OR-Gov: Dudley's basic math, or lack thereof

Carla Axtman

Yesterday morning, Republican Chris Dudley held a slapped together press conference at Sunset Transit Center in Beaverton. Presumably, the conference was to tamp down press reports of Dudley's bailing out on Oregon income taxes--along with an attempt to answer questions about the murkiness of his actual legal residency. This event also followed an odd Saturday conference call with Oregon Republicans who claimed that the stories about Dudley were "false and misleading", but they could never actually refute any of the facts in those new pieces.

Nigel Jaquiss, Willamette Week:

  1. He (Dudley) insists he moved to Camas in December 1994 and after that spent “not much” time in his Portland home. He could not explain, however, why there was food in the refrigerator when he sold the Forest Heights home. He said the sporting equipment and clothes in the Portland house were simply left over from the 15 months he did live there. In answer to why he only sold the Portland home in May 1997 after his stint with the Trail Blazers ended rather than when he claims he moved to Camas, Dudley says he previously tried to rent the home and listed it for sale “for a while,” but it took time to sell.

  2. Dudley gave an equivocal response to WW’s request that he make public his tax returns for the years 1994 to 1998. He says he’s unsure he has the returns and is not enthusiastic about providing them if he does. “That was 17 years ago,” he says. Asked how his campaign was able to generate such specific totals for the amount of Oregon taxes he paid during those years (the campaign has said he paid about $463,000) if he lacked his returns, Dudley’s said “that was an estimated figure.” Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber agreed last week to make his tax returns for the same period public.

  3. Dudley clarified an important point: as a Washington resident, he would pay Oregon income tax on Oregon-source income only. Last week’s WW story got that point wrong, asserting that he paid Oregon taxes on his entire Trail Blazer salary. In fact, as tax professionals have said subsequently, Dudley would owe Oregon taxes only on the 41 home games played in Portland, not his entire salary. For the 41 road games, he would pay income taxes to those states which have such taxes. In that period, there were six NBA cities (Seattle, Miami, Orlando, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio) located in states with no income tax; while many others were located in states with lower taxes than Oregon’s then-top rate of 9 percent. Dudley says his earnings from interest and capital gains (which would be tax free to a Washington resident) were “negligible” during that period but “where you do save money is games played in other states.”

  4. In response to questions about various indicators that tax authorities use to determine where somebody is domiciled, Dudley provided mixed responses. He says he attended the Lifepoint Church in Camas and gave the names of restaurants and the locations of two movie theaters he frequented. He also noted he celebrated his 30th birthday in Camas in February 1995 and says he spent much of his time there after proposing to his wife in December 1996. But he conceded he never established a bank account in Washington; never registered to vote there and took more than a year after allegedly moving to Washington to register his car there.

So basically, all the new information Dudley's added simply makes his hole deeper.

The dollar figure that Dudley's campaign has been citing as the amount he paid in Oregon income taxes is something they appear to have ballparked at best, made up at worst. They've never actually checked how much he paid. So until these tax records are released, even Dudley himself isn't sure of the amount.

Dudley either can't tell us or is refusing to tell us how much time he spent in the Portland house when he was allegedly a Washington resident. He spent enough time there for neighbors to say he was "there a lot" and can't seem to explain the food in the refrigerator or the clothes in the closet. Apparently he liked us enough to stay in the PDX house, just not enough to actually pay his share in income taxes like his Blazer counterparts Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter. Certainly Porter and Drexler (and 20+ other Blazers that played with Dudley) had accountants who may have advised them to bail on our state. Yet they managed to keep their claim to Oregon residency and pay our income taxes.

They'd certainly be more qualified under the circumstances to be Governor than Dudley.

Another puzzler: Dudley says his earnings and interest in capital gains were negligible during this period. Dudley played six years in the NBA before he came to Portland. He had to have been making six figures, if not seven, per year. He never did any serious investing during this time? Seriously? Dudley's day job is a "wealth strategist" at a high-end money management firm. So we're now to believe that he sucked so bad at investing his 6-7 figure per year NBA salary that his investment and capital gains interest were "negligible" but a cushy firm will hire him to manage other people's money?

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    1. Try Google to see how much he made. It really is that simple.

    2. Ever hear of tax-deferred investments?

    3. It must be nice to be able to devote all this time to try and persuade the 3 undecided readers of this blog.

    4. Still no posts on why anyone should vote for Dr. Do Over. Curious indeed.

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      1. Fair enough. The previous five seasons he drew salary before coming to Portland, Dudley averaged $690k per season over that period.


