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Re: “Dellums Fails to Pay at Least $239,000 in Taxes

The author here is putting the joy of creating friction with an imporatant political figure ahead of respect and decency towards a role model and person admired by many, and deserving of respect for his accomplishments, by all. The East Bay Express continues to have a mix of good articles, and at the same time politically slanted, and downright offensive articles such as this one. First of all, failure to pay taxes is an allegation brought by the government that entitles the taxpayer to full due process of law in the federal tax court. Some cases are purely civil and have no criminal allegation. The IRS is not an organization incapable of singling out important figures to make compliance examples; in fact it is part of their playbook to do so. And the IRS is not an organization to blindly respect either; having family in that agency, I can tell you as a fact it is discriminatory, incompetent, and curtseys to the rich and powerful that have big name CPA's and tax lawyers that cleverly manipulate them by lobbying far above their heads at the congressional level and engaging in strategic litigation. Whatever Dellum's case is, and it is most likely one having to do with the rapid devaluation of real property in the last three years of real estate crashes, and the types of losses he reported, the personal attacks on his lifestyle are very insulting to him and many people who view him as an American hero; and any one (probably not this reporter or those who commented above) that earns @300k a year and lives a comfortable lifestyle.

The reporter acts as if livinmg in a million dollar plus home on skyline, renting one, is such a big deal. That is because they do not. If they did, they would understand such rents are less than 4k a month. I lived for years in a zilo-estimated 1.4 million dollar contemporary, where the rent was 3400/month; the investor who built it paid slightly more than 6k a a month, after tax deductions @4k a month. A CPA had built that; the neighbor was a CPA who lived in his investment property. These folks made instant equity by building homes for 800k that apppraised at 1.4 million; and renting them out or living in them a few years, then selling them. The owner of the home I lived in made more than 500k simply building a home, then renting it out. In other words, it doesn't take a millionare to live on skyline; it takes shrewd financial and real estate smarts; or a realtively reasonable rent payment-go on craigs list and see for yourself. So Mr. Dellums is hardly living beyond his means; given his salary and congressional pension are nearly 300k a year, his monthly income is @15k a month AFTER taxes. Hardly unreasonable for him to live in the same homes doctors and lawyers live in, who by the way make less than this on average. If he lives in a NBA player or rap superstar home of 5 million dollar value, than one could raise questions. It is obvious the author of this article has no financial experience with real estate to make these slanderous arguments. I myself made far less than Dellums, and deserved far less, yet lived in an identical home, without any financial difficulties whatsoever; after a home, even after you lease new car, there aren't to many large bills to pay otherwise. A couple only eats 1-2k a month, and thats eating out and eatinjg good. So with 10k a month to spend, a couple can live very comfortably in the Oakland or Berkeley hills. I am particularly offended because my parents make about 30k/month gross, and to say they can't live in a nice home on skyline (they lived near broadway terrace, now near piedmont) is very offensive. My parents deserve the Americabn dream home, as do the Dellums. The authors here do not come from upper middle class backgrounds, nor do they earn upper middle class money, or they would understand what that buys.

I am more offended by the criticism of Mr. Dellums choice of suits. If anyone has earned the right to wear custom tailored suits, hasn't Mr. Dellum's? A figure from congress who has his name on the federal plaza? He should be given suits to wear by any designer, simply to model them. A man who is an African-American hero and mayor of a huge city can't wear custom tailored suits? Then who can? I mean, how can lawyers like myself who have not accomplished these things, wear nice suits? And it is important to note that public service does not pay what private practice pays; this philathropic hero has given his life to the public, whereas lawyers that pursue one bogus class action after another pay themselves millions; some who pursue class actions involving the details on Yahoo personals subscriptions, pay themselves millions as well-people who actually do not give a darn about society and the free month of service hey got everyone in the class, but about getting a million in fees of a big corporation. There are thousands of lawyers like this in California alone; Mr. Dellums is truly a great lawyer and a great man who is recognized by the lord as such. The authors of this throwaway paper do not know what service to humanity is; this might as well be a tabloid. I myself am in the process of bringing legal action against the editor; I suggest Mr. Dellums sue for slander of his reputation and character; the comments about his choice of suits are illogical and highly prejudices; the cost of a good suit is $500-$1000 on sale at Macy's; a custom tailored suit is @3 times that amount at most; hardly unreasonable given what this mayor earns. The criticism of his financial responsiblity in the context of his clothing choices is unfounded in any real number computation. It is a degrading and racially inflammoatory insult to this man's right the dignity he has earned; the real question here is why does Mr. Buel, the editor, dislike Mr. Dellums. I feel as if my hero is being undressed; I am mortified; I also feel as if I can't wear a good suit either, as I am in my thirties and haven't begun to accomplish what this role model has. I feel strongly this is an attack on colored people dressing well; the suggestion that a black male dressing well is always "irresponsible" or "gaudy" and "pimp-like" is clearly implied here; I am insulted enough that I will be contacting some designers in Manhattan to ensure the Mayor is given as many complimentary suits as he wishes. Do not insult a man of this stature for the clothes he wears; clearly he is not wearing the pricey clothes that hollywood actors wear, or does he have an Imelda Marcos style wardrobe closet. His spending on his life you have detailed here cannot be logically tied to the IRS debt he is alleged to have. Thus the writer is purposely degrading the mayor for personal reasons, and this is slander under English common law false light doctrine; this paper should be subject of a suit.

It is also an insult to so many young people who aspire to accomplish what the mayor has; it is gentrification that attempts to put the American dream out of reach of minorities; most of us will not accomplish what Dellum's has or earn as much; the suggestion here is Skyline is for rich white folks (many of whom are audited by the IRS, just not publicly leaked). And the suggestion that our views of life should be controlled by the IRS agenda, or that a man's respect is based purely on finaincial calculus, portrays a warped value system. The question here is what does the mayor deserve-the answer is clear he deserves a nice comortable home and good clothes; a professional who has done far less for society, such as an accident lawyer has the same "lavish" lifestyle.

Shame on you for insulting this man out of spite and a political agenda' I hope this paper pays a price for this.

Posted by townbiz on 12/11/2009 at 6:46 AM

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