Former State Senator Gordon Howie takes the whole "taxation without representation" theory seriously. How seriously? Well, he is behind tens of thousands of dollars on his property taxes.
He owns a number of investment properties in western South Dakota and started falling behind in the fall of 2008. In spite of knowing the situation, he is making an ill-advised run as the "Tea Party Republican" in our Governor's race. There are five Republicans in the June 8th primary, one of which is our current Lieutenant Governor who looks positively liberal compared to Senator Howie who is "not going to expel God from South Dakota". I didn't know any of the other Republicans wanted to throw God out, but then I don't follow the Republican Platform that closely.
Oh! He also has said that he encourages pastors to endorse candidates fromt the pulpit. Comments on the Journal website are about 10-1 against that idea. We're not all crazy in South Dakota.
From the Rapid City Journal: (http://rapidcityjournal.com)
A state senator seeking the Republican endorsement to run for governor of South Dakota has not paid property taxes on more than 30 pieces of land in Pennington County.Gordon was the president of the local Tea Party (Citizens for Liberty) until he announced his run for governor.
County records show that Sen. Gordon Howie of Rapid City is behind by nearly $57,000 in property taxes due for 2008 and 2009. The amount will jump to about $87,000 if Howie can't meet the next payment date at the end of October.
Howie is one of five candidates seeking the GOP nomination for governor in the June 8 primary. He ranches, sells real estate and develops land.
Howie attributes his tax problem to the poor economy, which has pinched developers statewide. He says he's making an effort to pay off the debt with interest.
"We have sales pending on properties we really don't want to sell," he said. "But we're doing that because we know we have to meet those obligations."
Three of Howie's opponents for the GOP nomination - Dennis Daugaard, Dave Knudson and Scott Munsterman - declined to comment on Howie's tax situation. Ken Knuppe said paying property taxes is part of being a landowner.
County records show that some of the 32 properties in question are owned by Howie and his wife, while others are owned by limited-liability companies of which Howie is a manager.
If you want addtional entertaining reading from the Rapid City Journal, his wife, Connie Howie, was arrested in February for Driving While Intoxicated. She had a number of presctiption drugs in her system...her drive culminated with running into a tree after swerving her way through the east side of town. Gordon responded to this family problem (I have great sympathy for those with substance abuse problems) by accusing our Pennington County States Attorney of being on a witch-hunt.
Ah...politics season! Brings out all the crazies!