- The Washington Times - Friday, February 27, 2004

The presidential election year hasn’t even reached March yet, and Democratic front-runner John Kerry has already set the all-time records for policy flip-flops and fund-raising hypocrisy. In his latest gambit, he has managed to combine the two by accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by the very same tax-dodging “Benedict Arnold CEOs” whom his campaign condemns for “tak[ing] advantage of tax loopholes to set up bank accounts or move jobs abroad simply to avoid taxes.” In the political boxing arena, Mr. Kerry can now claim the undisputed titles in two classes: flip-flopping and hypocrisy.

On the policy front, Mr. Kerry spent nearly two decades promoting free trade, and now he is running as an unabashed protectionist. He voted to authorize war in Iraq, and he has now become one of its most strident opponents. He voted for the USA Patriot Act, and now he opposes it. He voted for the No Child Left Behind Act, and now he attacks it.

On the fund-raising front, Mr. Kerry relentlessly claims to be the only four-term U.S. senator who never accepted a single limited, regulated donation from a political action committee (PAC); but in December 2001 he formed his very own PAC, which collected more than $2 million, including nearly $1.5 million in unlimited, unregulated soft money that he lavished upon Democratic parties and officeholders in the early primary states. He has eviscerated lobbyists as “influence peddlers,” but he has accepted more political contributions from lobbyists during the past 15 years than any other member of the Senate in that time period.

Mr. Kerry initially embraced the taxpayer-financed matching-funds system for presidential primaries; but after his own fund-raising efforts spiraled downward during each successive quarter last year, he ditched the matching funds and dipped into his personal inheritance in a desperate, wildly successful attempt to resuscitate his flagging campaign.

It now develops that Mr. Kerry’s presidential campaign has accepted nearly $150,000 from executives and employees of companies whose jobs or operations were moved overseas by “Benedict Arnold CEOs” in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

The Washington Post, which tallied those donations, also reported that Mr. Kerry accepted more than $400,000 in additional contributions bundled together by two “top executives at investment firms that helped set up companies in the world’s best-known offshore tax havens.” David Roux, who described himself last year as the “anchor tenant in John Kerry’s fund-raising mall,” has raised more than a quarter-million dollars for Mr. Kerry since 2002.

Four years ago, the company co-founded by Mr. Roux helped purchase Seagate Technology Inc., which was then incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Seagate is listed by the State Department as one of the companies that reincorporated offshore to dodge U.S. taxes. It appears that at least some of those tax savings have now found their way into Mr. Kerry’s presidential coffers, helping to finance his campaign of hypocrisy.

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