Hi, I'm Andrew Davey, also known in these parts as atdnext. I'm a blogger at The Liberal OC, a place where progressives in Orange County, CA, come to discuss what we're doing to end the Republican reign in "The OC". Oh yes, and I have a web site called Trash Dirty Gary that's devoted to making known the truth about Gary Miller. The campaign to unseat Dirty Gary has invited me to take this space today to explain what's wrong with Gary Miller, and why we should mount a serious effort to unseat him next year. You can see how pathetic he is by looking at his Congressional web site, but what many people don't know about it his history of corruption and serving his outside-the-district interests at the expense of the voters who actually live in his district.
This has been covered extensively before, but I'll review it all after the flip for you...
Gary Miller is corrupt. We know that. But why should we be working to unseat him? Why should we invest our resources in a "safe red district" and try to turn it blue next year? Why should we think we have a chance to win in the 42nd Congressional District?
The best way to answer this question is to answer two other questions. Why should we allow such a corrupt individual to stay in office? And what has Gary Miller done for his constituents that has earned him the privilege of earning our votes for reelection? Once we figure out these answers, we can answer those other questions.
So let's start by answering the corruption question. He'll skirt the law and evade paying his taxes in order to enrich himself on the taxpayers' dime. Now how's that for someone who's supposed to be such a better patriot than those "America-hating Defeatocrats"?
So how exactly did Gary Miller "skirt the law"? Check out what he did in Monrovia (From LA Times).
When U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) sold 165 acres to the city of Monrovia in 2002, he made a profit of more than $10 million, according to a financial disclosure form he filed in Congress. Ordinarily, he would have had to pay state and federal taxes of up to 31% on that profit.
Instead, Miller told the Internal Revenue Service and the state that Monrovia had forced him to sell the property under threat of eminent domain. That allowed him to shelter the profits from capital gains taxes for more than two years before he had to reinvest the money.
But there is a problem with Miller's claim: Monrovia officials say that Miller sold the land willingly and that they didn't threaten to force him to sell.
See what I mean? He lied to the IRS in order to pocket extra money that he should have paid in taxes. Now is that dirty, or what?
And if you thought that was the end of it, you ain't seen nothing yet! (From the archives of our blog)
... Miller bought some farmland in the foothills around Rancho Cucamonga. It used to be a place where locals would go to chop down Christmas trees for their families. Miller locked up the gate to the farm, and made plans to turn the whole area into a development of 110 McMansions (all 4,000 to 7,000 square feet), which would entail KNOCKING DOWN AN ENTIRE SECTION OF THE HILLSIDE and building a plateau on which to build. You can't even build that many homes in this area, but Miller is trying to get Rancho Cucamonga's municipal government to change the rules for him. This is wildfire country, and any family who would buy a home in this place would be in an incredible amount of danger. [...]
So he's proposing what amounts to a death trap, and tearing down a local landmark (the tree farm) to do it. Some preservationists are trying to get environmental groups to pool some money together to buy Miller out. But here's the thing; there is suspicion that Miller is proposing the worst possible kind of development ON PURPOSE so he can get just such a payout. [...]
How sick is that? Blackmailing municipalities into buying him out of property by threatening to build eyesores and deathtraps on it? And then, falsely claiming that the property was sold through eminent domain so he can build an enormous tax shelter for his windfall?
I know, isn't that sick? He's literally threatening local governments to buy his property! Yuck, and this guy is in Congress?!
Oh, and who is Gary Miller really working for in Congress? Looking at all the earmarks he's put into legislation and where he's directing these federal funds, the answer is quite clear. He's bought and paid for by the Lewis Group, a real estate development company in Upland that's been Gary Miller's
sugar daddy "special friend". And to show just how much he appreciates this "special friendship", Dirty Gary returns the favor quite often... Even if it calls for money spent in Victorville, which is nowhere near the district! Now why would Gary Miller direct federal funds to one interchange in Victorville? Oh yes, that's right... The Lewis Group had a new development right off the 15 in Victorville!
• Miller helped secure several earmarks for the town of Fontana, where he has recently bought land owned by Lewis Operating and sold it to the city's redevelopment agency. Fontana also is home to one of Lewis Operating's largest planned communities, Sierra Lakes, encompassing 700 acres that includes 1,850 homes surrounding an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, a 62-acre shopping center and a 20-acre park.
