I knew I needed a reason to use that picture again.
The Boston Herald has done yeoman's work in exposing the hypocrisy of the very wealthy Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) after he purchased a New Zealand-built yacht and mooring it in Rhode Island, which keeps Kerry from having to pay Massachusetts sales taxes and berthing fees. Today, they added another chapter to that saga which I'll get to shortly. To compare and contrast, Kerry's unofficial public relations firm, the Boston Globe, also has a story about Kerry.
The Herald contacted the guy who sold Kerry's floating palace:
“If it were my boat, I’d do exactly what he did,” boasted John Clement, director of Friendship Yacht New Zealand .
Reached in Whangarei, New Zealand, Clement didn’t want to discuss the tax implications of Kerry’s mooring decision...
But the tax implications are the point. He went on:
...superwealthy boat owners want to tie up their top-rung vessels in only the nicest neighborhoods - Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Newport.
“It’s got a certain ring to it,” Clement said.
Not missing a beat, the Herald reporters followed up:
Ummm . . . And Nantucket is slumming it????
Kerry's decision to tie up his boat in Newport, RI makes good sense from a personal financial point-of-view. But when the person who makes the decision is someone who believe others should be paying more in taxes, then the whole situation shoots up high on the hypocrisy meter. Consider this as well: Kerry is one of the U.S. Senators representing the state of Massachusetts, but he avoided paying Massachusetts taxes, thus adding an extra burden on the tax payers of the state he is supposed to represent in the U.S. Senate.
Good work by the Boston Herald in uncovering all of this.
The Boston Globe also ran a piece on Kerry today, but it is wholly different from what has been run in the Herald. It's called "Senator’s wealth was long in coming and not always carried comfortably". The Globe reports that jointly, the Kerry's are worth over $230 million. But, most of that wealth came from his wife's first husband. As said by the Globe:
Kerry himself reported having between $635,100 and $2.8 million in assets. Kerry also reported liabilities of at least $44 million, all of which were attributed to his wife.
Funny how that works, don't you think?
Most of the piece laments "poor" Kerry's struggle with money and blah, blah, blah. Some choice tidbits:
Senator John F. Kerry reported 16 years ago that he was living on his Senate salary and a trust fund worth no more than $100,000. He sometimes lodged at a friend’s home and had to watch his spending carefully...
The irony is that until he married Heinz 15 years ago, Kerry didn’t always have an outsized fortune at his disposal, despite his blueblood pedigree on the maternal Forbes side of his family.
The Forbeses, a Boston Brahmin family, made a vast fortune in the China trade, railroads, and other investments in the 19th century; Kerry himself was not a major financial beneficiary...
In fact, Kerry’s family relied on an aunt to pay his tuition at St. Paul’s prep school in Concord, N.H. As an adult, Kerry struggled financially at times, even after his 1984 election to the Senate. For about 2 1/2 years in the mid-1980s, during and after his divorce from his first wife, Julia, Kerry was all but a transient, residing at various times at seven different addresses in the Boston area, often for only days at a time, and three addresses in Washington...
So even though Kerry wasn't a major beneficiary of the Forbes fortune, it wasn't as if he couldn't get a family bailout:
In an interview yesterday, Kerry said that even in his postdivorce days, when he had less money, he knew he could rely on family funds.
If Kerry had issues with handling money (aapparently he did: "In 1984, he lost $25,000 to $30,000 in an exotic tax shelter, an investment he made when he was struggling financially. He abandoned the investment after his accountant questioned its legitimacy."), it seems it was because he sucks at it. Now he has a windfall, or I should say, a windfall due to the death of his wife's first husband. Good thing he got that "halp" since he too might have been "Stuck N Irak".
Like I said above, the Globe is acting like an unofficial PR firm for Kerry, trying to pass him off as some kind of "regular guy". There's only one word for this piece. Crap.