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Mud Slinging in County Board Race Targets Bondi

by ARLnow.com — January 12, 2012 at 8:00 am 7,885 196 Comments

Over the past two nights, civic association debates between the six candidates running for County Board have been a remarkably civil affair. The candidates — five Democrats and one Green Party member — touted their records, focused on the issues, politely disagreed with some county policies, and refrained from directly criticizing one another.

Behind the scenes, however, mud is being slung, and it’s being directed at one Democratic candidate in particular: Melissa Bondi.

For the past couple of weeks, Republicans and Democrats alike have been bombarding local media outlets with dirt on Bondi — on and off the record — claiming she failed to register a car in Arlington and she has been late in paying her taxes on multiple occasions.

In an interview with ARLnow.com on Tuesday, Bondi had some answers, but professed surprise at the most serious charge: that she failed to pay the IRS $19,252.23 in taxes accrued between 2005 and 2006, resulting in a federal tax lien being filed in March 2011. (See: document provided to ARLnow.com.)

According to Bondi, she was not notified about the lien at the time and only found out about it this week via a post on a local blog. She said she immediately contacted the IRS and tried to find out why the lien was assessed.

“I learned about when I learned about the blog post, and I was shocked and extremely concerned,” Bondi said. “I believe it’s an error, I believe it’s a mistake. I don’t know what the circumstances are, but I’m anxious to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.”

Asked if she has, to her knowledge, paid all her federal taxes “in full and on time,” Bondi said yes.

But according to the Arlington County Treasurer’s Office, Bondi has not always paid her local taxes on time. A FOIA request filed by a local resident reveals that Bondi was twice delinquent in paying Arlington personal property taxes on her car. In 2004, Bondi was 14 days late in paying the tax. In 2005, she was 53 days late, and only paid “following a threat of seizure by the Treasurer’s office,” according to Treasurer Frank O’Leary.

O’Leary, who’s supporting the campaign of County Board candidate Terron Sims, did not mince words when sharing his professional opinion of Bondi with the Clarendon Patch.

“She is a scofflaw and tax evader,” O’Leary told the website. “If I sound a little angry about it, I am. She simply ignored us.”

Asked about the past delinquencies, Bondi would only discuss her current county tax situation.

“I believe I am fully paid up with Arlington County with any obligations I have,” Bondi said. “I try to be responsible on my obligations, and I believe I am responsible on my obligations.”

If there were any tax delinquencies, she said, they were not intentional.

The questions surrounding Bondi’s personal property taxes don’t stop there. Critics say Bondi kept a car in Arlington from 2006 to 2008, despite the fact that her car was reported as sold and removed from Arlington’s personal property tax rolls in February 2006.

In fact, Bondi’s own campaign website seemingly supports the critics’ assertion.

“In 2008, Melissa gave up car ownership and now takes full advantage of Arlington’s walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods,” the “About Melissa” portion of the site says.

In our interview, Bondi confirmed that she drove a car up until 2008 — but asserted that it was her father’s car. Her father, she said, became sick in 2006 and let her use his car for her frequent trips to visit him in Pennsylvania. After her father passed away in 2008, she gave up the car.

The county frequently sends letters to owners of out-of-state cars observed parking in Arlington for an extended period of time, reminding them that “every vehicle garaged in Arlington County must be registered with the Arlington County Commissioner of Revenue.” Since the car was in her father’s name, Bondi said, he would have handled any correspondence with county tax authorities. Bondi said the car’s registration “was the furthest thing from my mind” as she tended to her ailing father.

ARLnow.com was sent a photo of a black Honda, purported to be the car in question, parked in a Courthouse parking garage. The car has an Ohio license plate — Bondi’s father lived in Ohio and Pennsylvania, she said — and had political bumper stickers for County Board member Chris Zimmerman and School Board member Sally Baird.

One final car-related accusation against Bondi concerns two citations issued in 2004. According to court records, however, the two traffic charges against Bondi — driving on a suspended license and an expired Virginia inspection sticker — were ultimately dismissed.

Bondi said she intends to “clear and explain the record” wherever there have been “errors or mistakes.” In the meantime, she says she’ll continue to run on her track record as a “proven community leader” and an “accomplished public policy professional.”

“I am proud of my personal record, I am proud of my professional record, and I am proud of my track record of accomplishment,” she said. “Every voter needs to decide for themselves what are the most relevant or important things that they’re going to look at… I respect that.”

As for what’s driving all the negative attacks from both Republicans and fellow Democrats, Bondi said that she wasn’t quite sure.

“I know that whenever you are going to assert priorities or positions… maybe not everyone is going to like everything you do all the time,” she said.

Off-the-record conversations with several of Bondi’s critics, however, have revealed one possible explanation.

Bondi is strongly endorsed by County Board member Chris Zimmerman. Since Zimmerman also worked to get Walter Tejada elected to the County Board, critics say that Bondi’s election would give Zimmerman a three-person voting block on the five-member Board — a virtual lock on legislative decision-making in the county.

Bondi, though, says she has disagreed with Zimmerman on votes before and will likely disagree again.

“I believe I already am serving as my own voice,” she said.

Democrats will choose their County Board nominee during caucuses on Thursday, Jan. 19 (at Washington-Lee High School) and on Saturday, Jan. 21 (at Kenmore Middle School).

  • Set the Controls

    She repeats herself over and over.

  • Thes

    It is a shame to see the politics of personal destruction coming to Arlington.

    • Andrew

      I would not call this personal destruction. Pointing out that someone was delinquent on their taxes and did properly register their vehicles is fair game. Our leaders should lead from the front and set an example.

      • Plunkitt of Clarendon Blvd

        It hardly seems to be rocket science that if you are going to run for elected office you should have regularly paid your taxes.
        I can’t see how doing that simple check on a candidate is an instance character assasination…

        • GrandArch

          Don’t forget half of this hasn’t been verified by anyone reputable. Unless you sign a form allowing the IRS to give tax information to designated others, as Federal candidates do, there’s no way to verify the authenticity of any of the claims above relating to federal taxes. As for the local taxes, Good Government, below, points out that this is sketchy too. And the fact that ArlNow publishes it suggests it’s either a rumor mill or it’s playing politics.

          ARLNow – please let us know if you end up getting sued over this.

          • Greg

            It’s a recorded tax lien, right? Go over to the County’s land records office and see if you still believe that “no way to verify” thing.

          • GrandArch

            The article claims there’s a lien from the IRS, so it would be a federal tax lien. That’s not a property lien you can discover going over to the county land records office. Please send a citation or a link if discover otherwise.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        I agree, Andrew. Regardless of party, anyone that wants to be an elected official/leader should provide a good example.

      • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

        Agreed. She’s toast.

      • Good Government

        Actually, I wouldn’t just call it personal destruction. Bondi will be fine. I would call it the unethical and possibly illegal release of personal information that is protected under Virginia law.

