Paul L. Caron

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama's Chief Vetter Has His Own Tax Problem

NPR:  White House Counsel Vets Nominees for Top Jobs, by Nina Totenberg:

White House Counsel Greg Craig's job is to be the guy who makes things run so smoothly, you never hear about him. ...  President Obama recently asked Craig to take charge of vetting administration nominees for top jobs, because of some stumbles in the process.

Gawker: Obama's Chief Vetter Has His Own Tax Problem, by Owen Thomas:

White House general counsel Gregory Craig has seized control of Obama's vetting process after a series of nominees with unpaid taxes. But his wife's business may also have avoided taxes. Who vets the vetter?

Derry Noyes, Craig's wife, runs Noyes Graphics, a design business, out of the couple's home in northwest Washington. ... Operating a business out of one's home in D.C. requires a home occupation permit and registration with the city's division of corporations. Additionally, the government has instituted a new requirement for business license permits. A spokesman at the Washington D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs told Gawker that no one has ever sought any kind of permit or registration for a business under the name of Noyes Graphics or at the Craigs' home address. By not registering Craig may have avoided local business taxes. ...

An unregistered home business may seem like a "gotcha" scandal. And were some new appointee to come along with this kind of problem, the public might shrug it off, even with the past tax scandals of Obama nominees. But Craig was charged with putting an end to those problems. As Politco explained it: "A narrative was building, and the president asked us to be more vigilant in the vetting process," said a source involved in the vetting. Instead of closing a chapter, Craig has become part of the story himself.

(Hat Tip: InstaPundit.)

UpdateCohen: Obama's Chief Vetter Does Not Have a Tax Problem

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Brian Greenstein - I am not sure what your point is exactly do you disagree with whether Derry Noyes has a tax problem simply because you doubt the credbility of Gawker or are you disapointed to hear the news that another Obama staffer has a tax problem? Now if you can tell me that Gawker has their facts wrong I would like to hear that as well. I have no issue with Professor Caron repeating a story from the Gawker, WSJ, BNA or some law journal.

Posted by: Mory | Mar 6, 2009 2:07:49 PM

Brian Greenstein, don't be so sanctimonious. When you find a media source that is exactly to your liking, let us know so we can be sure to avoid it.

Professor Caron, I love this blog for its usefulness, its coverage and its humanity.

Posted by: guy in the volcano office | Mar 3, 2009 6:16:14 PM

There's nothing wrong with at least reposting the story. It's tax-related news, and Gawker claimed to do their research. They have lots of readers, most of whom are probably not happy to hear this news. So if they're just making it up, I bet someone will call them on it.

Posted by: TaxRascal | Mar 2, 2009 10:22:28 AM

I agree on the face of things that "The Gawker" is at best, a third-rate source for news, much less cause for a blog post of its own.

That being said, however, obviously we all as tax devotees can appreciate that our profession is receiving quite a bit of attention with various persons in the new Obama administration (Cabinet nominees, spouses, executive appointees, etc).

I highly doubt this one story is a reason to become an "ex-reader" of this great tax resource and its overall mission.

Posted by: Pres | Mar 1, 2009 9:23:15 PM

As a new and soon to be ex-member of this blog
I am dissapointed to find that what I anticipated being a thoughtful forum on current tax developments turns out to an aol-type repost service citing such respondsible sources as "the Gawker" on non-existent tax scandals

Readers beware....

Posted by: Brian Greenstein | Mar 1, 2009 10:28:59 AM

I have to side with Derry Noyes on this one -- she has the good sense to (passively) tell the D.C. government to f**k off instead of meekly allowing herself to be gouged by their mindless pursuit of revenue. Their home is no different than anyone else's on the block, and requires no additional services from City government. In fact, home occupations require LESS city service because it's one less commuter to jam the transportation system.

Many local governments throw all kinds of restrictions and taxes at home occupations without ever asking what the real impacts are of those businesses. They don't want to know because the real purpose of those laws is to funnel business into commercially-zoned rental real estate which is, no surprise, in limited supply and owned by the wealthiest local "investors".

I run a small manufacturing machine shop at my rural home. I make less noise than the owner of a single barking dog, and there are dozens of those surrounding me. I also generate less odor and less traffic than most of my neighbors. The local sheriff's department isn't worth another dime, and the public school system is worse than worthless. Why should I pay any more in taxes than anyone else?

Posted by: Tom | Mar 1, 2009 9:15:03 AM

Fix the Tax Code and you'll fix all of these stupid problems.

Posted by: Tired of the Noise | Mar 1, 2009 4:43:16 AM


Posted by: moanna | Feb 28, 2009 8:01:10 PM