The DNC's Denver Gas Tax Holiday

Posted: Jul 22, 2008 7:15 PM
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says a gas tax holiday is a silly gimmick that won't to anything to alleviate pain at the pump, but even his most devoted followers don't believe that.

According to this Rocky Mountain news story Democratic National Committee officials are completely on board with the "gimmick." They're taking a secret gas tax holiday while they lay the groundwork for Obama's historic nominating convention in Denver. That's right, the DNC isn't paying any of the state or federal taxes on the gas they purchase in Denver, by way of a *special* contract worked out with city officials worth almost a half million dollars.

This amounts to a 40.4 cent per gallon DNC Denver discount.  18.4 of those 40.4 cents a gallon are federal taxes that are supposed to go into the precious Highway Trust Fund Congress pulls all their earmarks out of.  The DNC is just taking a pass on that, I guess. Dang it, I want my gimmick, too!

Meanwhile, Obama's still out campaigning on raising gas taxes. He'll be so shocked and disappointed to hear this when he gets back, I'm sure.

The Denver mayor says he "knows for a fact" the RNC isn't paying taxes on their gas from Minneapolis, but the RNC says "oh, yes we are." RNC spokeswoman Teresa McFarland says they are buying all their gas, taxes included, from the pump like most normal people. (Have you ever NOT filled up at a retail pump? I haven't.) They say they don't get a tax-free government spigot like the Dems are in Denver.

If the Denver city officials are giving the DNC a break on taxes methinks it could count as a in-kind political contribution to the DNC. And, methinks it would be pretty illegal for a city government to be making a political contribution like this coffer-to-coffer.  I wonder if anyone will raise that point. Hopefully someone more important and who has more political clout than me.

Stay tuned...

And, my apologies for being a little absent the last day or so. I'm cranking on a feature story about a great charter school up in Pennsylvania for the magazine's September issue.  I'll be back in full swing tomorrow afternoon.