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I Missed The Boat

Well, damn. My nose for news failed me yesterday. I was skimming the Boston Herald's web site and spotted the story about John Kerry's newest toy -- a $7 million yacht -- and considered blogging about it. But then I reconsidered.

But then the story practically went viral, leaving me standing on the pier as it sailed away.

The brief version: Kerry has bought himself a very, very expensive new boat. But it's registered in Rhode Island, where the state has no taxes on luxury boats. Had he registered it in Massachusetts, he'd have to have paid over $430,000 in sales tax to the strapped state, as well as $70,000 a year in excise taxes. A very tidy hunk of change.

So, why did I give Lurch a pass, when I have shown him so little mercy in the past?

First up, the reason his spokesperson gave for the out-of-state registration was remotely plausible. The boat (built in New Zealand, by the way -- it goes well with Kerry's Italian racing motorcycle) is rather high maintenance, and it's docked in a place that can take good care of it.

Further, Kerry -- while technically the richest US Senator -- isn't really a rich SOB. Yes, he's John Forbes Kerry, from THOSE Forbes, but his branch of the family wasn't really that wealthy. He first got his taste for the high life when he married his first wife, a multi-millionaire, but she didn't care for the life of a politician's wife. Kerry chose his career over her, and they divorced. (Rumor has it that for a while, Kerry was sleeping in staffer's homes and his car on Capitol Hill).

But then he found another wealthy woman to glom on to. Theresa Heinz was the widow of Republican Senator John Heinz, and she apparently liked being Mrs. Senator. And she was worth more than double than the first Mrs. Kerry.

Back to that boat, the "Isabel." It's technically not owned by Kerry, but by his trust. And that trust is full of the couple's assets. So, in essence, Kerry's boat was paid for by his second wife's first husband's money.

And now it turns out that Kerry might be on the hook after all. Massachusetts has some pretty clear rules on whether or not you can register your boat out of state -- if it spends a certain amount of time docked in the Bay State, you better fork over the dough. And it seems that "Isabel" met that minimum.

The question now is, will Massachusetts press its claim? The state has a tradeoff to consider: half a million in cold hard cash, that it could really use, vs. embarrassing the state's senior senator and one-time presidential nominee (good lord, I still have trouble believing that).

It reminds me of the time Ted Kennedy (D-Chivas) declared his DC-area home as his primary residence to take advantage of some tax breaks. When that came out, it could have cost him his Senate seat -- the Constitution requires that he be a resident of the state he represents, and here he was on paper declaring he wasn't. Instead, he was allowed to "amend" his tax filings and pay back the breaks he'd claimed.

One factor that might come into play is that the question ultimately falls under the purview of the state's treasurer. And that office is currently held by Tim Cahill -- who ran as a Democrat, but recently left the party and is running for governor as an independent. Should he choose to thoroughly burn his bridges with the Democrats, he conceivably could push the issue.

Poor John Forbes Kerry. The gigolo is such a buffoon, such a caricature, that some times it's hard to get angry at him.

But then I look at the harm that idiot has caused, and how utterly un-self-aware he is, and it gets easier.

Register the boat in Massachusetts, Senator. You've always talked about how it's the duty of the wealthy to pay their "fair share" of taxes, and this demonstrates your long-standing hypocrisy on such matters.

And note to self: don't skip a chance to kick Kerry again. He really doesn't deserve the break.


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Comments (20)

I consider it just another ... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

I consider it just another case of taxes for thee but not for me. Or it is a tax meant for the "little people" not those of such stature as Sen Lurch. One of my friends answered it this way: "To answer the classic question asked of American men - some men answer Ginger, some men answer Mary Ann, John Kerry answers Lovey Howell." mpw

Given Senator Kerry's prefe... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Given Senator Kerry's preference for wealthy ladies, I am surprised that he hasn't dumped Teresa and put the moves on Suha Arafat. As a side benefit, I believe Suha is younger and prettier.

"...state's senior senat... (Below threshold)
John S:

"...state's senior senator and one-time presidential nominee..."

I sometimes think of what could have been... Kerry could not have been a worse disaster than Bush's second term, which resulted in the loss of Congress and the election of Obama. Had Kerry won, the financial collapse would have come on his watch -- probably much sooner given the tax hikes he would have pushed -- and we'd be rid of Democrats today. We'd instead be living in prosperity with the libertarian president we desperately need to elect in 2012 -- assuming there even is an election in 2012.

I can almost buy the "It's ... (Below threshold)

I can almost buy the "It's registered in RI because we need to keep it there for maintenance" argument. Almost.

There is nothing that requires the boat be registered in RI to be docked there. There would be no loss of tax revenue to RI if the boat were registered in MA since there is no RI tax.

The only reason to register the boat in RI is to avoid the MA tax. Which normally I would not have an issue with. The problem in this case is the overwhelming stench of hypocrisy.

"...it's the duty of the we... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...it's the duty of the wealthy to pay their "fair share" of taxes...."

What Democrats say and what they actually do, are two different things.

When Splash's mother Rose died, Splash had her declared a 'resident of Florida' in order to avoid millions in estate taxes in dear old Mass. Rose hadn't been to Florida in over 20 years. Be nice if someone checked and found what state Rose last voted in. I hear Mass. can use the money to pay for all those Democratic indulgences.