        Release of personal property tax information, except under limited circumstances that do not appear to apply here, is a class II misdemeanor under Virginia law. It is not at all clear to me under what authority of law the Treasurer’s office is releasing this information, which I believe is statutorily protected. Look it up yourself.

        This is not about any individual campaign. Garvey will probably win this election anyway. This is about the Treasurer’s office being misused for political purposes, as it has been for a long, long time.

        You would think Frank O’Leary would have learned his lesson back in 2007 when he was censured by the Democratic Party and left the party in a huff. Apparently not. Some of us have equally long memories and are sick and tired of this nonsense.

      • Jim Webster

        Andrew is right. This is legitimate criticism. The headline “mud slinging” is unfairly pejorative.

    • Lou

      Thes, I am willing to bet you would be thoroughly castigating any Republican politician for these same offenses.

      Just a hunch. I could be wrong.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        I’m wondering the same thing, though I hope I am wrong. There should be one standard regardless of political party.

  • Kortnee

    Frank O’Leary is great. Love the guy because he tells it like it is and does not mince words. Arlington is lucky to have a civil servant of his quality. Scofflaw and evader! Not County Board material.

    • ArlingtonWay

      Actually he’s the classic bureaucratic hack and supremely arrogant. A bad combination in a tax collector. Franky should talk less and pray for humility.

      • Plunkitt of Clarendon Blvd

        O’Leary got a complete pass from the media on breaking his pledge to not run for re-election…there are no heroes here.

    • Real voter

      O’Leary is not great. He was kicked out of the Democratic party for writing a letter with racist overtones to primary voters in 2007. As others have pointed out, he sat on this info about Bondi for how many years and then decided to release it … right now. Smells like some kind of payback to me.

      • Informed voter

        Hey real voter, last I checked Frank ran as a democrat in November and was endorsed by the party, might want to do your homework before you post, and Frank was not kicked out of the party, nor was Melissa involved in that incident so not sure how this could be perceived as payback, not sure why anyone would defend someone running for office not paying their taxes but wanting to spend your tax dollars – unless maybe you do not pay your taxes either

    • Bennett

      If O’Leary is repeating information he obtained as Treasurer, he’s not only disgusting, he’s criminal. My tax record, unless the state takes me to court, is between me and the state.

      • FedUp

        Sorry, Bennett, but certain tax payer information, such as whether you pay or not, is subject to the Freedom Of Information Act. You know, the public’s right to know…

  • jack

    C’mon. Politics 101. PAY YOUR TAXES. You are running for office to represent citizens who pay their taxes. Pay your own. OF COURSE someone will do some digging and find this out. I’m constantly amazed how people running for office seem completely clueless that it’s so simple to obtain information in the 21st century.

    • BlueLoom

      +1

  • Paco

    Hard to see how “mud is being slung” on this. Either she paid her taxes on time, paid them late or did not pay them at all. Those are simply facts.

    While the timing and apparatus for releasing those facts may be politically inspired, exposing confirmed facts provides information to voters. Nothing more, nothing less.

    As it stands now, based on what has been released and confirmed, Ms. Bondi still has not given a satisfactory explanation as to why she’s had these problems.

    I will not vote for her. Based on the facts. Not mud-slinging.

  • Lou

    Her point that the car she had here from 06 to 08 was her father’s doesn’t really matter, does it? The law is pretty clear about any car garaged in the county for x number of days needing to be registered and taxed here. I don’t have time to look it up, I don’t think it matters if it was her car or not. If you keep it here, it has to be registered here. Can’t use your family hardship case to get any sympathy, and that is kind of low anyway.

    • Burger

      Lou,

      Then you would be wrong. Not every car parked in Arlington has to be registered in the county. There are various exemptions people can take like being in the military. There are also various exemptions the county says are inapplicable – if you do no intent to domicile in Arlington you car doesn’t need to be registered – but the US constitution validly support.

      She doesn’t have those exemptions because her intent was to domicile in Arlington.

      More than likely, her father gave her the car because he was too sick to use it and she never registered it.

      And, if all the documents went to her father as she alleges then I can see the first 14 day delay in paying taxes but not the second one because the car should have been registered in Arlington.

      • Lou

        Yeah, I guess the military exception I was aware of. My comment was too general, but I was definitely thinking in this particular context.

        I think you have also confused the issue a little. The times she was late on paying property tax was for a car she owned and had registered here. I am not going to quibble about being a little late on taxes, since I can not say with certainty that every bill I have ever paid was booked before the deadline. The car I am talking about was the one she used after she sold that first car, a car that she apparently never registered here over the course of a couple of years.

        Also, although it’s water under the bridge at this point, was the second car insured? Was she driving it around without insurance that covered her? This whole kind of laissez-faire, under the radar behavior is just the type of self-entitled attitude that we do not need more of on the board.

      • military

        Incorrect on the military exemption. As a military family that are out of state residents we still have to register our cars in Arlington County and place a decal on the windshield. We just are exempt from paying any taxes to Arlington County.

        • Quoth the Raven

          Really? I don’t think that’s true. If you’re out of state, with an out of state plate, I don’t think you need to register your car in Arlington or put a decal on it. I suppose if the decal is free that would be OK, and I don’t know if it is or not.

          • military

            Absolutely true. We have FL plates on our cars. After living in Arlington for a few months (parking our cars in an underground garage) we received letters from the County saying that if our car is garaged in Arlington even if we are out of state residents we still have to have a county decal. We weren’t aware of that requirement either since everything else Virginia-related we don’t have to deal with. I’ve had an Arlington decal for the past few years, and it was free after I provided proof of active duty and out of state registration.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Right on – thanks for the tip! We’ve been stationed here for 5 years and didn’t know about this!

        • Burger

          Do you pay a tax…no…you are exempt for the purposes of what I am talking about.

  • Paco

    Also, kinda funny to see Paul Ferguson’s name stamped on Bondi’s Notice of Federal Lien filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court last March.

    Ferguson has endorsed Bondi. Guess his deputies didn’t flag the paperwork for their boss. Or even worse, Ferguson knew about it and shrugged it off.

  • TGEoA

    Being late on HER personal property taxes IMO is not a big deal. She squared the matter away.

    However she knew or should have known that her fathers car was required to have the tax decal. Scofflaw is an apt description.

    Kudos to Scott B. for putting this out in the open.

    • charlie

      The county is very agressive about out of state vehicles being used in Arlington.

      A few other thoughts:

      1. It used to be the county send you a letter — if you filed federal taxes in Arlington — that you had to admit or deny under perjury if you had a vehicle. Was that sent in Bondi’s case?

      2. When was this car with Ohio plates being used? current?

      3. Hyprocritical — was she really “Car-free” or “tax free”

      • CW

        They’re not aggresive about it in my garage! Probably $100k in unpaid PPT down there judging from all the MD/CA/FL plates on the new Audis.

        I say round all the crooks up and assess punitive fines. Weird how cheating on income taxes gets you thrown in jail but cheating on PPT is like jaywalking. TAX FRAUD IS TAX FRAUD.

