Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Leaked documents and newly obtained public filings show how the billionaire Mercer family built a $60 million war chest for conservative causes inside their family foundation by using an offshore investment vehicle to avoid US tax. The offshore vehicle was part of a network of companies in the Atlantic tax haven of Bermuda led by Robert Mercer, the wealthy hedge-fund executive and [Steve] Bannon patron whose spending helped put Trump in the White House and aided a resurgence of the Republican right.

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Mercer, 71, appears as a director of eight Bermuda companies in the Paradise Papers, a trove of millions of leaked documents on offshore finance reviewed by the Guardian, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other partners. The files include a copy of Mercer's US passport and other private data.

Some of the Bermuda companies appear to have been used to legally avoid a little-known US tax of up to 39% on tens of millions of dollars in investment profits amassed by the Mercer family's foundation, which funded Bannon's book and a who's who of conservative groups, along with a $475 million retirement fund for the staff of Mercer's hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies.

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Lock him up!

#1 | Posted by bored at 2017-11-08 10:59 AM | Reply

I wonder if it's the same off shore account that the Southern Poverty Law Center uses to avoid federal taxes.

#2 | Posted by homerj at 2017-11-08 11:07 AM | Reply

It is, so does Soros, Putin, Apple and Queen of England.

#3 | Posted by visitor_ at 2017-11-08 11:51 AM | Reply

#2

Link?

Or was that from the usual place?

#4 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-11-08 11:52 AM | Reply


... the Atlantic tax haven of Bermuda led by Robert Mercer, the wealthy hedge-fund executive and [Steve] Bannon patron whose spending helped put Trump in the White House and aided a resurgence of the Republican right. ...

So it looks like the drain the swamp crowd is interested in draining the swamp only if they can replace the drained water with their own eau de putrid.

#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-08 11:59 AM | Reply

#3 | POSTED BY VISITOR

What's wrong with Putin and the Queen of England avoiding US federal taxes?

#6 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-11-08 12:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I've said from the start: They're not draining the swamp, they're peeing in the pool.

#7 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-11-08 12:02 PM | Reply | Funny: 3

I wonder if it's the same off shore account that the Southern Poverty Law Center uses to avoid federal taxes.

#2 | POSTED BY HOMERJ

How far is your head up Alex Jones' ass?

#8 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-11-08 12:11 PM | Reply

I wonder if it's the same off shore account that the Southern Poverty Law Center uses to avoid federal taxes.

#2 | POSTED BY HOMERJ AT 2017-11-08 11:07 AM

Danforth asked for substantiation and Sycophant, per usual, responded to this with ad hominem.

This is what Homer is referring to:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal, Alabama-based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that has gained prominence on the left for its "hate group" designations, pushes millions of dollars to offshore entities as part of its business dealings, records show.

Additionally, the nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to its top directors and key employees while spending little on legal services despite its stated intent of "fighting hate and bigotry" using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy.


freebeacon.com

If you don't like Free Beacon, pick a different source here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=southern+poverty+law+center+tax+haven&rlz=1C1GGRV_enUS751US751&oq=southern+poverty+law+center+tax+&aqs=chrome.3.0j69i57j0l3.13295j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

#9 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-08 12:19 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Oops. The second one didn't link.

Just type: "Southern Poverty Law Center tax haven" into Google.

#10 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-08 12:20 PM | Reply

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Try wikipedia.

#11 | Posted by visitor_ at 2017-11-08 12:30 PM | Reply

Weird watching 2 sides of the same coin, with donors that hide massive wealth, arguing over who's side is hiding wealth in tax havens.

#12 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-08 12:46 PM | Reply

Thanks for the link, JeffJ. I'm stunned.

I agree with the tax experts consulted in the piece: this is highly unusual, and seemingly unethical.

I'm also puzzled: why would a tax-exempt organization try to evade income taxes?

#13 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-11-08 12:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Danforth,

It wasn't widely covered. I'm not at all surprised you weren't aware of it.

I'm also puzzled: why would a tax-exempt organization try to evade income taxes?

#13 | POSTED BY DANFORTH

That's an excellent question.

#14 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-08 12:57 PM | Reply

minima de malis.

