"Witness the emergence of a new political class, which takes decision-making away from the parliament, and which minimizes the influence of any advice from within the public service, universities and the CSIRO." (Dr Greg Bailey in Pearls & Irritations)
As usual there were plenty of dust-ups between the Dorothy Dixers on the first day of the Senate’s supplementary estimates hearings yesterday. Here’s a run-down of some of the clashes, claims and counter-claims.
Bronte RSL site developer suffers defeat as court rules in favour of...
2017 CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and AccountabilityThe Center for Public Integrity – Your favorite companies may be political black boxes
“You book a hotel on Expedia.com. You buy a Garmin to navigate highways. Finally, you stream Netflix movies to keep the kids occupied on the trip. Just know you’re patronizing companies that volunteer virtually nothing about their political practices and spending, according to a new study on corporate political disclosure and accountability by the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Other familiar names such as travel website TripAdvisor, satellite service provider Dish Network Corp. and energy drink-maker Monster Beverage Corp. rank among 58 companies within the S&P 500 that earned a score of zero on the study’s 70-point scale. Scores are calculated based on 24 indicators that range from whether a company publicly discloses corporate contributions to political committees and organizations — including politically active nonprofit organizations that don’t themselves disclose their donors — to whether it posts a detailed report of its corporate political spending on its website. The study also awards points to companies that have established clear political spending and disclosure policies. Other notable companies receiving low political transparency scores include toymaker Mattel Inc., discount stores Dollar General Corp. and Dollar Tree Inc., Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., Tyson Foods Inc. Also among the basement dwellers: consumer credit reporting agency Equifax, which is facing congressional hearings after a massive breach of its data systems that compromised the security of about 143 million Americans’ personal information. When asked about Tyson Food’s score of three points out of a possible 70, Caroline Ahn, a Tyson Foods spokeswoman, said the company complies with federal disclosure requirements…”
Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that HAROLD LEVINE, a Manhattan tax attorney, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff to 24 months in prison for tax evasion and obstruction of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), stemming from his scheme to siphon millions of dollars of tax shelter fee income from the law firm at which he worked and failing to report the diverted fees as income. LEVINE’s scheme also involved making false statements to IRS auditors, and urging a witness to provide false testimony to the same IRS auditors who were investigating LEVINE’s receipt of the fees.
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Between 2004 and 2012, LEVINE, a tax attorney and former head of the tax department at a major Manhattan Law Firm (the “Law Firm”), schemed with co-defendant Ronald Katz, a certified public accountant, to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws by evading income taxes on millions of dollars of fee income generated from tax shelter and related transactions that LEVINE worked on while a partner of the Law Firm. Specifically, LEVINE failed to report approximately $3 million in income to the IRS on his personal tax returns during the period 2005-2011. Most of the fee income LEVINE failed to report was routed by him through a limited liability company LEVINE controlled, which was nominally owned by a family member.
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