Are your stockings still hung by the chimney with care? Preetsmas isn’t over. Here’s a recap of what we did so far:
- The First day of Preetsmas (5/28/15): The raids & an introduction
- The Second day of Preetsmas (6/4/15): All about AwfulPAC
- The Third Day of Preetsmas (6/2/15): Seneca cigarette bootlegger Aaron Pierce & Mickey Kearns.
- The Fourth Day of Preetsmas (6/3/15): Steve Pigeon, PAPI, and Gene Caccamise
- The Fifth Day of Preetsmas (6/3/15): Pigeon’s Tax Liens
- The Sixth Day of Preetsmas (6/4/15): Analyzing tax returns, and litigation surrounding the sale of the Front Page/South Buffalo News
- The Story of Preetsmas (6/4/15): Background on AwfulPAC
- The Seventh Day of Preetsmas (6/5/15): Financial Shenanigans with Pigeon-connected PACs
- The Eighth Day of Preetsmas (6/7/15): The Money Orders and AwfulPAC
- The Ninth Day of Preetsmas (6/9/15): Pigeon’s addresses and Ganjapreneurs
- The Tenth day of Preetsmas (6/11/15): The Pigeoning
- The Eleventh Day of Preetsmas (6/12/15): AwfulPAC FOIL
- Preetsmas: In their Own Words (6/14/15): A trip down memory lane
- A Preetsmas Recap and Update (6/16/15): Updates on the investigation
- The Preetsmas Mysteries (6/22/15): More about the AwfulPAC money orders
- Let’s Talk About “Mistakes Were Made” in Campaign Finance Law (7/14/15): On the question of intent.
- Preetsmas in September (9/14/15): Whither the misdemeanor charges?
Today comes news that two new liens have been filed with the Erie County Clerk’s office against G. Stephen Pigeon, the political dirty trickster and former chairman of the Erie County Democratic Committee.
On December 8th, the IRS filed a federal tax lien of over $65,800.
On December 22nd, the Admiral’s Walk condominium association filed a lien against Pigeon for $4,500 in unpaid condominium fees.
One of the biggest Preetsmas mysteries has involved Pigeon’s ability to finance the massive cash outlays he supposedly made to and for candidates and committees. On the 5th day of Preetsmas (late June 2015), we revealed that Pigeon had over $200,000 in liens asserted against him at that time, (March 2012 federal tax lien for $26,500; March 2014 federal tax lien for $118,600; June 2, 2015 federal tax lien for $126,200), so we can add about $70,000 to that figure. You may also recall that Pigeon has previously been caught in apparent arrears on his condominium fees and/or assessments, as he and tanning mogul Dan Humiston seemed to swap ownership and/or possession of two separate units at Admiral’s Walk.
Dedicated readers will recall that in February 2015, Pigeon used the Buffalo News’ Bob McCarthy for propaganda purposes, asserting that he had more than enough liquid funds to play his typical games. He showed up with what he said were tax forms that purported to show that he had enough income to shell out six figures to obscure small-potatoes political committees.
Pigeon opened his tax returns from the past several years to inspection at The News’ request in an effort to quell speculation that his contributions to the Progressive Caucus stemmed from anywhere but his own bank account. His records over the past three years indicate a mid-six-figure income, which he says proves his ability to spare $100,000 even for a fund supporting relatively low-level candidates.
He can afford big donations to a political cause the same way others could contribute to a church, he said, especially because he has no wife or children to support, takes few vacations, has no real hobbies and lives a non-extravagant lifestyle.
“It sounds odd, but when you look at how I live and how much I make, it really isn’t,” he said.
He didn’t reveal his existing tax liens at the time, however.
These new liens are post-raid — the condo fees go back as far as June 2015 - and underscore the difficulty in which Mr. Pigeon finds himself. One may also extrapolate from the IRS lien that Mr. Pigeon’s 2014 gross income was high enough to result in a $65,000 tax liability.