Not now, not ever.
Those were the words State Senator Carol Liu used just weeks ago to deny that she had ever used a tax shelter to shield $10 million dollars from tax authorities. It was an astonishing breach of the public trust.
Because the facts are that in 2005, the Los Angeles Times ran a feature story about Carol Liu and husband Michael Peeveys tax shelter, called Forward Out, which court records show involved use of a Cayman Islands company to shield $10 million in profits from the IRS, but eventually resulted in the IRS demanding millions in taxes and penalties.
Peevey and Liu are among thousands of wealthy Americans who used the sophisticated strategies to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. -Snared by their shelters Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2005
As the reporting relates, when the IRS eventually snared Carol Liu, she and her husband turned around and filed suit against their Arthur Andersen accountants, and claimed to the Associated Press they were victimized. But today Carol Liu goes further than crying victim - she brazenly denies to voters that the tax shelter ever existed, and thats why Carol Liu has made this an issue of public trust and central to my campaign.
We cannot continue to elect leaders that believe they play by a set of different rules than the rest of us that can create their own alternate reality to get re-elected.
Growing up in Fresno gang territory didnt allow me the luxury of writing my own reality. I was raised by a single mother until a motorcycle accident sent her into a coma from which she barely recovered. Drugs and gangs were everywhere, and without any parents, I often didnt have a home to stay in. I had to drop out of high school and work to support myself, while sometimes staying in youth shelters. It was a world very far from tax shelters.
Yet education is what turned my life around. I earned my GED, full scholarship to Pitzer college, and founded Borrowed Voices a literacy program from troubled youth that exist to this day. In my professional life, I have worked in the private sector and on a bipartisan basis in the public sector - on economic issues for Mayor Villaraigosa and Senator Bob Dutton.
My own life experience taught me that education and opportunity are inextricably linked. That is the main reason I am running for State Senate, and the reason that I believe Carol Lius attempt to avoid paying her fair share is central to my campaign. I believe that politicians that use tax shelters and repeatedly cut education as Carol Liu has - cannot credibly argue for tax increases the rest of us. And I believe that we need to replace the Sacramento culture of entitlement with one that honors the public trust and rewards honesty regarding our budget issues. Until we elect new leaders with these attributes, we will have a difficult time turning our state around.
Election Day is coming soon, and our internal polls have us within striking distance. I am hopeful that message of fairness and public service will make difference in our campaign.
Candidate for State Senate, District 25