a Fair Tax and what we have now, I would absolutely vote for a Fair Tax. I think there may be some hybrids in there that actually help us incent the economy in ways that maybe a Fair Tax we need to improve on, but clearly, it is absolutely a better alternative than what we have now.” [Hayden Collins Radio Program Interview with David Perdue, Accessed 9/29/13]
- Critics Said Fair Tax Would Primarily Benefit The Rich. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Even with the subsidies to poor families, critics argue, the tax would primarily benefit the rich because they save the largest share of their income.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/24/07]
SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE
Perdue Supported Cutting Social Security And Medicare Benefits For Future Beneficiaries. According to the Marietta Daily Journal, “Perdue’s solution is honoring the obligations to anyone already receiving Social Security benefits, but changing the benefits for anyone coming into the workforce. ‘Their deal is going to have to be different,’ he said. Perdue would make the same changes to Medicare.” [Marietta Daily Journal, 2/16/14]
Pillowtex’s Revenues And Stock Price Dropped Dramatically Under Perdue
Under Perdue, Pillowtex Lost $27.6 Million Over Seven Months And Declined To The Verge Of Bankruptcy. According to the Tennessean, “Pillowtex proceeded to lose $27.6 million over the past seven months of 2002 and failed to meet certain requirements with lenders, bringing the company to the verge of another bankruptcy filing.” [Tennessean, 4/4/03]
Under Perdue, Pillowtex’s Stock Price Fell From $7.50 To $0.18. According to the Tennessean, “Its stock price has fallen dramatically as well, from approximately $7.50 when Perdue joined to 18 cents when Pillowtex announced his resignation on March 18.” [Tennessean, 4/4/03]
SunTrust Analyst Patrick McKeever: “[Perdue’s] Eight Months At Pillowtex Were Marked By A Further Deterioration In (Financial) Fundamentals And A Plummeting Stock.” According to the Tennessean, “The ult circumstances at Pillowtex raised the eyebrows of Dollar General analyst Patrick McKeever. ‘While Mr. Perdue spent four successful years at Reebok before Pillowtex and has an extensive background in consumer products and consulting, his eight months at Pillowtex were marked by a further deterioration in (financial) fundamentals and a plummeting stock,’ said McKeever, with SunTrust Equitable Securities.” [Tennessean, 4/4/03]
Pillowtex Employees Accused Perdue Of Being An Absentee CEO As The Company Failed
Pillowtex Workers Accused Perdue Of “Disappearing” While The Firm Was Failing. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “As he attempted to drum up a potential buyer for the plant, some company workers accused him of disappearing. The Charlotte Observer reported that some staffers referred to him as ‘Oz’ in a nod to the elusive wizard.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8/9/13]
- Perdue Spent Much Of His Time At Pillowtex Traveling The World In Search Of A Buyer.According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The experience still weighs heavy on Perdue. Speaking publicly for the first time about his tenure there, he said he appealed to the company’s owners at Oaktree Capital to amp up their investment but that his request was declined. He spent much of his time at the firm’s helm traveling the globe seeking a buyer.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8/9/13]
- Perdue’s Replacement At Pillowtex Said “I Have Been Effectively Operating As CEO” For Some Time. According to HFN, “Gannaway said Perdue has accepted another job outside the home textiles business and added that ‘I have been effectively operating as CEO’ for some time.” [HFN, 3/24/03]
Perdue Did Not Attend The Textiles Market As Pillowtex CEO, Despite Pillowtex Being A Textile Company. According to HFN, “Perdue and Gannaway, both textiles industry outsiders, joined Pillowtex right as the company was exiting bankruptcy proceedings last year. Perdue kept a very low trade profile and in fact never attended the textiles market last fall.” [HFN, 3/24/03]
Perdue Resigned In March 2003, After Seven Months On The Job. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “He resigned in March 2003 after seven months on the job.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8/9/13]
Perdue Received Over $1 Million In Compensation From Pillowtex In January 2003, Two Months Before Leaving The Company And While He May Have Been Negotiating With Dollar General
Perdue Received Two Compensation Payments In January 2003 Totaling Over $1 Million
Perdue Received $312,500 From Pillowtex In January Of 2003, Two Months Before Leaving The Company, “As A Bonus For His Services During 2002.” According to Pillowtex’s corporate filings with the SEC, Perdue received $312,500 “As A Bonus For His Services During 2002.” [SEC Corporate Filings for Pillowtex, “Form 10-K - Annual report (Section 13 and 15(d), not S-K Item 405),” 3/28/2003]
