Late last week, the campaign team for Wendy Long (R-NY) filed a press release accusing Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) of filing false tax returns in 2010. Long is currently running against Gillibrand for her U.S. Senate seat.
Citing what they refer to as an "impossible transaction", Long's team asserted that Gillibrand's tax return had mischaracterized the sale of 80 shares of Sears Holding Corp. stocks. Additionally, the campaign openly wondered why the New York Times had no interest in the story.
The statement reads in part:
Kirsten Gillibrand's 2010 tax return shows that she purchased 80 "shares" of Sears Holding Corp. ("Sears") for $22,780 on January 12, 2010. Her return shows that the 80 "shares" were sold on June 21, 2010 for $23,980. This is impossible.
The stock price on January 12, 2010 (purchase date) had a low of $97.67 per share and on June 21, 2010 (sale date) it was a high of $77.80 per share. Details from Yahoo Finance on the Sears stock prices are shown below:
If Gillibrand purchased 80 "shares" of the stock for $22,780 on January 12, 2010, it would have meant that the value of the stock was $284.75 per share. Based on the data reflected in the chart above, that is impossible.
For their part, Gillibrand's team does not deny the mischaratcerization of the trade, but argues there was no need to make a correction. The Daily News reports:
A spokesman for Gillibrand's office conceded that the tax return did mischaracterize the trade, but insisted there was no reason to submit an updated filing because the reported income was correct.
Now, if this were a Republican member of the United States Senate, do you think the media would still be a little interested in looking further into their tax filings? Do you think the most important newspaper in the state would have reported that a Republican candidate may not have have been honest with their initial filing, or that they confused the information in some manner?
The New York Times not only avoided reporting the discrepancy on the tax returns, but the Long campaign gave them the information last month and they refused to look into Gillibrand's filings.
The Long campaign spoke to us about the story, indicating that they had contacted the Times with the information on the 20th of August.
A spokesperson stated, "We researched the information and gave it to the Times".
"The reporter gave it to his editors. We followed up on multiple occassions."
And still there was no reaction, no response, no story.
The press release states that, "when provided with a simple and clear trade that was impossible to occur, the Times refused to even investigate, much less report on the matter."
Long surmised, "Two things stand out here: we have a tax code that even a U.S. Senator can't get right and a liberal media goliath that is playing one side of this election. Neither is surprising, and both are wrong."
The spokesperson added, "apparently the Times only thinks its news when it’s dirt on a Republican."