I know it’s a big story, but I don’t like it. Everyone wants to talk about who Cheney shot, why he shot him, what it ALL means. . .
I’ve received 73 emails about Cheney’s hunting fiasco today, but to reiterate what I said on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC radio show this morning, the only semi-large issue that I see in all of this is that the White House’s press team sat on the news for more than a day. Bad.
But now some major news has just hit that has changed my mind on the whole thing. Cheney didn’t pay his taxes.
This from the Office of the Vice President a few moments ago (which, all of a sudden, is just pumping out information on the “shooting”):
It has been brought to the Vice President’s attention by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department this afternoon that, although he had acquired a 125 dollar Texas non-resident season hunting license, he lacked a 7 dollar stamp for hunting upland game birds. To address any questions about the licensing:
— A member of the Vice President’s staff wrote a check for 140 dollars understanding that this would purchase a Texas non-resident season hunting license that would permit the Vice President to hunt quail in Texas. It appears now that the license itself cost 125 dollars, and an extra 15 dollars covered the cost of a Federal migratory bird stamp. The Vice President did not need the Federal stamp, as he already possessed one.
— The staff asked for all permits needed, but was not informed of the 7 dollar upland game bird stamp requirement.
— Because the requirement is new, the Department has informed us that it is issuing warnings, and the Vice President expects to receive one. He will take whatever steps are needed to comply with applicable rules.
— In the meantime, the Vice President has sent a 7 dollar check to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which is the cost of an upland game bird stamp.
Here is a link to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Upland Game Bird Stamp Endorsement information, which states:
Upland Game Bird Stamp Endorsement (Type 167): $7
Required to hunt turkey, pheasant, quail, lesser prairie chicken, or chachalaca.
Non-residents who purchase the Non-resident Spring Turkey License are exempt from this stamp endorsement requirement.
TWN‘s theory is that this entire fiasco is part of a new ‘politics of distraction’.
This shooting accident has gotten our minds off of Cheney’s role in instructing Scooter Libby to leak classify information; off the role the Vice President has played in manipulating the national security bureacracy to support his war; and many other vital matters.
But seriously, I think that this whole Cheney shooting affair is overdone. . .except the $7.00 upland game stamp.
That’s tax evasion isn’t it?
— Steve Clemons