You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The Taxman Cometh For Franken

Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken's tax problems snowball:

Senate candidate Al Franken, dogged by accusations that he failed to file tax returns in California, said Tuesday he will pay about $70,000 in back income taxes in 17 states dating to 2003.

Most of the income at issue was from speeches and other paid appearances by the comedian-turned candidate, who said he got bad advice from his accountant but takes responsibility for the errors.

Reading through the stories, it sounds like an honest mistake by his accountant -- but it's still infuriating, since Taxgate is now dragging Al down in the polls in what should be the third-easiest Democratic Senate pickup (after Virginia and New Hampshire). The idea that the story could melt away quick is a fantasy: It's a deliciously easy way for Republicans to paint Franken a rich jet-setter, and I mean, at one point Obama's seventeen unpaid parking tickets briefly became a real story, and that's a far cry from failing to pay income taxes in seventeen states.

--Eve Fairbanks