      1. Are you really going to go with the notion Dudley put all of his investment money into an IRA or 401k plan? Or some retirement annuity? Those are the essential tax-deferment options. If that's the case, then really he has little business telling other wealthy people how to invest their money. Those aren't exactly the big bangs of investment. This is shaky, at best.

      2. Don't presume you know or understand my motives. Or my schedule. I suspect you'll be wrong on most all counts.

      3. So write one. I write about what interests me. Feel free to do the same.

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        Eh...that's weird. That numbering was correct when I previewed, and incorrect in the post. Somewhere there's a hitch in the giddy-up. Sorry.

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        Let me pass along the best piece of investment advice I have ever received: "You only have to make your money once"

        There are plenty of financial advisors who pitch the "big bangs of investment." And where are their clients now, wondering where all their money went.

        In re: your motives

        I'll take a crack at that: To get a D, any D, elected to the Governors office using any means available(except giving the voters a reason to vote FOR the D). :-)

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          If you were making a high 6 digit or 7 digit salary, then your advisor screwed you. :) Dudley's presser did way more harm for him than good--things are now murkier than ever. You haven't actually refuted the factual information nor have you come up with a reasonable excuse for Dudley's actions. Your hole is almost as deep as his. :)

          On my motives: wrong. If this were simply about fluffing up Democrats then it would be counterproductive for me to go after David Wu and Kurt Schrader, aggressively, which I have. At the state level, I've pushed hard on this blog against the Speaker and other Democratic legislators when I believed them to be wrong. I have no intention of backing away from that.

          I'm not a kiss-ass for anybody's party. I agree in general with Democrats much more often than with Republicans, so I tend to go in that direction. But I've lauded Republicans here before too (just in the last couple of weeks in fact, I did so with State Senator Jason Atkinson in a Spanning the State post).

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            "If you were making a high 6 digit or 7 digit salary, then your advisor screwed you. :)"

            Care to elaborate...

            I agree in general with Democrats much more often than with Republicans, so I tend to go in that direction

            Surprisingly, so do I

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              Elaborate? I'm not a financial adviser and I don't play one on this blog. I simply know a number of folks who make six and seven figure salaries who've discussed their investments in my presence. None of them have indicated that they rely solely on a tax-deferred investments. In fact, each has a very diverse portfolio, some of them using the income from that for vacations or large ticket item purchases. As I understand it, that's a fairly common practice.

              I've also been in the presence of friends who've discussed this and have a much more moderate income. Most of them rely more on their tax-deferred retirement. That doesn't seem like that fits Dudley at all.

              I suspect a diverse portfolio was Dudley's practice as well, although until he releases his tax records, we can't know for sure.

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                Of course he could have diversified his portfolio: He could have used tax deferred annuities, tax exempt muni bonds, tax deferred REITs and stocks that don't pay dividends. All of which would have resulted in no additional taxable income.

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                  Or it could be just the opposite. We won't know until he releases his tax records, will we?

                  We also won't know the amount he actually paid in Oregon income taxes--because the number that the Dudley campaign gave us is at best a guess, at worst made up.

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                  Then why doesn't he say so? He could end all the speculation very easily.

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      "Still no posts on why anyone should vote for Dr. Do Over"

      Still no posts on why anyone should vote for Never-Done-Nothing Dudley.

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        Why would there be a BO? He has an R after is name and that makes him THE DEVIL!

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          And the R after his name is enough to make you support him despite his complete lack of experience or demonstrated ability to handle the job.

          BO at least had been a state legislator and a US senator. Duds hasn't done anything but play basketball, give his name to a foundation and act as a "financial adviser."

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      It must be nice to be able to devote all this time to try and persuade the 3 undecided readers of this blog.

      You seem to think that our goal is talking to undecided voters?

      Trust me: undecided voters ain't hanging around ideological blogs like this one.

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        So I guess it is easier to rally the base by bashing Dudley than trying to sell Kitzhaber part 3.

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          And you are selling Dudley by falsely asserting that Kitzhaber's performance as Governor is bad, why exactly?

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            Have I ever once told you to vote for Dudley?

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              So then you are just looking to trash talk Kitzhaber and not give reasons to vote for Dudley, is that it?

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                Do you even read what I post or just regurgitate a Pavlovian response to anyone who disagrees with you.

                The only thing I have ever said about Kitzhaber, other than the marriage joke yesterday, was calling him Dr. Do Over.

                In fact, I have be BEGGING BO to do a story about why you SHOULD vote for him.