• Sierra Lakes is just over a mile away from the former Rialto Municipal Airport, which Miller helped close through a provision in the same transportation bill, the first time an airport was closed by an act of Congress. Before the provision closed the airport, the city of Rialto - where the airport is located - already had granted Lewis Operating an exclusive agreement to develop the airport land into Renaissance, a community consisting of 2,500 homes, parks and 80 acres of retail space on the former airport property and adjacent land.
• $6.8 million for Pine Avenue extension from Route 71 to Euclid Ave. in the city of Chino. The extension is less than a mile from the Preserve, a Lewis Operating planned community, and less than two miles from Parkside, another Lewis Operating planned community.
• $1.2 million to establish an Interstate 15 interchange at Nisqualli and Mojave River Crossing in Victorville, Calif. The interchange is about a half a mile from Parkview, a Lewis Operating planned community.
• $400,000 to widen and realign U.S. 395 in the city of Hesperia. Lewis Operating lists The Promontory as one of its planned communities on its website. A city official said the company has not submitted a formal application for the project.
See, I told you so. Whatever the Lewis Group wants, the Lewis Group gets from Dirty Gary Miller.
And oh my, look how rewarding all this work has been for Dirty Gary Miller! Look how the Lewis Group has paid him back for all his service. (From The San Bernardino Sun)
Of all the company's political connections, its relationship with Miller - who declined to be interviewed for this story - has come under particular scrutiny over the past year.
The relationship dates back more than 30 years, to when Miller was a young developer. In recent years, he and Lewis have connected on a number of business deals:
The company entered into a business partnership with Miller in July 2004, with the congressman investing between $1 million and $5 million in a Lewis-owned, 70-acre housing and retail development in Diamond Bar that had just been approved by the City Council.
That same year, Lewis officials sold Miller several parcels in Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga, allowing him to shield millions in profits from an earlier land sale from potential capital-gains taxes. The company loaned him $7.5 million for the sale.
Meanwhile, the company's top executives have donated $22,150 to the congressman's campaigns since 1999. (In that time, Miller has received a total of more than $2.3 million in contributions from individuals and political committees.)
How precious. But you know what? Gary Miller may focus on what's best for his bottom line and the Lewis Group's bottom line, but he's not taking care of what's best for the voters of his own district.
So when did Dirty Gary Miller forget why he's supposed to be in Congress? Doesn't he remember that he's supposed to serve the voters who send him to Washington to represent their interests? Now is it in their interest that Gary Miller abuse "eminent domain land sales" in order to avoid paying the taxes that provide for our national security, our transportation infrastructure, our schools, our parks, and so much more? Is it in their interest that Gary Miller ignore the local needs of the district in order to deliver the desires of out-of-district developers?
What about traffic relief on our freeways? What about helping out our schools in a way that doesn't allow the federal government to take over our schools? What about doing something about the coming climate catastrophe that may not only hurt our businesses, but threaten our very lives? What about ending this failed war in Iraq that has claimed so many of our brave soldiers' lives, and all for our troops to be caught in the midst of someone else's civil war? These are issues that the people in the 42nd District care about, yet these are the issues that Gary Miller ignores as he misuses his power to enrich himself and his developer friends.
So what can be done about this? We can tell all our family, friends, and neighbors about how Gary Miller isn't serving us. I'm doing my part on Trash Dirty Gary, a local blog dedicated to exposing Gary Miller's dirty record AND letting local voters know that we have a better option. Oh yes, and I'll also be uncovering Gary Miller's dirt AND talking about this better option over at The Liberal OC.
OK, so what is this better option that voters have in the 42nd? We can replace Gary Miller with someone who actually wants to serve us! There's an election next year, and Dirty Gary thinks he'll get an easy ride, as he's in a "Safe Republican District". But Gary Miller has offended Republicans, Democrats, AND Independents in the district by ignoring our local needs while he enriches himself at taxpayers' expense. And if the Democrats in Washington think that Dirty Gary can't get away with his high crimes against the voters of the 42nd Congressional District, why should we?
And guess what! That's where YOU come in. Yesterday, you found out that a blogger will be challenging Dirty Gary in the 42nd. Tomorrow, you'll meet the campaign manager for this special candidate. And on Wednesday, you'll meet this very candidate. And right now, all I can tell you is that this candidate lives in the district, and this candidate actually cares about what's best for the people in this district.
So until then, I rest my case. Gary Miller is guilty of being a corrupt crook who has failed the voters of the 42nd District. And I think we can all take care of his sentence by doing what we can to help this campaign to restore honor and integrity to our Congressional Office! : )