It is a good thing Al Sharpton isn’t a Republican, or his powerful enablers in the Democratic party wouldn’t be available to keep him out of jail. The New York Times reports on the carefree way Sharpton has ignored taxes and rents. The story contains an in-depth account of his history with tax evasion and other shady financial dealings—read the whole thing to get the complete picture—and the overall image that emerges is not pretty. Sharpton currently faces state and federal tax liens of more than $4.5 million. More:
And though he said in recent interviews that he was paying both down, his balance with the state, at least, has actually grown in recent years. His National Action Network appears to have been sustained for years by not paying federal payroll taxes on its employees.
With the tax liability outstanding, Mr. Sharpton traveled first class and collected a sizable salary, the kind of practice by nonprofit groups that the United States Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration recently characterized as “abusive,” or “potentially criminal” if the failure to turn over or collect taxes is willful.
Mr. Sharpton and the National Action Network have repeatedly failed to pay travel agencies, hotels and landlords. He has leaned on the generosity of friends and sometimes even the organization, intermingling its finances with his own to cover his daughters’ private school tuition.
Yet Democratic politicans continue to praise, promote, and consult Sharpton, giving him resources and insider access even as he evades paying taxes, rents, and bills. The story might as well be called: “area race-hustling tax cheat basks in the love of well-placed political hacks.”Corrupt alliances are, of course, an inevitable part of politics. But it is scandalous that the Democratic alliance with law-breaking urban machine politicians has gone uninvestigated. Though one suspects that many convictions would result if an investigation did ever take place, the worst part about the liberty enjoyed by cheats like Sharpton is not just the mere lack of punishment. The real victims of people like Sharpton are the low-income African Americans. A crooked bargain between slick con artists and opportunistic power-brokers has deprived them of the serious political representation they both need and deserve.