Klein camp blasts West again over disputed tax lienby George Bennett | August 27th, 2010
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein’s campaign is slamming Republican challenger Allen West again over an $11,081 tax lien that was placed on West in 2005 and satisfied four months later.
When Klein highlighted the lien in a TV ad ripping West on Tuesday night, West campaign manager Josh Grodin said Klein “flat out lied.” Grodin said he would produce documents Wednesday to prove the lien had been a mistake. But Grodin said Thursday that rounding up the documents was proving more difficult than he had thought.
“I spoke a little too soon as far as having all the documents,” Grodin said. “I jumped the gun. I’m still confident that was a mistake by the IRS.”
West himself said Thursday he doesn’t remember being hit with the lien in November 2005 or released from it in March 2006. West was working as a military adviser in Afghanistan at the time, his campaign said.
Klein’s campaign released a statement Thursday night criticizing the West campaign’s response to the ad.
“Why did Allen West promise to provide proof that a federal tax lien filed against him was false, and then fail to provide that proof?” Klein spokeswoman Sarah Rothschild said. “That answer is because Mr. West’s first reaction to criticism is to tell lies and then attack.”
The lien was filed in Marion County, Indiana listing “DFAS-IN” as West’s residence. West, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, never lived in Indiana. But Indianapolis is headquarters of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, which handles military payroll.
The IRS filed a certificate in Marion County in March 2006 saying the taxes had been paid and the lien was released.
Grodin said West’s wife paid the $11,081 after the lien was issued, then challenged it and later received a refund. Grodin said the campaign was trying to find records showing that to be the case.
“It’s been resolved,” West said Thursday. “When we get everything locked down, squared away, we will put everything out….We don’t want to send anything out piecemeal.”
West put out a statement on his campaign website Thursday responding to Klein’s ad. West says his family has “struggled with financial hardship” and “honestly resolved every issue,” but the statement doesn’t go into the details of the lien. Read West’s statement here.