        I wish someone would promising to crack down on this across the board, rather than just attacking a candidate for evading. If everybody paid their share maybe our rates wouldn’t be the highest around.

        • TGEoA

          Go down and take photos of each of the offenders and then send a notie to the county. Do it again 30 days later and then they have enough evidence that those cars are being garaged regularly.

          • CW

            Good point; been meaning to.

          • TGEoA

            Do it at night. I nailed a few players from the Caps a while back.

            A Lamborghini and a Maybach.

          • CW

            I think I might know where you live.

            That was probably enough revenue to finance a couple feet of trolley line, if not more.

          • JamesE

            was that the yellow lambo I always see parked outside of Caribbean breeze? Which also has atrocious rims and a horrible aftermarket exhaust?

          • CW

            I’m more annoyed by the one with the matte gunmetal/grey finish that roams clarendon holding about 4500 rpm in traffic…for the love of god, shift.

          • drax

            There’s a guy with a manual transmission who doesn’ t know how to drive right?

            Don’t tell novasteve.

          • JamesE

            and it being a newer lambo it probably is a DCT so all he has to do is hit a flappy paddle on the steering wheel not even depress a clutch, for shame.

          • Lee-n-Glebe

            That Matte / Gunmetal Grey finish Mercedes Supercar is #8′s, if you believe the license plates.

          • Greg

            That is Ovie’s Mercedes. I’ve seen him driving it. But there is also a matte Lambo around that I think they are talking about.

          • CW

            Yeah I’m referenceing a murcielago.

          • JamesE

            I just want to point out the comment system needs to go further than four replies deep.

          • Southeast Jerome

            Grover Norquist would be outraged.

        • JamesE

          All car tax offenders should have to wear a scarlet letter.

      • TGEoA

        I applaud the county’s efforts to collect the taxes. They have a dedicated car with a plate reader designed to catch out of state cars.

        They should buy more readers and get Advanced Auto and other tow companies to install them and then tow the scofflaws.

        • Southeast Jerome

          I believe they will boot you before they tow you.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        It looks like an August 07 expiration on that tag.

      • Arlington Voter

        Actually, what I find amazing is that Frank O’Leary or someone connected with him apparently took a picture of Bondi’s car, did nothing to enforce the alleged tax violation at the time, but kept the picture for 5 years on the off-chance she would run for election so he could use it against her politically.

        Is this a legitimate tax issue or is Frank O’Leary misusing his office for partisan political purposes? This would not be the first time he has done that.

        • Informed voter

          why do you assume Frank took the picture? check your fact before putting crap out there, people – y’all are amazing, the outcry against those who would “mudsling” by reporting the truth but no problem mudslinging Frank withot any knowledge of the facts!

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    Bondi is correct she is current on her taxes with Arlington — SHE DOESN’T PAY ANY.
    no car. no real estate.
    and yet she will determine our real estate tax rate.
    she has no idea of that pain.

    • CW

      Just curious how you know she doesn’t have real estate. The address on the tax lien is that of one of the nice townhouses down the block on Clarendon from the Market Common Starbucks. I’ve never seen one of those for rent.

      • John Fontain

        Her name isn’t listed as the owner of that property.

        • drax

          This could be the source of confusion. Maybe she’s a tenant but the IRS thought she was an owner. If it’s a mistake, that is.

      • TGEoA

        I’m fairly certain hat if you have a judgment against you, a lien can’t be filed on you against a property that you do not own.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        you can go look up who owns a parcel on the county website:
        http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/realestate/reassessments/scripts/DREADefault.asp

        that property is owned by someone named Lisa Chavez.

        Maybe Bondi can explain her relationship and under what terms she is living there. Miss Chavez claims that as her legal residence, based on contributions she made to Favola Senate Campaign and the Alfonso Delegate Campaign.

        VPAP.org lists all campaign contributions thru 2011.

        On January 17 campaigns have to file their first reports for 2012 — it will be cool to see who is donating to this motley group.

        • CW

          I guess Bondi is her roommate or else she’s got some ‘splaining to do.

          • Oh dear

            Personal connection alert…

      • Wayne Kubicki

        The assessment records (avail online on the County website) show the owner of that address as “CHAVEZ LISA M”, at the same 2624 address.

        • CW

          Thanks all, forgot to check the appraiser’s site. Guess she’s subleasing (or Ms. Chavez is a “campaign contributor”).

    • John Fontain

      Are you suggesting that only property owners should have a voice in local government?

      • John Fontain

        To be clear, this question is directed to ‘ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer.’

      • ArlingtonWay

        Certainly not. But i do think that voters are justified in factoring in their decision whether a candidate has the life experience to appreciate how public policies impact them. Someone who does not own a home, have a kid in the schools, a regular job, a car with personal property taxes is someone who does not personally experience most of the things by which I and most of my neighbors interact with Arlington County government and public policies.

        • John Fontain

          If renters are bright enough, they realize that they do in fact pay real property taxes. Just not directly.

        • Southeast Jerome

          That comment is maybe the worst I have ever read. This isnt the 1800′s when white men who own property get to vote and nobody else does.

          Are you kidding me??

          So someone renting with no kids that takes the metro to their on and off job shouldn’t have as much of a say as you?

          • John Fontain

            SJ, I read that comment the same way.

          • ArlingtonWay

            THE HUMANITY!!! Simmer down there Jerry. You have a little spittle on your lip. What i said was that voters make judgements about whether candidates life experiences make them more or less likely to understand those they represent. Does this shock you? And about your “white males” hyperbole, you may want to sit down for a minute. Im pretty sure all voters do this, even, gasp, non white voters. There’s a guy down on Pennsylvania Avenue you could talk to who probably benefitted a little from this suprising and shocking phenomenon.

        • Tabs

          Totally disagree with you–I find the “don’t have kids” comments you keep spouting particularly rude.

          • ArlingtonWay

            Try to be brave. I know you can handle it.

          • CW

            But Tabs, don’t you understand? If the county builds a trolley, or has an art gallery, or plants trees here and there, that’s an outrage. I mean, my GOD, people are paying PROPERTY TAXES on that sort of thing, and they’re getting wasted on these boondoggles! Don’t you get it? Those dollars should be used on things like building another $150M high school, because EVERYONE’S kids go there. Don’t your kids go there, Tabs? I know mine do! Because we all have kids, and we only should pay for the parts of the government that we use. But schools, those aren’t in question, because we all have kids. Also, driving. We all do that 24/7. Don’t you? I know I do.

          • ArlingtonWay

            Awesome argument. Spend more on trolleys and less on schools and roads. You should TOTALLY run. You’ll do great, I promise. You’ve really got the pulse of the voters. And you don’t sound like anyone hit a nerve or anything, which is, you know, another thing you have going for you. See you round the old Artisphere!!

