We should all be disappointed in Rep. Lois Capps who is running a negative and misleading ad against her opponent, Abel Maldonado. The Maldonado family farming business is engaged in a dispute with the IRS that is currently in a settlement process. Capps has implied that Abel has somehow cheated on his taxes or withheld income from his tax returns, and this is seriously misleading. She should be ashamed of this dirty, negative, and inaccurate ad.
The truth is Rep. Capps has a more serious and blatant tax-reporting problem. For many years, Capps has been collecting rent in the area of tens of thousands of dollars from a staff member renting a room in her own home. This rent is income and she did not declare it. She did not report this income to the IRS until this 2012 campaign year, even though five years after the fact, she sent a letter to Congress disclosing the arrangement. This obvious and personal failure to report income is more than a normal business dispute.
This ad campaign reveals a side of Rep. Capps that is not generally known or admitted. I do know that both she and I signed the term limit pledge in our original campaign and received healthy donations and support with the organization that sponsored the term limit issue. We both pledged in writing to only serve three terms. I would have not gone back on my word, but Capps has obviously broken her pledge by many terms.
Brooks Firestone is a former member of the California State Assembly and of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, and former candidate for Congress