Perdue’s Compensation Included “A Grossed-Up Cash Payment In The Amount Of $700,677,” Paid In January Of 2003, “To Be Applied Towards The Tax Obligation Of Mr. Perdue Resulting From The Issuance Of 101,215 Shares Of Common Stock As Part Of His Signing Bonus.” According to Pillowtex’s corporate filings with the SEC, Perdue’s additional compensation included $700,677 which was “to be applied towards the tax obligation of Mr. Perdue resulting from the issuance of 101,215 shares of Common Stock as part of his signing bonus.” [SEC Corporate Filings for Pillowtex, “Form 10-K - Annual report (Section 13 and 15(d), not S-K Item 405),” 3/28/2003]
July 2003: Pillowtex Filed For Bankruptcy. According to Daily Deal/The Deal, “The company sold the bulk of its operations to GGST LLC for $128 million in cash in an October 2003 auction. It sold the rest of its assets in multiple follow-up auctions. Pillowtex filed on July 30, 2003, one year and two months after emerging from its first bankruptcy.” [Daily Deal/The Deal, 4/27/05]
July 2003: Four Months After Perdue Left Pillowtex, The Company “Abruptly Closed” And Laid Off 7,650 Employees Nationwide. According to the Charlotte Observer, “Perdue was CEO of the former Kannapolis textile giant from mid-2002 to March 2003. Pillowtex abruptly closed in July 2003, laying off 7,650 people nationwide, including more than 4,000 in Cabarrus and Rowan counties — part of the largest single job loss in the history of North Carolina and the textile industry.” [Charlotte Observer, 7/27/13]
- Pillowtex Layoffs Left 4,800 North Carolina Workers Unemployed, The Largest Permanent Layoff In State History. According to the Independent Tribune, “Pillowtex ceased operations in July 2003. Plant One in Kannapolis, the former Cannon Mills, had been in operation since 1906. About 4,800 people were laid off — the largest permanent layoff in North Carolina’s history. The Pillowtex closing slammed the economy of Kannapolis and Cabarrus County, since it was the largest economic engine in the county at the time. [Independent Tribune, 5/6/10]
Salisbury Post: Pillowtex Was “Duped” By Perdue
Salisbury Post Editorial: Pillowtex Was “Duped” By Perdue, Believing He Had A “Midas Touch” Before His Departure. In an editorial, the Salisbury Post wrote: “A search firm helped the Pillowtex board lure him away from Reebok International to turn things around at the Kannapolis company and make the most of its brands. Anyone who has followed Pillowtex knows the story. Perdue took office July 1, 2002, and left in March 2003 ‘to pursue other interests.’ Within two weeks, Dollar General announced it had ended its six-month search for a top executive by choosing Perdue as its new CEO. Pillowtex directors must have thought they were investing in a solution, that Perdue had a Midas touch. They were dazzled and maybe dazed, and in the end they appear to have been duped. Decisions like this help explain what went wrong at Pillowtex, and why thousands of former employees are now looking for a job.” [Salisbury Post via Associated Press, 10/22/03]
Charlotte Observer: Perdue “Made Critical Miscalculations”
Charlotte Observer: Perdue “Made Critical Miscalculations And Missed Opportunities To Combat The Growing Import Problem” In Pillowtex’s Final Years According to the Charlotte Observer, “After its collapse, company leaders and politicians were quick to blame pressure from low-cost imports for its demise. But Perdue and three other men who ran the company in its final years made critical miscalculations and missed opportunities to combat the growing import problem, an Observer investigation found.” [Charlotte Observer, 7/27/13]
Industry Analysts: “Shortsightedness And Management Mistakes” Caused Pillowtex’s Collapse
Former Company Executives And Industry Observers Pointed To Pillowtex’s Sluggish Adaptation To A Changing Textile Market, As Well As Irresponsible Acquisitions, As The Cause Of Its Collapse.According to the News & Record, “In the weeks since Pillowtex collapsed, everyone from Gov. Mike Easley and Sen. John Edwards to the laid-off workers in the unemployment lines seem to have agreed on one thing: it wasChina’s fault. Pillowtex, the thinking goes, was simply the latest in a long line of companies to succumb to the onslaught of cheap imports from countries with a fraction of U.S. labor costs. But, former company executives and industry observers, contacted by the News & Record, say foreign trade was just one element in a broader trend of shortsightedness and management mistakes that eventually led to the downfall of one of the country’s largest textile companies. Management that was slow to adapt to changes in the home textile industry, a series of costly acquisitions that created huge debt but little profit, and a weak strategy exiting the company’s first bankruptcy, in 2002, all led to Pillowtex’s demise, executives and observers said.” [News & Record, 9/28/03]
Kingston Attacked Perdue For Pillowtex Record And Claimed He “Mismanaged Pillowtex.” According to the Charlotte Observer, “Kingston later ran an ad with a young child named ‘Davey’ in a full diaper, stuffing his face with cake as a narrator intoned, ‘Perdue chewed up businesses. Eight thousand jobs were lost … David Perdue. Something doesn’t smell right. …’ The ad, and another one making similar claims about Perdue ‘mismanaging Pillowtex,’ were faulted by FactCheck.org and PolitiFact Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s independent, fact-checking arm, for inaccuracies.” [Charlotte Observer, 7/21/14]
