Just One Minute
Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Nosebleed Country

A link to me from TAPPED? What next, a link from Jonah Goldberg? If I am then whisked straight to heaven, I will try to report back on the whole "72 virgins/raisins" thing.

OK, back to TAP. They say:

"Minuteman's suggestion to Kaus that Krugman should do a piece on Jon Corzine's tax returns is bogus.... you need a more specific charge to make the hypocrisy angle stick. You can't just blather vaguely about "corporate reform" and "tax and accounting schemes" and then demand Corzine's tax returns. And since 97 senators voted for the Sarbanes bill, you should really be asking for a whole lotta tax returns."

OK, obviously they are not regular readers, or they would not say "you can't just blather vaguely". I can, and do. Frequently. Try and stop me. Secondly, let me offer a short Jon Corzine story which I read in a pre-election profile. Sorry, no links, straight memory - leap of faith, here. Apparently, back in his Chairman of Goldman Sachs days, Corzine would strike up conversations with eager young associates he met in the elevator, outside of conference rooms, wherever. Corzine would ask what charity the person supported. Anyone who could overcome their awe and blurt out a reasonable response would collect $5,000 for their good cause: Corzine would either write a check on the spot, or send his secretary by later. He sounds like a good man. I disagree with his politics, but there you are.

So, rather than presuming that I am alleging anything at all, let me try some different questions. As an East Coaster, I am almost totally ignorant on this point, and would be delighted to be educated, so please - what were the specific allegations against Bill Simon in his gubernatorial race out in California? He was under pressure to release his tax returns, but I don't know why.

And, second question, purely rhetorical: if Corzine were running in 2002, in the current climate, would it be plausible that his tax return could be kept secret? Fine, he ran in the last election, it's over. Fair enough, but the Harken Energy "scandal" has been cycled through two state elections, one national election, and a closed SEC investigation. Why are we discussing that? In my "sauce for the goose" modality, I remain confident that Corzine has not achieved the level of disclosure that Krugman would demand of a Republican.

Almost done with the questions. Is it TAPPED's researched assertion that none of the 97 Senators who voted in favor of the Sarbanes bill have released their tax returns? I am surprised, but don't have time to check this right now - what does "a whole lotta" mean here, anyway? And, if "a whole lotta" is a big number, how does TAPPED feel about this as a matter of ethics in government? These folks vote on personal income taxes, corporate taxes, special tax breaks - don't we have a right to know? In any case, Krugman is only from one state (no altered states jokes, please), and Corzine is one of his two Senators. That cuts the pool from 97 to 2, and going after the Torch at this point seems a bit unfair.

UPDATE: TAPPED taps me again! Whoa, these guys must take a hard line on ants at a picnic. So, their final rebuttal: I picked a bad example, citing an accounting reform bill from amongst the many issues Corzine is working on; and the Harken investigation ended with "no exoneration". Well, the "no exoneration" language is standard SEC boilerplate, which I suspect is not news to the gentlemen at TAPPED. As to the specific example I cited, it is arguable that I offered it as merely one example of Senate business. But my language is not crystal clear, and hey, that's what happens when hack amateurs write blogs.

However, props to TAPPED for choosing honor over victory! They link to a TNR piece from Feb 2002 which offers many example of Corzine conflicts, and demonstrates the point that, if not "Krug-worthy", the Corzine story was at least "TNR-worthy".

TAPPED also announces this to be their last word on the subject. Excellent. I will now begin my descent.

Comments: Post a Comment