          • CW

            Wow, I think you totally misunderstood my point and took it to be sarcasm or something. All I was doing was agreeing with you! I mean, who would ever want someone to represent you who wasn’t “normal”, who didn’t pay property taxes and own a car and drive everywhere, who didn’t have kids and a house with a white picket fence and bushes and a spouse who cooks dinner ever night? I sure would never want to vote for anyone like that. I definitely wouldn’t vote for someone who didn’t have a “regular” job, like, as opposed to those really weird jobs that some of those young lib-rullls have. So I totally agree on that last point. Only people with “regular” jobs for sure. And also no train-riders, childless people (gross), or, ugh, renters. I mean, renters aren’t allowed to run anyhow because they can’t have a permanent address, can they? The state didn’t start allowing that, did they? And don’t even get me started on cyclists. .

          • ArlingtonWay

            LOL. Nope, not defensive at all. Relax, pumpkin. No ones attacking your lifestyle. I value you. All of Arlington does. You just be the best single nonproperty owning public transportation using person you can!

          • ArlingtonWay

            But really, having said that, would it kill you to buy a home? I mean, interest rates are at a historic low. And I’m not even going to mention your social life. I mean listen. You’re not getting any younger you know. Is it so wrong for you to lower your standards just a little and put on a nice dress and go out out on a date or two? You know i just want you to be happy and would it be the end of the world to have some gramdchildren some day?

          • CW

            I guess I could put on a nice dress but I’d probably get some funy looks.

        • BlueLoom

          Agreed.

        • Always Right

          You are Right On!

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        not at all.

        What I’m suggesting is that what Bondi says and what you hear are two different things.

        SHE SAYS: Yes, I am current on my taxes.
        ONE HEARS: Oh good she IS paying her taxes to Arlington
        REALITY IS:
        No Car = No personal property tax
        No House = No real estate tax.
        She pays no taxes so it would be hard to not be current.

        • Southeast Jerome

          If she rents, do you think that her landlord doesnt pass along the property tax cost to her via her rent?

          She may not write the check to the county, but she definitely “pays” property tax, just as anyone living in the county does.

          • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

            i’d faint if ANY renter in Arlington actually knew what the property tax bill was on their property.

          • Southeast Jerome

            They dont know the breakdown, obviously, but its pretty obvious by looking at rents which buildings have higher taxes b/c they are assessed higher. Thats a breakdown of rent.

            It doesnt matter whether they “know” how much of their rent goes towards taxes.

            The problem is the implication that renters are somehow not full citizens because they dont write the check directly to the county.

          • Clarendon

            I own my house but it does disappoint me that others seem to view citizens who don’t own and pay rent as somehow less important. Does that mean they view big land owners like JGB, Dittmar, Vernado, etc as somehow more important than them ? The big land/building owners write the biggest tax checks, but as was pointed out – they pass the bill down to their tenants.

          • R. Griffon

            You’re reading WAY too much into it. “Renters are somehow not full citizens” are your words – not his. He never said or even implied any such thing. If you read his original comment again, you’ll see that what he says is that if she doesn’t pay real estate taxes (“DIRECTLY,” I think is implied), then she has no idea how County tax policy directly affects residents.

            And that’s a fair assessment. In truth, EVERYONE who lives or operates a business here pays real estate taxes. But some have a very keen sense of what it costs and how it changes from year to year, while others have little to no idea because there’s a middle man between them and the County.

            And if you don’t know how it affects people, then maybe you’re not the best person to be in charge of it. THAT’s what he said.

            Nobody ever implied that renters shouldn’t vote. Don’t be in such a hurry to be offended.

          • Josh S

            Not necessarily. The property owner doesn’t HAVE to pass on the taxes. So you simply can’t categorically say she “definitely” pays property tax.
            And even if the property owner passes on the costs, I still don’t think you’ll convince a judge that she “pays” property taxes. She pays rent. What the property owner does with that money is up to him/her. Maybe he/she goes to Atlantic City with it.

          • Southeast Jerome

            So I must not “definitely” pay sales tax either right? Because the merchants that collect it could just go to Atlantic City with that money.

            Super argument

          • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

            SJ, you must be new here.
            there has been extensive discussion about the $100,000+ that is owed to Arlington by restauranteurs who have pocketed the money.

            http://www.arlnow.com/2011/12/28/donnas-debts-increasing-on-overdue-meals-tax-list/

          • Always Right

            If your statement is true, that is proof she isn’t very smart.

  • Burger

    Shocker…when you lie about something to people, it is hard to keep the facts straight.

    Was the car in Arlington in 2008 – Bondi says yes but the tax rolls say different..hmmm…I think O’ Leary is right she is a tax scofflaw.

  • Arlingtron

    Bondi would actually be accurately representing the population of Arlington which has it’s large share of personal property tax evaders. On my block, that I call “State Street,” I have seen cars parked overnight from every state in the union … including Hawaii. Why should our elected representative be any different from the people that live around us that refuse to comply with local regulations.

  • John Fontain

    When was the picture of the license plate taken?

    • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

      as noted above the expiration on the tags say 08-07 (August 07) (or if it is July 08 still the same problem).

      • John Fontain

        That still doens’t answer the question. Was the picture taken recently? Are the tags expired by several years? Again, when was the picture taken?

        • ArlingtonWay

          Im actually more curious about WHO took it, and under what circumstances. Was this a political opponent or was it government? If it was a government entity, how did it get leaked in a partisan political campaign and by who? I oppose MB strongly. But i am curious.

          • Arlington Voter

            Exactly. What kind of Big Brother goes around taking pictures of people’s cars and saves them for potential use in future political campaigns? How is it that Frank O’Leary can now come out and call political candidates scofflaws, based on said photo, and yet did nothing to enforce the alleged violation at the time?

          • Greg

            I think it’s standard for the County to take a picture of your license plate under these circumstances. I’m sure they keep those in a file and the article says someone FOIA’d the file.

            We don’t know what enforcement was taken, although I imagine the County sent a letter out asking about whether the car was garaged here. That’s typical.

        • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

          I’ve been told…
          1. the picture was taken in July 2006 during some sort of Committee of Great Importance meeting. At that time the tags would be current.
          2. Several local democrats had observed one of Zimmerman’s sock puppets driving around with an unregistered vehicle and decided to take a picture to prove a point. The point is now being proved, five years later.

          Someone should ask Bondi if she ever owned that car and if her father owned it, how long did she have it in Arlington. (how many 35 year olds drive their dad’s car?)

          Someone should also ask Bondi how she is getting to all these debates — people are routinely seeing her driving a car to these functions, despite blogging about how horrible the 38B bus service is these days.

          • John Fontain

            “I’ve been told…”

            Sure.

          • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

            gosh, you make me sound like i’m one of the candidates…
            i’m not. i have enough skeletons to fill several closets.

          • Good Government

            So these, so-called Democratic activists decided to hold on to said picture for 5 years, not for potential enforcement against said alleged violator, but for future use in a future political campaign?

            Really? Who does that? What other pictures do they have? Should everyone potentially running for office wonder if there are secret files on them somewhere?

