Saturday, May 21, 2011

35 Days Until the Election: Is this the Busiest Furniture Store in the World?

Is this the busiest furniture store in the world?

Doing research on housing yesterday made us think:  where do the candidates themselves live?

The tax returns both of them have made public include, right at the top, their home address.  The Cherokee Phoenix chose not to black those addresses out.

This is where things get a little weird.  Baker lists his home address as 3231 S. Muskogee, Tahlequah, OK. 

Which also happens to be the address of his furniture store.  And his campaign headquarters.  And the address of at least one of the workers on his campaign disclosure form (scroll down to pg. 21).
That’s one happening furniture store/home/campaign office/employee dormitory!  Especially since the furniture store has lost $57,000 a year for each of the past two years, according to the Bakers’ taxes.

We don’t mind publishing that address ourselves, because we don’t think he actually lives there, even though he tells the IRS he does.  Baker does own 51 properties in Cherokee County (not bad for a guy who reports income of around $40k a year), so any of those could be his actual home, but we’re not sure.  For a guy who wants openness and transparency, this doesn’t seem like a good start.

Smith’s address is also listed, and it appears to be his real house.  We won’t repeat the address here… if someone is going to bring him offerings of frankincense and myrrh, they’ll have to steal the address from the Cherokee Phoenix just like everyone else.

A google map shows that Smith’s house is near the Cherokee Nation complex and is in a housing edition made up of old ‘Indian homes.’  Pretty modest stuff, especially for a guy who makes $129k year.

Again, we’re not here to draw conclusions, but the truth is that Baker lists his home address as his furniture store, and that’s weird at the very least.  Maybe a tax expert can share the truth with us about how weird it really is.  We'd love to know.

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