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                  "Then why the well documented, here and other places, apathy towards Dr. No by the Dems?"
                  "Actually, the voters remember Kitzhaber just fine. Hence his problem."
                  "Is it true that Kitz lives in a condo in the Pearl that has a property tax abatement?"
                  "Doesn't bother me any more than someone who gets married to portray an image and then gets divorced as soon as they are out of office."
                  "State and Feds Probe Oregon Contract with Kitzhaber’s Girlfriend" (link to WW article)

                  This were all posts by you trying to stir up stuff against Kitz in threads where the subject was Dudley.

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                    1. A fact. Discussed here and in many news outlets

                    2. See #1

                    3. As I stated in the post, this is something talked about on other blogs. Simply trying to get an answer from people who might be more knowledgeable.

                    4. So there was more than one marriage crack. I guess only Dudleys character is in play with you.

                    5. Forgot about that.

                    Stir stuff up....you mean like calling Dudley a liar, a cheat and a criminal. Sorry. You guys are out of my league.

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                      #2 is not a "fact" at all. And I doubt the veracity of the "fact" of #1 to begin with since it is all based on a media generated narrative about the "enthusiasm gap" in general, not specifics about voter judgment on Kitzhaber's proven record of being an effective Governor despite the slash-and-burn GOP legislature he had his entire tenure as Governor.

                      I will happily acknowledge that you certainly aren't going hammer and tong after Kitzhaber as some are.

                      That said, your protestations that your motives are pure when you appear in every thread defending Dudley and occasionally throwing an elbow at Kitzhaber, in order to deflect the thread discussion away from Dudley, is quite clear to everyone.

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                        Not to pick nits, but I don't see it as defending Dudley. I have never said VOTE FOR DUDLEY. I have never claimed Dudley would be a good Governor. All I am doing is challenging some of the assertions and out-of-their-arse assumptions that pass for facts here. If we don't find some balance, and soon, we are doomed.

                        It is no different than what I did on M66. I went hammer and fist at the rhetoric, but voted Yes.

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                          Seems to me if your concern is genuinely "out of the arse" assumptions/assertions, its about time for you to take Team Dudley to task. After all, if they have no idea where his tax records are, as they stated, then their accounting of the $ he's paid in Oregon income taxes likely originated in that general 'arse' location.

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                            Funny, but since the story broke today about the truth of comments made by the guy who bought the house, the only thing I have heard here today is crickets chirping. Darn near dead silence.

                            I chocked it up to the BO team meeting with the Kitz campaign to figure out their next lame ass line of attack.

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      By the way, Michael. Blue Oregon stories trend pretty well with news sources on Google. And also, these posts get tweeted and re-tweeted. I hope getting some information out to voters so we can make an informed decision doesn't bother you too much.

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    "So we're now to believe that he sucked so bad at investing his 6-7 figure per year NBA salary that his investment and capital gains interest were 'negligible' but a cushy firm will hire him to manage other people's money?"

    Sadly, stranger things have happened. I would not be surprised if a firm hired him based on his "star power", then again you raise important questions when people are left to guess because the Dudley campaign isn't releasing accurate information about his finances.

    Nice posting. This is the kind of stuff I look for at Blue Oregon.

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    So, I guess the Dudster did so well at professional basketball he decided to build on his great success by persuading the well -heeled of Lake Oswego to hand over their cash to Wall St. Throwing a ball through the hoop (frequently missing) is a great preparation for managing other rich people's money and for running for governor it seems. Just a "man of the people."

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      If he is so unqualified in your mind, why don't you just vote for Kitzhaber and get on with your life rather than bashing him all the time.

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        Because any idiot who has enough narcissism and grandiosity to think he can run the state of Oregon when he is clueless needs to be bashed and shown for what he is, before he gets into a position to do some real damage.

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    The Camas controversy is simply the semi-tangible act that underscores the questionable motivations of Chris Dudley to be Governor.

    In politics, there are folks driven by ego - with it's sub-domains of power and greed - and folks driven by altruism. The latter may seem more vulnerable; they confront the hard truths and take on the policy positions that work for the greater good, even if less popular.

    The ego-inspired politician is at his or her best during the campaign. Uninhibited by considerations of actual policy- making, untenable promises are made with the fluidity of a snake-oil salesman. The veteran ego-politico (see J. Boehner) knows how to make this play while in office. (In Boehner's case, of course, he simply yelps "No" a lot, and has more agility because he is part of an entire legislative body.)

    In Chris Dudley's case, the original idea for his run may or may not have been his initially. The GOP needed an attractive candidate and Dudley yearned for the spotlight. All he needs to do is listen to his handlers - both the big national GOP Nasty Boys w/ whom he met in Colorado, and the local folks who give him his message, and he has a shot at election.

    ... and being elected IS the end game for Dudley.

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