            Someone should ask a lot of questions about who took this picture and why they held on to it until now.

            Someone should also ask a lot of questions about the role of the Arlington County Treasurer’s office (an employee of which happens to be the treasurer of another candidate in the race) and the likely misuse of a county office for political purposes.

            I’ve been around this county way too long to put up with this kind of behavior. It has no place in Arlington politics. You should be ashamed of yourself.

          • SouthPikeGuy

            While you are at it, ask yourself why Zimmerman would have so many enemies inside his own party.

  • Keith

    If you click on / enlarge the image of the lien on the Arlington Yupette blog you will see that the lien was for non-payment of self-employment taxes, which I assume is income reported to the IRS via Form 1099. Who did she work for and what did services did she perform.

    • bemused bystander

      If she worked “for” someone, she wasn’t self-employed. The nature of contractual relationships — employee, or self-employed contractor, especially on a short-term job — has generated innumerable disagreements between taxpayers hereabouts and the IRS. It’s a consequential distinction because self-employed people have to pay double social security, which can add up fast.

      I’m not saying that’s the issue here — I have no added information — but could be.

      • SouthPikeGuy

        Yeah, that whole thing about employed vs. self-employed and with-holdings is something my tax guy used to get after me about. When I was 20.

        Here’s another question: Can you take Family Medical Leave when you are self-employed?

        • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

          yeah. and it only applies to large employers.

          i think she is going for the empathy vote.

  • Bob

    How can you have a lien filed on property you don’t own? Unless you are the co-owner, married to the owner, or have some kind of financial interest in the property?

    • John Fontain

      The lien doesn’t specify the property it is recorded against, it simply says all property. That can include both personal (investments, bank accounts, cars, art, personal possessions, etc.) and real (real estate) property. In her case, it appears she has no real property.

    • Village Genius

      Bob: The IRS lien is a general lien against any property. The lien notice states: “We have made a demand for payment of this liability, but it remains unpaid. Therefore, there is a lien in favor of the United States on all property and rights to property belonging to this taxpayer for the amount of these taxes, and additional penalties, interest, and costs that may accrue.” The IRS lien is not filed against a particular property, but is a notice concerning a person.

      • drax

        Ah, so never mind about my comment above. It’s awful hard for her to come up with an excuse for not knowing about this lien. Maybe the IRS mailed noticed to that address – and she doesn’t get her mail there? Hmmm.

  • Village Genius

    Would anyone hire Bondi to run a $1 billion dollar operation based on her personal record? Absolutely not.

    Let’s take a look at her personal record of which she claims she is proud.

    The $19,000 IRS tax lien lists the same address as her campaign. It is difficult to believe that she had no idea and her current explanation fails to explain why she did not pay the taxes.

    Dodging the car tax should disqualify her. (Has she recently paid-up what was owed? No, she has not.)

    What about her failure to register her consulting business with the County? Pay the business license fee? Pay business personal property tax for her consulting business? Arlington County requires home-based business to register and pay fees and taxes, but Bondi decided to skip those obligations. Alternatively, maybe her campaign website erroneously states that she had a consulting business during the 1.5 years that she was unemployed in 2009-10.

    Bondi also flunked out of college. Three years of miserable grades is not a strong personal record.

    Thank you ArlNow for publishing this article, however pointing out facts about a candidate is not mudslinging.

    • John Fontain

      Please provide evidence of her “miserable grades.”

      • John Fontain

        Village Genius, I can’t hold my breath forever. Come on, show us the proof of her “miserable grades.”

        • The Dean

          She got academic probation at UR. They don’t hand those out for just being fat.

          • John Fontain

            For the third time, evidence please.

  • JohnS

    Regarding the lien – simple explanation – If you click on – enlarge the image on the Arlington Yupette blog you will see that the lien is on the taxpayer, not on the residence where the taxpayer lives.

  • terri

    She’s another carpetbagger from the Rust Belt. We have had enough of those already on the County Board.

    I’m voting for Audrey Clement. Last two debates she stated what she’s going to do for US on the County Board. All the Democratic candidates did at the Aurora Highlands debate last night was brag how independent they will be of Chris Zimmerman who either appointed them to advisory commissions or, in Libby Garvey’s case, facilitated pet programs and projects. Any Democrat we elect will be a partner in years more of 5-0 votes on everything.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      +10, Terri.

    • TGEoA

      Vote for Garby in the primary, Clement in the general

      • BlueLoom

        Sims in the primary, probably Clement in the general.

        • The Dean

          Whomever, someone needs to coordinate so Zimmerman doesn’t get another Sockpuppet.

  • Tired, but still voting in January

    I appreciate Arlnow covering this story. The Arlingtonyuppette blog broke the story. Arlington Mercury picked it up and asked Bondi to comment. Her generic response allowed her to stall for time and gave her supporters some cover. Patch picked it up and added to the controversy. Arlnow ignored readers calls to look into the claims. Then, Bondi sits down with Arlnow for an interview?

    • Sam

      It might be called doing your due diligence as a reporter and not just reporting information that random people anonymously send to you. I’m less concerned about who reports first and more concerned that the information I’m reading is accurate.

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      We’ve been working on this story for two weeks. It was written yesterday but scheduled for publication this morning.

      • Good Government

        I hope your story is also looking into O’Leary’s abuse of office and potentially illegal release of private taxpayer information.

        • SouthPikeGuy

          What information did he release that he should not have, in your expert legal opinion?

  • Wilbur

    Hummmmm. Cross Bondi off the list! Whose next?

  • NoToAffordableHousing

    She is the worst kind of politician: a raging hypocrite.

    - She wants more social services and affordable housing, but evades taxes!
    - She lives in Courthouse, but fights against gentrification in Buckingham.

    It’s a typical case of do as I say, not as I do. I sincerely hope she will not be elected to the board. Her record of personal finance is so bad that I wouldn’t trust her with $20, let alone a $1B county budget.

    She also seems kind of unstable: long bouts of unemployment, flunking out of school, flaky and aggressively involved with social programs.

  • Arlwhenver

    Calling raising a political candidate’s tax paying record mud slinging, that’s the sign of a headline writer who has sold out to the ACDC establishmnent. Do you really think Bondi didn’t know about the tax lien, which occurs way downstream in the IRS assessment and collection process? The IRS notification procedures include the following….

    “5.12.1.2 (01-09-2009)
    Collection Due Process (CDP)
    1. Under IRC § 6320, the Internal Revenue Service must notify taxpayers in writing of their right to a Collection Due Process (CDP) Hearing with the Office of Appeals within 5 business days of the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. When a taxpayer timely requests a CDP hearing the taxpayer has a right to judicial review of the Appeals determination.
    2. Taxpayers may be entitled to a collection due process hearing if a timely request for a hearing is received. Otherwise, an equivalent hearing may be available. See IRM 5.1.9.3.2.3, Equivalent Hearing and Timeliness of Equivalent Hearing Request.
    3. The taxpayer cannot file for judicial review of a decision from an equivalent hearing unless the issue raised in the hearing provides for judicial review, i.e., taxpayer raises spousal defense under IRC § 6015.
    4. The CDP notice must be sent to the taxpayer within 5 business days after the NFTL is filed with the local recording office. The notice must be:
    A. Given in person
    B. Left at the taxpayer’s residence or usual place of business, or
    C. Sent by certified or registered mail to the taxpayer’s last known address.

