SLU Pundit

The weblog of Kevin Boyd, a student at Southeastern Louisiana University

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Another anti-tax kook prepares to bite the dust

Out in California, a nationally known anti-tax kook has been charged with tax evasion. George Nesson owes the State of California over $650,000 in back taxes in penalties. His wife, Trina Thi Vu, has also been charged in the case.

Jesson, who is charged with six counts of felony income tax evasion, says the state cannot confiscate his personal wages.

"It was Nick's belief that the tax system as applied by the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board exceeded their legal authority and that they were perpetrating a fraud against the citizens of California," said his attorney, Robert Barnes. "They're prosecuting Nick because of his political beliefs."

Notice everytime one of these anti-tax kooks get busted, they start claiming they're political prisoners, just like the cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal in Pennsylvania. Yes the tax system does need to be reformed but Mr. Barnes, your client is a criminal plain and simple. Tax day is not the day to make a political statement. The place to change the law is in the ballot box. Until then, you must pay your taxes, they way the state says pay your taxes.

But Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. William Overtoom said Jesson is not above the law. "You have to make an accurate, complete and truthful tax statement," he said. "You can protest it, but that's different from making a false statement to the state of California."

Mr. Overtoom is correct. Make your political statements on election day.

In 2002, Jesson ran for governor as a Republican on an anti-income-tax platform. He received less than 1% of the vote in the primary.

I think Californians are not as nutty as everyone says they are.

Jesson has also been involved with We the People for Constitutional Education, a tax-protesting organization. The group bought a full-page advertisement in USA Today in March 2001, claiming that the government does not have the authority to collect taxes from employees' paychecks.

Then We the People should file a case, like the ACLU, through the Federal court system to have it overturned on Constitutional grounds. But then again, the tax protest movement is usually nothing more than a cabal of grifters trying to peddle their products and scams.

"Tax evasion is not a victimless crime; it hurts everyone in California," said Franchise Tax Board spokesman Barry Gilbert. "This is certainly a big case for us."

Couldn't have said it better.


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