Kingston Said Perdue Took A Golden Parachute “On The Way Out The Door.” According to the Florida Times-Union, “He focused his sights on Perdue, a political newcomer running on his strengths as a chief executive of companies like Reebok and Dollar General. Kingston, though, zeroed in on Perdue’s seven-month tenure at the head of Pillowtex, a North Carolina textile firm with shaky finances that wound up closing with 4,000 workers losing their jobs in 2003. That was at a time when any textile company that hadn’t failed or moved overseas was struggling. ‘We have one candidate who has a long history of laying off people, hundreds — indeed, thousands of jobs — and taking golden parachutes on the way out the door,’ Kingston said. ‘Well, that doesn’t create jobs and wealth in Georgia.’” [Florida Times-Union, 5/2/14]
Perdue Served As A Senior Vice-President At Haggar Between 1994 And 1998. According to MSNBC, “When Perdue arrived at Haggar Clothing Co. in 1994, the historic menswear company was struggling. Revenues were down, old reliable products like suits were in decline, and competitors like Levi’s were muscling in on their department store sales. As senior vice president, Perdue was in charge of international operations at Haggar and later domestic operations as well.” [MSNBC, 4/18/14]
- Perdue Oversaw Haggar’s “International Operations” As Senior Vice-President, As Well As Domestic Operations Later In His Tenure. According to MSNBC, “When Perdue arrived at Haggar Clothing Co. in 1994, the historic menswear company was struggling. Revenues were down, old reliable products like suits were in decline, and competitors like Levi’s were muscling in on their department store sales. As senior vice president, Perdue was in charge of international operations at Haggar and later domestic operations as well.” [MSNBC, 4/18/14]
Perdue Was Hired To Oversee “All Haggar Manufacturing Outside Of The United States.” According to Southwest Newswire, “Perdue will be responsible for all Haggar manufacturing outside the United States, which currently accounts for over 60 percent of production, including both company owned facilities and contractors.” [Southwest Newswire, 8/30/94]
Under Perdue’s Leadership, Haggar Closed Factories In America And Outsourced Production Overseas “Where Labor Was Cheap And Regulations Were Less Restrictive.” According to MSNBC, “When Perdue arrived at Haggar Clothing Co. in 1994, the historic menswear company was struggling. Revenues were down, old reliable products like suits were in decline, and competitors like Levi’s were muscling in on their department store sales. As senior vice president, Perdue was in charge of international operations at Haggar and later domestic operations as well. Under his watch, the company did what so many clothing manufacturers did at the time: closed down factory lines in America and outsourced production overseas where labor was cheap and regulations were less restrictive.” [MSNBC, 4/18/14]
Perdue Said Haggar’s Shift From U.S. Operations To Operations Overseas Was In The Company’s Best Interests. According to MSNBC, “In an interview, Perdue said he and his colleagues approached the factory closings with a ‘social conscience,’ but determined the move abroad was in the best interest of the company.” [MSNBC, 4/18/14]
- Perdue Said “The Mexican Product Had An Advantage” Over A Product Made In South Texas, Because The “Cost Sheet” Of A Mexican Product Was Less Expensive. According to MSNBC, “‘We very definitely looked at trying to maintain as much volume as we could [in America],’ Perdue told MSNBC. ‘The problem was if you looked at the cost sheet of a product made in Mexico versus a product made in South Texas … the Mexican product had an advantage.’” [MSNBC, 4/18/14]
- Perdue Claimed That Haggar’s “Shift To Factories Abroad” Was Unavoidable Due To Declining Sales For American-Made Products, Cheap Clothing From Competitors, And NAFTA. According to MSNBC, “Perdue said Haggar’s shift to factories abroad was the unavoidable result of several factors, including declining sales for some of the company’s American-made products, increasingly cheap clothing from rivals who had outsourced production earlier, and the 1994 ratification of NAFTA, which reduced duties on Mexican-imported goods. ‘We fundamentally restructured a company for survival,’ Perdue said. ‘Another way to look at this is we saved a couple thousand jobs.’” [MSNBC, 4/18/14]
- Perdue Argued That Haggar’s Outsourcing Represented A “Fundamental Restructuring” Of The Company In Order To Survive, And Therefore “Saved A Couple Thousand Jobs.” According to MSNBC, “Perdue said Haggar’s shift to factories abroad was the unavoidable result of several factors, including declining sales for some of the company’s American-made products, increasingly cheap clothing from rivals who had outsourced production earlier, and the 1994 ratification of NAFTA, which reduced duties on Mexican-imported goods. ‘We fundamentally restructured a company for survival,’ Perdue said. ‘Another way to look at this is we saved a couple thousand jobs.’” [MSNBC, 4/18/14]
