Andy Harris Cheats IRS, Employees

Republican Congressman-elect Andy Harris and Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards, unlike other Maryland congressional candidates, did not provide health insurance, cover payroll taxes or pay for unemployment insurance for their campaign workers, a practice that spits in the face of IRS rules. The politicians avoided these costs by paying their campaign staffs as independent contractors instead of regular employees, according to expense reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Some workers for the Harris campaign do not appear to qualify as independent contractors.

An Edwards spokesman said her campaign only had three staffers who worked part time and as such considered themselves contractors. Edwards had scant opposition in Republican Robert Broadus, who she beat with 83 percent of the vote. It is unlikely her campaign violated any rules.
While it’s possible that some campaign workers were functioning as contractors, it’s odd that the Cockeysville Republican doesn’t have a single employee on the books, said Sean Parnell, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, a conservative group that opposes most forms of campaign finance regulation.

“Campaigns do regularly have people who are independent contractors. It’s usually on the high end, like a consultant,” Parnell said. “Often times it doesn’t make sense to have a full-time accountant or full-time attorney, but for everybody to be an independent contractor, I don’t know I’ve ever seen that.”

There are 14 individual workers paid for consulting in Harris’ records earning a total of $212,606, though few of the payments appear to be for one-time services; almost all are regularly-spaced payments for identical amounts.

Harris campaign manager William Lattanzi, for example, was not classified as an employee, despite receiving bi-weekly paychecks for $2,750 beginning in February. As of the last FEC filing Oct. 13, Lattanzi received a total of $48,750 for “strategic consulting.”

Gardner said it was possible there was a contract that called for the payments, but Lattanzi wouldn’t qualify as a contractor either way if he was supervised by Harris.

Patrick Daly, who received payments for “campaign consultant services,” was a legislative assistant in the Maryland General Assembly and now lists himself on Facebook as an employee of the United States Congress as “Assistant to Congressman Andrew P. Harris, M.D.”

During the campaign, however, Daly was paid as a contractor and received regular payments totaling $16,398 from Harris’s camp for consulting since January 2009, and another $11,100 for “data entry services.”

All other incumbent Maryland U.S. representatives list payments for payroll taxes.

Side-stepping employer tax costs could save candidates a significant amount of money, especially on larger campaigns with staffs as extensive as Harris’. For example, Harris’ opponent, outgoing Rep. Frank Kratovil, D-Stevensville, lists five campaign employees making a total of $62,120 for this election. Kratovil spent almost $27,825 on payroll taxes, health benefits and unemployment insurance.

Dr.Deceitful sure is off to a great start in Congress...and he hasn't even been sworn in yet. How long until we can impeach him?


Anonymous said...

Who's the fag with the Brownie camera in this photo?