    • Good Government

      Actually, it is not only mudslinging, but in the case of state personal property tax information may be against the law.

      Unfortunately, Frank O’Leary has a history of this kind of behavior, which raises serious ethical questions about the misuse of his office for political purposes. In fact, he did released personal tax information against Bob James, when he ran against him in a primary. No one called him on it and he got away with it, but it could be a class II misdemeanor.

      Whatever it is, it is a disgusting abuse of power by an elected official.

      § 58.1-3. Secrecy of information; penalties.

      A. Except in accordance with a proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, the Tax Commissioner or agent, clerk, commissioner of the revenue, treasurer, or any other state or local tax or revenue officer or employee, or any person to whom tax information is divulged pursuant to § 58.1-512 or 58.1-2712.2, or any former officer or employee of any of the aforementioned offices shall not divulge any information acquired by him in the performance of his duties with respect to the transactions, property, including personal property, income or business of any person, firm or corporation. Such prohibition specifically includes any copy of a federal return or federal return information required by Virginia law to be attached to or included in the Virginia return. This prohibition shall apply to any reports, returns, financial documents or other information filed with the Attorney General pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 (§ 3.2-4204 et seq.) of Chapter 42 of Title 3.2. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor

      * * *
      F. Additionally, it shall be unlawful for any person to disseminate, publish, or cause to be published any confidential tax document which he knows or has reason to know is a confidential tax document. A confidential tax document is any correspondence, document, or tax return that is prohibited from being divulged by subsection A, B, C, or D of this section and includes any document containing information on the transactions, property, income, or business of any person, firm, or corporation that is required to be filed with any state official by § 58.1-512. This prohibition shall not apply if such confidential tax document has been divulged or disseminated pursuant to a provision of law authorizing disclosure. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

      • Arlwhenver

        Except the records had been previously disclosed in response to a citizen initiated freedom of information request. Best to get your facts right before making wild accusations of criminal conduct.

        • Good Government

          Actually, confidential tax information is not typically subject to FOIA. And while the treasurer may have some discretion under the code in response to a FOIA, how it is ethical to run a political campaign out of the office of the Treasurer and use said confidential information for that purpose?

          Also one wonders, as with Bob James’ situation, just how that FOIA happened to come about. It’s awfully coincidental, dontcha think?

      • Suburban Not Urban

        How do you square this with the published list of tax delinquents on the AC Treasurer pages. Maybe just the fact of being delinquent allows them to disseminate the information.

        • Good Government

          The Treasurer may publish lists of CURRENT delinquents. But information going to the number of days late, etc. for people (like Kim Klingler, for example), who have never appeared on a published list may not be revealed. That’s Section 58.1-3(B).

  • Steve

    Is O’Leary retiring at the end of this term? I would think Zim would put someone up against him–although that didn’t work out too well the last time.

    • Sam

      Yep, that guy didn’t pay taxes either….

  • Arlwhenver

    The VPAP establishes Melissa Bondi designated the very same address where the lien is directed as the contact point for her Board of Supervisors campaign, subsequent to the filing and recordation of that lien, as follows.

    Contact

    Bondi for Arlington County Board – Melissa
    2624 Clarendon Blvd
    Arlington 22201
    (703) 527-6379

  • egutshall

    Some have far more faith in the IRS bureaucrats to properly and fairly execute Due Process. Having fought the IRS on many occasions over the past several years related to my business taxes, I can personally attest to the utter incompetence. While I have thus far prevailed in all my attempts to set the record straight, it is entirely plausible to me that Bondi was unaware of the lien. Unfortunately, that is not something that can ever be proven.

    What I am quite certain of is that someone as smart as Melissa would never knowingly allow a lien like this to fester when she decided to run for public office. She has volunteered on enough campaigns to know that this would come up. Therefore, I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and I will vote for her because she still represents to me the strongest vision for the next generation of Arlington.

    • Greg

      Just a question, but wouldn’t she also have been audited for this to come up? She either underpaid (which she would know about) or made a mistake and the IRS audited her? Is there another option?

      That being said, I really don’t care. At this point, I’d like to know which of the other candidates will do a respectable job. This isn’t DC.

      • madisonmanor

        Audits are one option, but the two times I have had to deal with them, they have sent questions/correspondence and allowed me time to respond to provide proof of what they took issue with (both times it was their mistake, not mine like egutshall indicated – but both times it said that I owed them money). But at no point was a lien ever issued because I took their letters seriously and sent them the information promptly, made phone calls to clarify etc., but they indicated that it was an option if the issues weren’t resolved. Having a lien filed is usually one of the later steps in the process.

        FWIW – both times they contacted me the same year as the taxes were filed. I find it hard to believe that she was surprised – except maybe surprised that they followed through because she ignored their previous attempts.

        • Greg

          You’re right. I could see that. She filed a 1099 but didn’t pay self-employment taxes. That could trigger a letter from the IRS without an audit because there would be an apparent mistake.

    • Mike

      Having wrestled with the IRS myself I concur that they are not always easy to deal with. However, one thing I will say is there is never a lack of paper sent your way. It is absolutely unbelievable that Bondi knew nothing about her tax troubles.Rather, this is part of an obvious pattern of believing she is above the law.

      We have several good options to vote for next week. Bondi is not one of them.

    • Informed voter

      If she represents the best of the next generation, may be time for me to move

  • Truthi

    Bottom ,line Sweet Melissa is a tax deadbeat and liar. She should be ashamed.

  • Tired, but still voting in January

    The IRS doesn’t just slap liens on people. The taxpayer receives IRS letters for years before they pursue a lien. The IRS will first withhold Federal tax refunds for subsequent years, assuming your are filing tax returns, until the balance is paid off. They will garnish your wages if you have a job. They will levy your bank accounts too. These actions are sent by certified mail. Your employer and bank notify you too. Then, after they are tired of being repeatedly ignored, the IRS files a lien judgement against the taxpayer. You receive written warnings beforehand from the IRS by certified mail. The IRS keeps records of the signed mail receipts, so don’t try telling them you didn’t know anything. They’ll catch her in that lie as soon as they look onto the image of the signed mail receipt on the computer Once the lien is recorded, it’s reported to the credit bureaus and your credit score drops. Then, your credit card companies get nervous and cut your credit limit, raise your interest rate, and increase the minimum payment due on your account.

    This is an embarrassment for Ms. Bondi. She’d be much better off admitting poor judgement instead of sticking to her current story. There is more than a week to go until the caucus. If she wins, this and other allegations will continue to follow her until the March special election. The damage to the image of the Arlington Democratic Party and Arlington County is not worth any benefits Ms. Bondi could offer as an elected official. There are other qualified candidates running.

