Nick Kristof, show us your tax returns


I see that Nick Kristof, the New York Times columnist originally from Yamhill, is determined to run for governor of Oregon in 2022 even though serious questions have been raised about his legal eligibility to run for that office. To be eligible under the state constitution, a person has to have lived in Oregon for the three years immediately prior to the election. Kristof reportedly voted in New York as a resident there last November; he didn't register to vote in Oregon until last December.

Apparently he has now hired the Perkins Coie law firm to crank out a 15-page legal memo that concludes he's eligible, but that is not going to cut it in a court of law, or in the court of public opinion. For one thing, according to the logic of that document, it apparently would have been okay for Kristof to vote for Biden in both New York and Oregon last November.

Coming at the question from an angle other than his voting, Kristof's tax status is another interesting fact to consider. While he's busy flashing around his legal memo, maybe he should flash around his income tax returns for the last, say, five years. Particularly his state tax returns in Oregon and New York. Did he file Oregon resident tax returns for those years, and New York nonresident?

Even if he started paying Oregon resident taxes here in 2019, as has been reported, that doesn't mean that his tax returns, in either state, were correct about his residency. You have to wonder, for example, if New York State is willing to consider him a nonresident for 2020, when he voted there.

"I was born here in Oregon, have a driver's license here, have always owned property here, and have always considered myself an Oregonian" is a lovely political speech to give at a picnic in McMinnville, but those are not the legal tests for tax purposes, or for voting purposes. And although I have been wrong before about what the Oregon Constitution means, I don't think those are the tests for eligibility to be governor, either.

Let's see his tax returns and take up the discussion from there. Kristof may not be Miss Oregon 2012, but he sure is looking like Charlie Hales 2.0, trying to have it both ways. Unless he has something better to offer in his defense than that memo, I couldn't support him. Maybe in four years, if we're both still around.

Comments