"he'd have to have paid ... (Below threshold)
914:

"he'd have to have paid over $430,000 in sales tax to the strapped state, as well as $70,000 a year in excise taxes."


Slight correction. Lurch's gold dug wife would have to pay.

JT: "And note to self: d... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

JT: "And note to self: don't skip a chance to kick Kerry again. He really doesn't deserve the break"

This must be one of those "teachable moments" I keep hearing about.

No big thing, though. It's not like you're in a position where "teachable moments" are no longer acceptable like if one were a high level manager, CEO, or President, for example. Someone in one of those positions would get shit-canned for something like that.

You forgot to mention Ted K... (Below threshold)
MrJimm:

You forgot to mention Ted Kennedy's mother, who reportedly didn't step foot outside the state of Massuchusetts during the last 12 years of her life. But when she passed away, she magically becamse a resident of Florida, saving her estate million$.

But the Kennedy estate needed those dollars much more than the state of Massachusetts, I'm sure.

And no state bureaucrat would be stupid enough to make a case against THAT estate, now would he?

Had this been a Republican ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Had this been a Republican hypocrite who did this and it came out a few months before an election all the leftists in the press up to and including broadcast network anchors would insert reminders of in every other sentence they said. Like back in '06 when a Republican was exposed as not only being gay, but borderline deviant so all we heard for months up to the elections was how everything every Republican did was "like Mark Foley..."

When it's a Demo... Nothing to see here. Move along. (or was that Move On?)

one-time presidential nomin... (Below threshold)
gladius:

one-time presidential nominee ( good lord,I still have trouble beliving that )...I laughed my ass off...I am now in the process of trying to pick it up off the floor...Help!!!!!

"When Splash's mother Ro... (Below threshold)
914:

"When Splash's mother Rose died, Splash had her declared a 'resident of Florida' in order to avoid millions in estate taxes in dear old Mass. Rose hadn't been to Florida in over 20 years"

Yes but splash & swim for it wasn't concerned about the money. It was the principle of the thing that bothered him.


Any little thing t... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Any little thing that causes Jenjis heartburn is welcomed from this corner.

One of my life's goals is to live long enough to piss on his grave.

If all you dam tea-baggers ... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

If all you dam tea-baggers would just shut up and pay the taxes that the democrats put on you, they could go back to cheating on their taxes without all the fuss.

irongrampaI second... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

irongrampa

I second the motion. Next time I'm back east, I'm paying my 'respects' to Porky Murtha.

Dont you love it when the D... (Below threshold)
rich K:

Dont you love it when the Dimocrats make their own headlines. Are we sure Biden,let alone Kerry are not RNC plants?
LOL

Kin I get me a boatin' lice... (Below threshold)
Jer:

Kin I get me a boatin' license here?

Your initial nose for news ... (Below threshold)
Robbo the Yobbo:

Your initial nose for news was accurate, Jay. This is a non-story, and a feckless smear, as smears go. If Kerry's advisors were sophisticated enough to advise him to moore in RI to avoid the sales & use tax, then they were sophisticated enough to remind him that berthing it in a MA port within six months of purchase would incur the same tax, yet he did it anyway. Ergo, we can assume the tax avoidance wasn't his motivation for mooring in RI.

And why would you ponder whether MA DRS will collect the tax....why wouldn't they? The Kerrys made an informed decision to incur the tax by taking it to Nantucket, and so collecting the tax would not reflect poorly on them.

Even had Kerry wanted to avoid the MA tax, what of it? RI bounced their sales and use tax to encourage mooring in their state. They apparently feel that zero is a fair tax rate weighed against the economic benefits, and so Kerry paid his fair share of tax there. Obliging Kerry to seek out higher tax rates lest he be proven a hypocrite is wienie logic.

I find it interesting that wealthy Democrats or progressive seem to especially lather up the neandercons. Do you think they are traitors to their kind because they aren't trying to gut America's already meager social safety net?

Is any THING brighter than ... (Below threshold)

Is any THING brighter than an amoeba unaware that the East Coast's Permanently Parasitical Classless have established a Royal Court from which they but peer down at we of their serfdom -- at We, that is, The American People.

And is any THING brighter than an amoeba unaware that We The American People are in revolt and that the American Declaration of Independence is burned into our foreheads and that the Second American War of Independence is under way?

And that the East Coast's Permanently Parasitical Classless and their fifth and sixth generation of "Democratic" potty apparatchik bureaucracy and their lock-stepping Goebbelsesque propagandist "Press" pals will have very good reason to celebrate the fact the consequence of their trying to turn our beloved fraternal republic into dead, decadent, degenerate and dictatorial France is not the replete-with-tumbrils French "revolution" every one of the treasonous scum deserves.

irongrampa; GarandFan... (Below threshold)

irongrampa; GarandFan

I third the motion. Next time I'm back east, I'm paying my 'respects' to Porky Murtha.

Me too.

"....then they were soph... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"....then they were sophisticated enough to remind him that berthing it in a MA port within six months of purchase would incur the same tax...."

"Ergo, we can assume the tax avoidance wasn't his motivation for mooring in RI."

[cough**bullshit**cough]

Assume all you want. He waited until he got caught. There doesn't seem to have been any voluntary effort to pony up since he "must have known".

John Kerry reporting for tax duty! Not.




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