In 2006, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Found That Female Store Managers At Dollar General Were Discriminated Against And Paid Less Than Similarly Situated Male Managers.According to Mother Jones, “But Perdue’s record on women’s issues—specifically, whether women are entitled to equal pay for equal work—is far from clean. In 2006, three years into Perdue’s four-plus years as Dollar General’s CEO, federal investigators at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that female store managers who worked for the company he ran ‘were discriminated against,’ and ‘generally were paid less than similarly situated male managers performing duties requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility.’” [Mother Jones, 5/21/14]
In 2007, Thousands Of Female Managers Joined A Class Action Wage Discrimination Lawsuit Against Dollar General. According to Mother Jones, “A year later, separate from that investigation, thousands of female managers who were paid less than their male counterparts joined a class action suit against the company—which Dollar General eventually settled, paying the women more than $15 million.” [Mother Jones, 5/21/14]
- Dollar General Allegedly Set Up A Pay System That Permitted Stereotypes About Men And Women To Be Used In Judging Their Pay. According to Mother Jones, “‘Dollar General has set up a pay system which permits stereotypes about men and women to be used in judging their pay, performance, and salary needs,’ female Dollar General managers claimed in sworn statements. ‘This includes stereotypes about men being the breadwinner, head of the household, or just more deserving because they are men.’” [Mother Jones, 5/21/14]
The EEOC Issued Right-To-Sue Notices, Addressed To Perdue, Beginning In 2007. According to Mother Jones, “The EEOC, which must green-light pay discrimination lawsuits before they can proceed in federal court, began issuing right-to-sue notices addressed to Perdue beginning in 2007. Dollar General’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for that year—Perdue’s last year with the company—stated, ‘The Company believes that the case is not appropriate for class or collective treatment and that its policies and practices comply with the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. The Company intends to vigorously defend the action.’” [Mother Jones, 5/21/14]
As Part Of A Settlement, Dollar General Paid $15.5 Million Towards A Fund For Members Of The Class And Millions More In Legal Fees. According to Mother Jones, “The next several years saw more failed attempts by Dollar General to convince the court to decertify the class. In early 2011, the company allowed the case to go to mediation. A year later, the court finalized Dollar General’s agreement to pay $15.5 million toward a fund for members of the class, $2.8 million for a claims administrator, and $3.25 million in attorneys’ fees. The company also committed to altering its employee compensation policies.” [Mother Jones,5/21/14]
Dollar General Sued For Firing Another Female Employee For Taking Time Off Under The Family Medical Leave Act. According to Mother Jones, “In another case, a district court forced Dollar General to pay nearly $74,000 to Martha Bryant, a diabetic employee it fired in 2004 for taking time off under the Family Medical Leave Act. Dollar General argued that the law does not prohibit retaliation against employees who take FMLA leave. Dollar General appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which upheld the district court’s judgment against Dollar General.” [Mother Jones, 5/21/14]
Perdue Endorsed The Government Shutdown. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Former Secretary of State Karen Handel has been running as a non-congressional candidate, but endorsed the shutdown and its aim. So did David Perdue, a former Dollar General chief executive, who has raised more cash than anyone in the GOP race but Kingston. Perdue reported $800,000 in contributions — plus $1 million out of his own pocket — raised as of Sept. 30.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/20/13]
Perdue Opposed Bipartisan Deal To End Government Shutdown. According to the Associated Press, “All eight Republicans favor repeal of Obama’s health care overhaul. All oppose abortion rights. All three congressmen voted against the bipartisan deal to end the partial government shutdown last fall, and Perdue, Handel and the lesser-known candidates all say they’d have voted the same way.” [Associated Press, 1/27/14]
Video: Perdue Said That Shutting Down The Federal Government “Doesn’t Bother Me A Minute – But If You Want To Shut It Down, Shut It Down.” According to a speech by David Perdue at the Henry County GOP Meeting, “Shutting this government down doesn’t bother me a minute. But if you want to shut it down, shut it down. They didn’t do that. Second thing is, I don’t care what you do, you can’t play around by even backing into a failed threat of defaulting on the federal debt. Cannot do that. […] We can’t play around with that.” [Video – David Perdue Speech At Henry County GOP Meeting, 1/7/14]