    • Tired, but still voting in January

      Also, after the lien is filed, the taxpayer receives dozens of offers in the mail from tax law firms offering to represent you before the IRS to fix things. I appreciate Ms. Bondi was busy making Arlington a perfect place to live, but I would not have begrudged her taking a break to open her mail.

      • Just Tired

        Had a lien on you too, huh?

        I give her the benefit of the doubt, and I’m still voting for her. The other choices just don’t cut it.

        • TGEoA

          The Zimmerman sock puppet machine is out in force today.

    • Where?

      I don’t know that there are any other decent candidates running for this, to be honest. As far as I can see, Garvey just wants a job, ANY job, in elected office. Sims is a nice guy, but I am not impressed by his experience or platform – and I believe he placed last in the only race he ever ran for. I’m sorry, but the other two make me cringe every time they open their mouths. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, but I disagree that we have a wealth of options.

      • Dem. Caucus Voter

        Have you given Kim a chance? I’ve been impressed with her experience and willingness to break from the current board.

        • Another voter

          I don’t know, but apparently Kim was late with her taxes too, according the the Lord High Executioner, Frank O’Leary. But I guess she was only a little late. So I guess according to Frank, that’s ok?

          Do give examples, though, of her willingness to break from the current board.

        • Where?

          Honestly, I don’t think Kim is smart or sophisticated enough for the job. Sorry.

          • Informed voter

            you try getting a job with DeLoitte, then let us know how well you did since you think you are smarter and more sophisticated

          • Employed voter

            OMG . . . DELOITTE???? I . . . I could NEVER . . . even . . . ASPIRE to such. . . such . . .

            *shreds Harvard diploma while sobbing uncontrollably*

    • Suburban Not Urban

      Honestly that’s the most concerning thing here – the lack of believability on here current comments. Making a mistake or even trying an approach and failing is one thing – but speaking truth to the public is really the highest qualification for an elected official.

      • Just Tired

        How do you know she isn’t telling the truth? You don’t. I suspect she is. I know from experience that self-employment is a notoriously difficult issue with the IRS, and contrary to what some assert on this blog, the IRS is not foolproof about generating umpteen warnings when they THINK you made a mistake. They are not at all easy to deal with if you’re self-employed. Trying to talk to IRS personnel about self-employment is maddening – they always think you’re out to game the system, no matter how legitimate and transparent your work is. With Bondi, none of us knows the detailed circumstances of this case. I’m not particularly concerned about this as long as she settles it with the IRS. And I’m not impressed with the machine that appears to be trying to bring her down.

        • Paco Wellington III

          What in the world would you need to know to raise a question substantial question about Bondi’s qualifications? Your post discusses experiences with the IRS where you were communicating with the IRS. The IRS rules may be difficult and interaction with the IRS at times can be difficult, but all that still means interacting and knowledge, even if there is a disagreement. Bondi, however, is claiming that the $19,000 tax lien just arose out the thin blue air. Slick Bondi is just not believable because the IRS does not just wait in the dark and then slap a lien on a person.

          Coupled with her admitted failure to pay the personal property tax on a car she garaged in Arlington for two years (‘didn’t know, etc.’) notwithstanding her alleged knowledge about Arlington County and its government, Bondi demonstrates either gross incompetence or gross negligence in her personal affairs.

          Other posts do not seem concerned about her failure to complete college, but to me that just adds to her incompetence or failure to attend to her personal affairs. Also, I do not know what “attended” college for 3 years means — that could mean earning a few credit hours, flunking everything, barely surviving, etc. Bondi is seeking an important job, so she should be forthcoming with her background not just provide glib answers about inclusiveness.

          I am not part of any “machine” but instead a citizen, taxpayer, and voter who is simply appalled at the slick non-substantive Bondi and her appalling lack of qualifications. Most people would not hire her for anything, yet people are taking her seriously for a position that manages a $1 billion budget each year.

        • ArlingtonWay

          Im pretty sure a lot of the venom aimed at Bondi is because of the perception that there is a machine trying to PUT HER IN, not bring her down. Thats why i opposed her before the tax issue. I think we need people willing to propose opposite points of view. Shes Zimmermans candidate. Period.

  • Ted

    Know what is mind boggling? There is a candidate who will be on the ballot who worked her way through an Ivy League college and grad school and has a Ph.D. Has been on a car-free diet for decades. Lives in affordable market rate rental housing in a middle class neighborhood. Has worked her entire life in responsible positions. Is deeply concerned about the homeless and the environment. She has been almost totally ignored by the Yuppie blogs like ArlNow. Not surprising. ArlNow and the other for-profit blogs are reaping an advertising bonanza from the redevelopment of the B-R Corridor alone.Check out where most of the people who control the ‘local’ media actually live. Patch blogs are headquartered in New York. Sun Gazette parent is headquartered in Dallas. Arlington is just another profit-center and Melissa Bondi facilitates the growth in media advertising revenue. I would love to know who Bondi has provided consulting services for.

    • North Pershing Drive

      Go back to the shadow!

  • Jared

    I checked out the Arlington Yupette blog, which broke the story about Melissa. There is other stuff that is totally ignored by the local media. Why don’t the media report the total lack of concern about the air quality at Long Bridge Park, where the County Board wants my kids to play soccer?

    • South Arlington

      Because most of the stories on Arlington Yupette are made up?

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    Bondi is making a statement and clearing it all up (not):

    http://www.melissabondi.org/news

  • 22204

    I would like to see ARLNow do an full investigation on county sticker and plate registration enforcement, specifically:

    Why does the County has such limited powers to enforce the law on out of state plates and county stickers? They should have full power to go onto private property (garages) to enforce the law. Also, what’s the overlap (if any) for enforcement responsibility between the DMV and the county?

    Is the County only enforcing the law for the county sticker, but not DMV’s requirements for VA plates (e.g, DMV requires you to register your car with VA plates within 30 days of moving into VA)? According to DMV’s webstie, their enforcement squad only focuses on fraud perpetrated by car dealers, not taxpayers.

    How much revenue is Arlington losing because of this lax enforcement? Fairfax County doesn’t require county stickers anymore on cars — is that because they have a better system that Arlington is ignoring?

    • TGEoA

      Fairfax collects the tax, but doesn’t require the sticker. Arlington requires the sticker for two reasons

      1. To earn an extra 37 dollars per car
      2. So Frank can run the stupid decal contest.

      • 22204

        Right, Fairfax doesn’t have the stickers but still collects the tax. What I’m interested in is how does Fairfax do enforcement when there’s no sticker to check visually? Are they doing some kind of electronic enforcement? And is Fairfax’s enforcement method more effective than Arlington’s enforcement methods?

        • Former Vienna Resident

          I don’t think Fairfax does enforce. I lived there for almost a year before moving to Arlington and never received any communications about needing to register my car in Fairfax. I then moved to Arlington and within two months they sent me a notice that I needed to pay to keep my car in Arlington.

