Logue’s sloppy taxes

The price of fame? Closer scrutiny

Assemblyman Dan Logue is in the spotlight these days, and it’s revealing some things he might prefer remain hidden.

Until recently Logue was just one of 120 lawmakers in the Capitol, and a nondescript one at that. But now he’s famous as the author of Proposition 23, the November ballot initiative that would effectively rescind AB 32, California’s landmark global-warming act. Millions of dollars are pouring into the campaigns, pro and con, and folks are taking a closer look at Logue.

A recent piece in California Watch, the online news operation run by the Center for Investigative Reporting, offers a rather damning report on Logue’s personal finances. Logue, it turns out, “once owed more than $28,000 to a variety of local, state and federal taxing authorities.”

Altogether, various taxing agencies from the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board to Yuba County “filed a combined 16 tax liens against Logue and his businesses between the late 1980s and early 2000s, totaling $28,733.72,” California Watch reports. Records show Logue later paid the taxes and fines.

Logue told California Watch the liens came about as a result of a poor economy and disputes with various taxing authorities. Some were resolved within a few months, others took much longer. One IRS lien remained open for more than 10 years.

Additional documents obtained by the CN&R show that Logue and his wife, Peggy, received a notice of foreclosure in January 2008 that was rescinded in April of that year. Also, in April 2009, the state placed a tax lien on property listed in Peggy Logue’s name for unpaid 2006 taxes. The lien was released a month later.

Logue has long been a fervent anti-tax crusader. At the same time, one of his main arguments against implementing AB 32 is that it would stifle job growth and with it tax revenues, so he recognizes the importance of taxes to state government. He’s just been a little sloppy about paying his own taxes, it seems.

Nielsen watch: In a case that is almost a carbon copy of what is being alleged about local Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, a Los Angeles County grand jury last week indicted state Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) on eight felony counts.

Wright’s alleged crimes? He listed his residence as being in the district he wanted to represent, registered to vote in that district, and then actually voted in it, but didn’t actually live there. Sound familiar? That’s exactly what critics are alleging Nielsen has done.

The Wright indictment comes on the heels of similar indictments against Richard Alarcon, an L.A. councilman (and, like Nielsen, a former state senator) also alleged to live outside his district.

The one big difference among these cases is that the two men facing charges live in Los Angeles, where officials take such criminality seriously, while Nielsen lives—or says he lives but really doesn’t—in Tehama County, where nobody has the cojones to take him on.