Oc­to­ber sur­prise was a noth­ing­burger

Santa Fe New Mexican - - LOCAL& REGION - GAVIN CLARK­SON

De­spite be­ing pro­vided with doc­u­men­ta­tion di­rectly con­tra­dict­ing the over­all nar­ra­tive, re­porter Thom Cole’s ar­ti­cle in The New Mex­i­can (“Role in loan ques­tioned,” Oct. 8) failed to prop­erly at­tribute the blame for a failed tribal loan trans­ac­tion I worked on nearly a decade ago.

Buried at the very end of the story was a dis­cus­sion of how the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice’s Lois Lerner weaponized her of­fice against or­ga­ni­za­tions she didn’t like, in­clud­ing In­dian tribes and whistle­blow­ers.

Af­ter I had ex­posed Lois Lerner’s racist prac­tice of con­duct­ing IRS au­dits of tax-ex­empt bonds 32 times more of­ten against tribes than state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments, I was able to force one of Lerner’s sub­or­di­nates to ad­mit IRS wrong­do­ing and change its pol­icy.

Lerner weaponized her of­fice by pulling the rug out from un­der my ini­tia­tive to lever­age cap­i­tal gains tax treat­ment to at­tract out­side cap­i­tal in­vest­ment into tribal economies.

She changed the rules in the mid­dle of the game, ig­nor­ing the plain read­ing of a statute.

I pro­vided the writ­ten doc­u­men­ta­tion to Cole prov­ing my as­ser­tion, but he was de­ter­mined to stick to his con­cocted cor­rup­tion nar­ra­tive.

The bot­tom line is that if Lerner hadn’t re­tal­i­ated against me for whistle­blow­ing, New Mex­ico tribes and pueb­los would have greater ac­cess to in­vest­ment cap­i­tal to­day.

While I was sep­a­rately paid for work on $18 mil­lion of sub­se­quent New Mar­ket Tax Credit projects, in­clud­ing high-speed broad­band for ru­ral Alaskan Na­tives (some­thing des­per­ately needed on New Mex­ico’s reser­va­tions and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties), I re­ceived no com­pen­sa­tion for my work on the loan trans­ac­tion dis­cussed in Cole’s ar­ti­cle, nor did I own shares in any the tribal cor­po­ra­tions in­volved.

My mo­ti­va­tion was sim­ply to equal­ize tax treat­ment for cap­i­tal in­vested in tribal and non­tribal cor­po­ra­tions.

It is also worth not­ing that in the en­tire ar­ti­cle, there is not one as­ser­tion that I did any­thing wrong.

I pro­vided Cole writ­ten doc­u­men­ta­tion di­rectly con­tra­dict­ing the ProPublica source Cole cited, but he re­fused to in­cor­po­rate it into his ac­count and even got my res­ig­na­tion date from the In­te­rior De­part­ment’s Bureau of In­dian Af­fairs wrong even though it was at the top of my res­ig­na­tion let­ter, which I also pro­vided him.

He also cited lower court or ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ceed­ings with­out both­er­ing to check their sta­tus on ap­peal.

My con­sult­ing role re­gard­ing the tanked trans­ac­tion was fully dis­closed mul­ti­ple times, in­clud­ing in my fed­eral back­ground check.

I was fully cleared to over­see the same loan guar­an­tee pro­gram to which my client had pre­vi­ously ap­plied.

I was tasked with fix­ing the prob­lems that arose dur­ing the Barack Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion that were the sub­ject of the later in­spec­tor gen­eral re­port.

A hit piece against me on the front page means some­one is wor­ried New Mex­i­cans are ready for a new sec­re­tary of state with a plan for job cre­ation; a com­mit­ment to elim­i­nate ab­sen­tee voter fraud us­ing zom­bies, aliens or ca­nines; and the tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise to pro­tect the power of ev­ery vote from sup­pres­sion.

Gavin Clark­son is the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for New Mex­ico sec­re­tary of state. He is a for­mer deputy as­sis­tant sec­re­tary for Pol­icy and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment in the De­part­ment of the In­te­rior and a for­mer as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor in the Col­lege of Busi­ness at New Mex­ico State Uni­ver­sity. He is a cum laude grad­u­ate of the Har­vard Law School and is the first tribal mem­ber to earn a doc­tor­ate from the Har­vard Busi­ness School (in Tech­nol­ogy and Op­er­a­tions Man­age­ment).

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