#15 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-11-08 12:57 PM | Reply

from the article:

"Cohen received $20,000 more in other reportable compensation and non-taxable benefits. Morris Dees, SPLC's chief trial counsel, received a salary of $329,560 with $42,000 in additional reportable compensation and non-taxable benefits."
==

"Other reportable compensation" includes travel reimbursements. For example, when I traveled quarterly for a non-profit, SW Air was the only nonstop to L.A. and NY, but SW was not on the coordinating travel agency's list, so I was allowed to buy the tickets, submit the receipts, and get reimbursed, for that, as well as local transportation, and any meals they didn't provide, for which I had receipts. I was listed on some watchdog list as receiving ~$1000 from the Union(s) that year...all for travel-related reimbursements.

"Non-taxable benefits" include health insurance, dependent care benefits, cafeteria plans, and HSA contributions.

My point: these particular numbers aren't scandalous at all.

#16 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-11-08 01:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The righties think that Cohen getting $20,000 in non-taxable benefits is the same as Mercer putting $60 million in taxable funds in a hidden offshore fund to avoid the taxes

#17 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-11-08 01:52 PM | Reply

why would a tax-exempt organization try to evade income taxes?

#13 | POSTED BY DANFORTH AT 2017-11-08 12:52 PM | REPLY | FLAG

And then disclose it on a federal tax form?

#18 | Posted by 726 at 2017-11-08 02:01 PM | Reply

"...why would a tax-exempt organization try to evade income taxes?" - #13 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-11-08 12:52 PM

That isn't what's being erroneously reported:

Under current law, though, it is virtually necessary for tax-exempts to invest through offshore blocker corporations, though. While I'd prefer that the SPLC not do so (and I suspect it would prefer that, too), the problem isn't with the SPLC, it's with the tax law. And that means Congress, not the SPLC, needs to clean it up.
And (from the same source):
There has, over that last few years, been a significant amount of ink spilled over the merits of transparency and disclosure. While I'm personally a fan of transparency and disclosure, the Free Beacon article highlights the downside. The disclosures can easily be misread and decontextualized to tell a story that doesn't represent what's actually going on. That story can be accidental, or it can be deliberate. We'd do well, then, both as media and as scholars, to make sure that reportage on tax-exempts is accurate and is painted in the correct context.

#19 | Posted by Hans at 2017-11-08 02:05 PM | Reply

"It wasn't widely covered. I'm not at all surprised you weren't aware of it.
#14 | POSTED BY JEFFJ"

Admit it - you weren't aware of it either until you googled it this morning in response to Homer's post.

#20 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2017-11-08 02:18 PM | Reply

Admit it - you weren't aware of it either until you googled it this morning in response to Homer's post.

#20 | POSTED BY MONTECORE

Not true.

I was aware of it when the story broke.

#21 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-08 02:19 PM | Reply

You ran it all the way through the spin cycle and it still comes out looking dirty. I guess the correct context is if Republicans do it, it's sinister and when it's Democrats/Leftists, we don't want do it but the other guys make us, besides we're just trying to obey the law.

Whatever you do, don't change the law because Trump.

#22 | Posted by visitor_ at 2017-11-08 02:23 PM | Reply

"I wonder if it's the same off shore account that the Southern Poverty Law Center uses to avoid federal taxes." - #2 | Posted by homerj at 2017-11-08 11:07 AM

When all you have are lies then lying's all you can do.

#23 | Posted by Hans at 2017-11-08 02:23 PM | Reply

21 - The SPLC tax haven was a story here about 2 months ago. Danforth, I feel honored I got one past you. Your financial acumen is razor sharp.

#24 | Posted by homerj at 2017-11-08 02:50 PM | Reply

"21 - The SPLC tax haven was a story here about 2 months ago." - #24 | Posted by homerj at 2017-11-08 02:50 PM

That story's a lie.

#25 | Posted by Hans at 2017-11-08 02:52 PM | Reply

How far is your head up Alex Jones' ass?

#8 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2017-11-08

His head is so far up Alex Jones' ass, he can tell what Bill Hicks had for breakfast! :)

#26 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2017-11-08 02:55 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Another white nationalist who secretly has a thing for keeping his money countries run by brown people rather than America.

#27 | Posted by Tor at 2017-11-08 04:02 PM | Reply

Rich, white ancestors of colonialism run Bermuda. They have really nice boats..

#28 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-09 06:43 AM | Reply

Rich, white descendants of colonialism run Bermuda. They have really nice boats..

#28 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

FTFY.

Yes, money laundering can be quite profitable. Rich people love breaking all the rules the rest of us have to follow.

#29 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2017-11-10 12:19 PM | Reply

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