It was a softball by Darrell Reese’s high standards, but the first hit piece of the 2012 Richmond campaign landed in mailboxes today. Turns out Marilyn Langlois withheld taxes for two years to protest the war in Iraq. Not exactly a felony. We all know death and taxes are inevitable, so the federal government made sure Marilyn eventually paid up, with interest.
Thanks to disclosure laws, we know the piece was paid for by Chevron in order to support Bates, Bell and Roberson and to oppose Martinez and Langlois.
In the spirit of equal time, the following came from Mayor Gayle McLaughlin:
Please see statement below from progressive City Council Candidate Marilyn Langlois in response to a hit piece election mailer. As many of you know, Marilyn is a long-time, hard-working, principled, and courageous advocate for the Richmond community. She worked in my office for 4+ years and has played an outstanding and exemplary role in moving Richmond foward. Fortunately - disgraceful, corporate-funded hit pieces do not succeed in Richmond. Principled candidates win in Richmond because we have a principled community!! Sincerely, Gayle
For immediate release: 10/1/12
Statement from Richmond City Council Candidate Marilyn Langlois about her past engagement in war tax resistance, in response to hit piece mailer about paying taxes:
I have received inquiries about the hit piece against me that arrived in mailboxes today. I appreciate this opportunity to clarify.
As stated on my website http://www.marilynlanglois.net/about.htm, the root causes of violence need to be addressed by reversing decades of racial and economic injustice in our community, our nation and the world. I have been a peace activist for many years, advocating reduced spending on militarization, weapons and warfare, and putting money instead into jobs programs to build healthy communities and eliminate poverty. I was a war tax resister after the start of the Iraq War, re-directing my federal tax liability to educational and social services organizations.
I engaged in war tax resistance as a symbolic gesture to protest the use of federal tax dollars for the illegal and destructive Iraq war. I informed my congressional representatives of what I was doing and why. I knew that the funds would ultimately be received by the IRS anyway (the amount owed plus interest and penalties was eventually taken from my bank account during the collections process).
I fully support taxation as a way to pay for public services, and I have gladly paid all of my local, state and federal taxes, with the exception of this act of war tax resistance at the federal level. At the time I engaged in war tax resistance, in order to act on my belief that more funds should go towards socially positive activities, I donated about three times the amount of my federal tax liability to educational, social services and arts organizations in Richmond and beyond.
At that time (2006), I made substantial donations to the following organizations in Richmond: East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, National Institute for Art and Disability, Girls, Inc., EcoVillage Farm Learning Center, WCCUSD Education Fund, The Latina Center, Neighborhood House of North Richmond, and Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP).
At the present time I continue to pay my full share of taxes and to advocate vigorously for reduced military spending and increased funding for jobs programs in our community.
The information you received originated from corporate-funded entities that do not share my values of social equity and peace building. Please let me know if you have further questions, or you would like to discuss this with me.
It looks like the campaign is starting to get interesting.