Very interesting speculation from our friends across the pond at UK's Guardian, and it's more than idle speculation, about what exactly Mitt Romney is hiding on his tax returns.
We remember, I think, that Governor Romney sold his 6434 square foot Belmont mansion in 2009 and moved into a 3000-square foot condo.
Um, except he never moved into it, near as anyone can tell. Because that year, and the year after, Romney was living in his La Jolla mansion, you know, the one he wanted the $55,000 car elevator for. The house that cost them $12 million, and for which they wanted a demolition permit because the 3000 square feet wasn't big enough for them, so they could rebuild on the site.
Oh, the same house they applied for, and got, a $109,000 tax reduction because of the drop in real estate market. On which they claimed the California house as their primary residence.
And if they claimed the La Jolla address as their address in 2009, and January of 2010 -- when he claimed he was living in Tagg's basement, and registered, and voted in Massachussetts -- he is guilty of...voter fraud. More past the squiggle.
The Guardian explains it thus:
In April 2009, Romney sold his longtime Massachusetts home at 171 Marsh Street and appeared to move to La Jolla, California. He did not own a home in Massachusetts again until July 2010. (All of the Massachusetts addresses discussed here end with "Belmont, MA 02478", though one might amuse oneself surmising which address is underneath the Sharpie by the length of the redaction.)I'd also like to know what's on Mr. Romney's driver's license, that he has to present under the GOP's voting standards, to prove he's eligible to vote. The address, after all, must match his registration address.
• Sometime in 2009, probably late in the year, Romney filed his 2008 tax return, identifying the address where he lived at the time of filing. He has refused to disclose a copy of that return.
• Sometime in or shortly before January 2010 – that is, not long after he filed his 2008 return – Romney registered to vote in Massachusetts, stating on his voter registration form that he lived in his son Tagg's basement at 18 Greensbrook Way. In January 2010, Romney voted in Massachusetts' special election, which would be a felony if he was not a Massachusetts resident at the time.
Let's see those tax returns, Governor, and that Driver's License as well!
Speaking of which, we're STILL waiting to see your long form birth certificate. We know your Dad was a foreigner, so, by the Trump standard, the burden of proof is on you to produce it.
(update 1 for minor typos).
Update 2: User Litho adds in the comments this helpful text from California property law about claiming the homestead exemption for property taxes (emphasis provided by Litho):
Property in California is assessed at 100% of full cash value (a.k.a. fair market value). Under Proposition 13, the maximum amount of tax on real estate is limited to 1% of the full cash value and cannot increase more than 2% over the previous year. Under the homestead program, homeowners who live in their homes as their principal residence qualify for a $7,000 reduction in the taxable value of their property.We also need somebody who lives in San Diego to dig out the historical voter registration records for 2009-2010 and see if the Romneys registered to vote here, and if it's preserved anywhere, somebody in Mass to find his original voter registration record to find out what proof of residency he used, if any, and what his previous voting address was (this may also be available in San Diego since previous boards of elections are regularly notified as part of the current system when somebody registers in a new state.) Get to work, Kossacks!
Update 3: Hat tip to user Marigold for pointing out Mother Jones reported on this in June 2011, on legwork on a complaint originally filed by none other than GOP fringe candidate (but aren't they ALL fringe candidates) Fred Karger.
I reckon in the recent climate of "Voter Fraud" accusations by the GOP and the Voter ID / disenfranchisement movement this is time for a revival.
Whaddya say folks? Let's see what's on Mitt Romney's Driver's License. I wonder if he could pass the GOP's Photo ID test.
Update 4: From Fred Karger's old Presidential website itself, his complaint, which adds this to the brew:
Did They Move to New Hampshire?And you know, if Eric Fehrnstrom is involved, they will just etch-a-sketch the Romneys to wherever the voting registration is going to look the best for right now.
In May 2009, it was widely reported that former Governor Romney had switched his official residence to a home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The home, which Governor and Mrs. Romney built in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, is valued at more than $10 million.
By moving to New Hampshire, did they avoid the hefty Massachusetts personal income tax rate for most of 2009 and half of 2010? See “A Granite State Home Base for Romney?” The National Journal. by Erin McPike and James A. Barnes, May 6, 2009.
“Mitt Romney… appears to be… making his primary residence at the family home in New Hampshire, the site of the first-in-the-nation presidential contest.”
“Asked where Romney will establish a primary residence for the purposes of paying taxes and voting, Fehrnstrom demurred. “I have no announcements to make on residency,””
Update 5: sorry for the series of updates here, but there are nuances. This information provided by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (dated July 2009) adds a couple of questions to the mix:
1. What proof of residency did the Romneys provide?
2. Were they subject to Massachusetts' voter ID laws as first-time voters (under a new registration address)? They were not eligible to vote absentee, if so.
How do I prove that I am a Massachusetts resident?Also:
You must put your driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number on the voter registration form. In case these numbers cannot be verified, you will have to present suitable identification at the polls. You will receive a voter acknowledgment two to three weeks after you register which will indicate whether you are required to show identification at the polls.
Sufficient identification, which must show your name and address, includes a copy of a current and valid photo identification, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document.
Proof of residency must include your name and address and is a copy of any of the following:In fairness, I add this tidbit as well:
current and valid drivers license
current and valid photo id
government check or document
current utility bill
pay check or stub
By signing an affidavit of registration, you declare that the address on your affidavit is your legal residence.
You may declare yourself a Massachusetts resident and still receive financial support from your parents, have bank accounts, register a car, or file state tax returns from your out-of-state home.This does make it very interesting with respect to implications for the Romney's earlier voting registrations and claims of residence (in, to recap, in reverse order, New Hampshire, California, Massachusetts, Utah, Massachusetts, and Michigan).
Your Massachusetts registration and declaration of residency may have implications, however, for your tuition, insurance, and taxes, and any scholarships and loans you might have from your home state. Be sure to check these before registering.
Update 6: OK, so this part is not additional evidence, but I just really really enjoyed the Conservative take on Romney moving to New Hampshire, circa 2009, if you want to know how his "base" really feels about him. From the blog Texans for Sarah Palin:
The news [that Romney was moving to New Hampshire] has set off a round of speculation that Romney may run for retiring Republican Sen. Judd Gregg's seat, especially if former U.S. Senator John E. Sununu decides not to throw his hat in the ring. Many believe that this course of action would be Romney's surest possible path to the presidency. At this point, only Romney people are denying that the move to New Hampshire is another step in the process of Romney positioning himself for a run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
One GOP political insider quipped, "He's had as many home states as positions on abortion." Make no mistake: Mitt's running. Watch your back, Gov. Palin! Romney's people take no prisoners. Just ask Fred Thompson... but you probably know that already, as the people in McCain's campaign who sold you out were former Romney operatives. Hmmm... come to think of it, most of the sydicated "conservative" columnists who savaged you with their keyboards had shown a prior preference - or at least acceptance - of Romney as a viable GOP presidential candidate. There seems to be a pattern here. What do you know, another coincidence!