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Sunday, February 26, 2017
David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. The Washington Monthly calls him “one of America’s most important journalists” and the Portland Oregonian says is work is the equal of the great muckrakers Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair.

At 19 he became a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury and then reported for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and from 1995 to 2008 The New York Times.

Johnston is in his eighth year teaching the tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.

He also writes for USA Today, Newsweek and Tax Analysts.

Johnston is the immediate past president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and is board president of the nonprofit Investigative Post in Buffalo.

His latest book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality an anthology he edited. He also wrote a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy -- Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print – and a casino industry exposé, Temples of Chance.

Women suffragette I voted stickers

On This Election Day, Americans Gathering At Suffragette Gravesites

Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx erected a board next to Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s gravestone where people could place “I voted” stickers.

November 8, 2016
Trump, Dictator, Media

The Trump Files: How His Huge Election Con Went Down

Trump has done a masterful job of selling an image contradicted by the public record including court and regulatory documents, his books and speeches, and more.

October 28, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump walks past a teleprompter as he departs after delivering a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, United States, April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Trump Used His Aliases For Much More — And Worse — Than Gossip

But “John Barron” didn’t just puff Trump’s sexual boasting in the press. “Barron” was also menacing, as revealed in the following film clip about his abuse of Polish immigrant construction workers – and the attorney who tried to help them.

May 14, 2016
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts as he is introduced during a campaign event in Concord, North Carolina March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane

The Art Of The Inside Deal: How Regulators Rescued Trump

It was the beginning of Trump having to relinquish his stakes in a host of enterprises—and by 1991 the Trump Taj Mahal was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the first of what would become four business bankruptcies. He later sold stock in his casinos, where investors not only lost their shirts, but during the fourth bankruptcy case creditors successfully demanded that Trump get lost. These days Trump licenses his name for much of his revenue.

April 28, 2016
Jane Sanders CNN

Tax Transparency: Jane Sanders Goes Back On Disclosure Promise

The returns will be released, Jane suggested, when Hillary Clinton provides transcript of her lucrative speeches to Wall Street firms. Clinton should absolutely release the transcripts and she should have done so long ago, but the issues are not even close to parallel.

April 27, 2016
Bernie Sanders

Tax Transparency: After Expansive Vow, Sanders Releases Only 2014 Return

The failure to fulfill his promise to release returns back to 2007 — when Bernie Sanders was first elected to the U.S. Senate from Vermont — erodes the likelihood that other Presidential candidates this cycle and in the future will release their own complete returns

April 15, 2016

Tax Transparency: Jane Sanders Claims Returns Released In ‘Every Election’

Sanders had made available only his and wife Jane’s 2014 Form 1040, a summary lacking crucial details about their sources of income, deductions, and tax strategy.

April 13, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders holds a rally at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington March 25, 2016. REUTERS/David Ryder - RTSCAI8

Why Hasn’t Bernie Sanders Released His Tax Returns? (Or Cruz Or Kasich, Either…)

What they made public was a mere summary known as IRS Form 1040. That form is no more a tax return than the Preamble is our Constitution.

April 1, 2016
9 key points about Donald Trump’s income taxes

9 Key Points About Trump’s Income Taxes (And Many More Questions)

I expect Trump’s tax returns to be extremely aggressive, but well within the boundaries set by Congress and without even a hint of criminal tax evasion. I also suspect Trump’s returns will show negative income. That’s right — negative.

February 26, 2016
U.S. Senator Cruz greets businessman Trump onstage as they address a Tea Party rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Kakistocracy

If we elect people who are nasty, brutish, incompetent or megalomaniacal we have no one to blame but ourselves.

February 12, 2016
Book review on Donald Trump’s Crippled America

Book Review: Trump’s Sloppy, Illogical ‘Crippled America’ Is A Jumble Of Contradictions

David Cay Johnston reviews Donald Trump’s latest release, which is less a book than it is “a jumble of contradictions and thoughts that have not yet reached the half-baked stage.”

November 7, 2015

Donald Trump — Man Of War

We should all give thanks to Donald Trump’s reality-TV-show run for the Republican presidential nomination because of what it reveals about his fan base.

August 22, 2015

Trump: Documentary The Donald Suppressed, Free At Last

Trump: What’s The Deal? paints a powerful and disturbing picture of a financial Dorian Gray whose public image bears little resemblance to his conduct away from the cameras.

August 1, 2015

The Great Humbug Of Donald Trump

Trump’s campaign is a big sideshow — and it’s distracting voters and reporters from the real story.

July 24, 2015

Here’s How You Buy Out A Democracy

This is how democracies die: not with a bang, but through the quiet election of officials who put ideology ahead of principle.

July 17, 2015
Trump: Reality TV president, Supreme Court

21 Questions For Donald Trump

Having covered Trump off and on for 27 years, I have closely watched what Trump does and what government documents reveal about his conduct.

July 10, 2015

More Than Phones Are On The Line

Regardless of where you live in America, the old promise of access is being replaced with new rules that give all power to telecommunications giants.

May 17, 2015

No Information? No Freedom.

The Freedom of Information Act isn’t working. This is the Digital Age. We should make our government embrace it and its power of transparency.

May 12, 2015

Rand Paul: Libertarian, Except When He’s Not

Senator Rand Paul insists he’s a tight-fisted libertarian who cuts spending and stops waste. But look at what he has done rather than what he says.

April 11, 2015

Toxic Law: How Corporate Power And ‘Religious Freedom’ Threaten Democracy

Corporations are valuable and useful vehicles for creating wealth. But they are not and never should be political and religious actors.

April 4, 2015

Winning Against The Oligarchs

Americans can and must fight back against voter suppression, campaign finance loopholes, and other tricks from the 1 percent.

March 28, 2015
Protesters demonstrate against right-to-work laws in Madison, Wisconsin (Light Brigading via Flickr)

How The Media Enable The Anti-Worker Movement

Intentionally or not, news organizations often help the Koch brothers, ALEC, and other enemies of labor.

March 21, 2015

The Wisdom Of Steve Forbes

The Capitalist Tool explains why most Americans believe the system is rigged against them.

December 22, 2014
US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (C), and Speaker of the House John Boehner, attend a ceremony at the US Capitol, Washington, DC, December 10, 2014 (AFP/Saul Loeb)

The ‘Hunger Games’ Economy

The “cromnibus” spending bill embodies the worst qualities of our government — and our media.

December 15, 2014

It’s Not Just Ferguson – It’s All Of America

Why we need to restore police as guardians and undo the “warrior cop” mentality.

November 20, 2014