        • truth be told

          I have, twice, passed through rolling roadblocks where Fairfax is scanning plates and pulling over suspect vehicles. I thought maybe it was a immigration thing, but it is likely a way to catch tax violators randomly.

      • Bryant

        Arlington requires the sticker as another tool to assist in collecting the PPT. A side benefit is the decal contest. Widely rumored that Fairfax delinquency rate on PPT has spiked since it did away with the sticker.

      • truth be told

        I believe the other counties in the area that do not require stickers now just call the sticker fee a “processing fee”.

    • CW

      +1 to 22204.

      ARLnow should get an intern ( :) ) to do some field work. Hit a couple major garages and get some % figures of noncompliant vehicles and some dollar amounts of lost revenue. If you took care to cut across a reasonably representative demographic in your survey, you could maybe then extend it to yield a countywide lost revenue estimate. Someone should do that. Has anyone?

      • The Dean

        How many private garages could there be in the county? Get a list of them and then get some anonymous volunteers to take a building then they can submit their results for someone to aggregate.

        It burns me up that I paid my fair share and Bondi spent her money stuffing her fat face at Witlows.

        • bemused bystander

          I’ve heard somewhere that the county can’t look for scofflaw cars on private property without the landowner’s agreement. For newer buildings, that’s a condition of site plan approval, so the tax enforcers can go cruise in those garages, but not in older ones.

    • truth be told

      You think Arlington County should have full right to go into my locked garage to inspect my car? That’s nuts. Someone entering my locked garage without my permission may very well be considered by me a threat to my life and exterminated.

      • 22204

        I should have clarified — I meant the county should have full power to enter the garages of condo buildings (i.e., private property).

        However, if the county wants to knock on someone’s door (i.e., of a single family home or townhouse) and request to look inside to inspect vehicle registration, I don’t see why that is an invasion of privacy. I think we have enough of an issue in the county that that is not too much to ask.

  • Truthi

    and now she is also a hypocrite.

    Sweet Melissa’s record as a taxpayer is a real knee slapper when you look at the crap she puts out in her paying job, where she chastises the taxpaying public at large for not reaching deep enough into their wallets. She is campaign director of “Think Twice Before You Slice.” Here are some
    quotes (from missives actually signed by Ms. Bondi). She supports “Productive, stable, revenue solutions that reflect today’s economy … all businesses and individuals must pay their fair share (except her).” Her strategies focus
    on “simple regional themes of preserving revenues.” In Arlington she supports “raising the maximum potential tax rate, allowing more flexibility to meet community needs.” I could go on, but you get the flavor.

    There is one set of tax obligations for Melissa and quite another for everyone else. Her latest excuse, my dad was dying, well if that’s fair I want a refund for the tens of thousands of dollars in taxes I paid when my dad and then my mom died. Harrumph.

    I would love to say I wrote that but I copied it off the 22204 list serve. That said what about the car she drove to the debate last night. Is that another missing car or will she promise to register it legally after she gets on the County Board?

    • FedUp

      The car she drives around in is not hers. So I guess she is technically “carfree”. Hahaha!

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        ok.

        is it being declared as a contribution to her campaign then? better be.

  • Tired, but still voting in January

    Hurry! Last call for comments on this story before it gets pushed down to page 2 by the most recent news and exclusives this blog gets from various Arlington insiders. It will be a relief to go back to reading less serious news.

  • Impressed

    As a final comment, I’d like to say I’m impressed by Arlington voters reading all these comments. Sure a lot of them are sarcastic or don’t make sense, but you really can’t hoodwink Arlingtonians and they’ll seek out the information they think is missing.

  • MC

    While I refuse to make a loyalty-pledge in order to participate in the Democratic primaries, I hope those citizens willing to commit such an anti-democratic practice will vote against Ms Bondi, since the Democratic nominee is sure to be elected in our one-party election system. And I hope whoever the Democratic loyalists choose doesn’t have something equally problematic arise after they win their party’s nomination.

  • http://www.va8.com Will Radle

    MC, unlike Virginia Republicans, the Democratic Party does not require a loyalty pledge to participate in our primaries. We are inclusive and want to encourage your participation.

    Thank you.

    A. Will Radle, Jr.
    Creating a Culture of Listening
    2012 Democratic Candidate for VA8
    Will@VA8.com

    • Jamie

      @Will, that’s not correct for the Arlington County Democratic Committee Caucus. There is a pledge.

      That’s the case because the party is paying for the caucus.

      • Informed voter

        wrong. The democrats ask for a loyalty pledge for their caucuses, Will is correct, anyone can vote in a primary

        • Just Tired

          That’s what Jamie just said.

          • Informed voter

            I stand corrected, looks like I am just tired!

  • arlinda

    The IRS has a history of messing up political campaigns. Sometimes they have to appologize for being wrong.

    http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/02/brint-ryan-irs-apologizes-for.html

    • FedUp

      I don’t think they are wrong in this case. There is a history here, and it’s not just with the IRS. If you want to run for county board where you decide what taxes and how much Arlingtonians will have to pay, you better be paying the taxes that you are liable for yourself.

  • Arlingtonian

    I really do no see how you can equate presenting information about an IRS tax Lien being filed against a candidate as mudslinging. If she didn’t pay her taxes, the public should know as she is unqualified to be an elected official.

    According to the image of the tax lien filed in the clerk’s office and published in the newspaper, Ms. Bondi owed the IRS back taxes for tax years 2005 and 2006. To file the lien in 2011, the IRS had to have her correct address. While the IRS does make mistakes, filing a tax lien is not their first action and it is highly doubtful that Ms. Bondi was not aware of the dispute. It is not as if the IRS invests the time and effort to file a $20,000 tax lien without first contacting the taxpayer several times to resolve the matter. Anyone who has ever had contact with the IRS or represented clients before the IRS will find her claims of ignorance appalling.

  • Arlingtonian

    From the Washington Post Article noted by East Arlingtonian.

    Bondi said she lives at the address where the tax lien notification was sent but would not say whether she received notices or warning letters. She said she asked the IRS to provide her with all previous correspondence they sent.

    It also mentions that Klinger was delinquent in paying her car taxes in two years. Nor voting for her either.

  • Arlingtonian

    You really have to wonder what Bondi and Klinger were thinking when they decided to run for the Board. Bondi more than Klinger, but not paying federal income tax? And then claiming that the IRS had her address and refusing to say whehter she ever received notices from the IRS. Serious credibility issue. At least there are three others to chosse from, one of whom is a long-term elected official (Garvey) who has never been involved in a scandal.

  • Arlingtonian

    MC is really out of touch with eletoral laws throughout the nation. In many states, you cannot even participate in a party primary or caucus UNLESS you register to vote as a member of the party. This is not undemocratic. If he does not want to identify with a party that is his choice. Nevertheless, in Virginia he could participate despite his choice not to declare a party.

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