Sleazy Mike Ross | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sleazy Mike Ross

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 6:16 PM

This is what I get for cutting U.S. Rep. Mike Ross any slack on the infamous drug store deal. He just keeps lying.

Still -- on his Facebook page -- he claims that he'd have done better investing in CDs than in a building in Prescott.

Still, he figures his return at only 4 percent a year (a handsome return in depressed Prescott in lean times, by the way.) He ignores the $15,000 to $50,000 he made every year on the investment from renting the building from himself. (How much rent? He won't say.)  He ignores, too, the pay he got as a pharmacy "executive" (his wife is the pharmacist; he was running for office). He still hasn't revealed two years' worth of dividends he got in the buyout deal. He still hasn't disclosed if the deal was wholly leveraged (meaning he made a sale profit without ever putting any money down on the building.) He hasn't accounted for tax advantages (depreciation) on the property. Etc. He compares his deal to property purchases elsewhere that don't appear to be comparable. (PS -- The whole truth might even be more evidence that the deal, overall, was a fair one. But a full exposition of the facts is something Ross has resisted, for whatever the reason.)

"Open and honest?" Mike Ross is still stonewalling legitimate questions.

Any Realtor, despite what Ross says, should tell you that if the assessed value of your propert doesn't track the market value, within the circuit breaker limits, you're cheating on your taxes.

He's a liar, an easy lay for special interests who puts the working poor of his district  last after gun nuts, polluters, health insurance companies, drug chains and Bible pounders who want to punish gay people and pregnant women. Always was. Always will be. He hasn't waved an American flag yet, but wait. It's coming.

FROM MIKE ROSS' FACEBOOK PAGE

I want you to hear the truth directly from me.

I am sure you’ve seen the attacks on me in the past few weeks by powerful special interest groups questioning my character and running negative TV ads against me. I think most people know what this is really all about, and I wanted you to hear the truth directly from me.

These stunts are being waged by extremist groups from the fringes of both parties because I became a national player in the health care debate and refuse to be a rubber stamp for anyone. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette confirmed this in their lead editorials on Sunday, September 27, 2009, and Monday, September 28, 2009. Let me be very clear—I support affordable health insurance for the uninsured, forcing insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, and requiring our government to negotiate with the big drug companies for lower prices for seniors. I just want to accomplish this in a common sense way that reflects Arkansas values. I am proud to say I have become a respected leader on this issue. That’s why the President and the Speaker include me in key meetings on health care reform.

The sale of my family pharmacy back in 2007 was done openly, honestly, and 100% in concert with congressional statutes and regulations. In accordance with House rules, I disclosed it on my personal financial statement with the House Ethics Committee. And I’ve gone above and beyond to achieve full transparency, by voluntarily releasing the financial numbers associated with the sale. Independent outside experts have reviewed this information and, in two stories with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, confirmed that this was nothing but a “very average” business transaction. Likewise, in their lead editorial on Monday, September 28, 2009, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette wrote, “A complete accounting of the Rosses’ sale of their drug store, which the buyer released at the congressman’s request, shows nothing untoward about the sale. Indeed, those who know something about the market for pharmacies tend to conclude that, far from paying an outlandish bribe on behalf of some evil pharmaceutical conspiracy, the company that bought the store got a bargain.”

Regarding the attacks against me over the assessed value of the pharmacy building, any realtor will confirm that assessed value has nothing to do with fair market value. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette pointed out that Walgreen’s recently paid $990,000 for a building that was assessed at $282,650 in Hot Springs and $560,000 for property assessed at $35,900 in Newport. As for the price we received for the pharmacy building: I invested nearly $316,000 in 1997 and 1998 purchasing and developing abandoned lots and constructing the building that houses the pharmacy business that I sold for $420,000 in 2007. As in all investments, including real estate, an investor expects to earn a reasonable profit. This business transaction represented less than a four percent annual return on investment. I would have earned more during that time period by investing in a certificate of deposit at a local bank. I have never been asked nor have I done a favor or influenced legislation for the buyer. This business transaction had nothing to do with my being a member of congress and everything to do with them buying a pharmacy my family and I have worked hard since 1993 to develop into a successful, trusted and respected business in my hometown.

Here’s the bottom line: The legislative process is about give and take, negotiations and compromise. It is about offering up ideas in hopes of improving the final product and one that serves all Americans better. There are many more legislative votes before a final health care reform bill reaches President Obama's desk. I will likely be involved in additional negotiations to ensure we end up with the kind of common sense health care reform that the people of Arkansas need and want. I am sure there will be times throughout this process when I will vote "no" and other times when I will vote "yes". But I remain optimistic that I will be able to support the final bill that goes to the President for his signature because too many people in my district need affordable health insurance.

In an effort to distract from the substance of health care legislation, my opponents go on the attack. Not on the issues, but on personalities. They say that I am influenced by health insurance and others in the health care sector. It’s untrue and I’d like to set the record straight: Less than one percent of the total funds my campaign committee has received have come from health insurance PACs and only eight percent have come from the overall health care sector. That means 92% of donations to my campaign committee have come from individuals like you and PACs not associated with health care.

In my 19 years in public service, I have never had my character brought into question. It hurts and it is especially hurtful to my family and those close to us. While you and I may not agree on every issue, I have always put the interest of the people of Arkansas first. I’m a fighter, and I plan to keep on fighting for you.

I need your help now more than ever before. I am kicking off my re-election campaign Saturday, October 17th, 2009 at 5 pm at Horner Hall at the Hot Springs Convention Center. My good friend, President Bill Clinton, will be the special guest. Tickets are $100 or whatever you can afford. Please come and bring your friends. It is important to show that we will not back down and not give in to the special interests seeking to control Congress. Your generous contribution will help me respond to the special interests' attack ads that are up on TV now, and are likely to continue through November 2010.

Click Here to Contribute to My Campaign

I hope you can attend our October 17th event with President Clinton, but regardless, I hope you’ll make a contribution today by visiting www.mikeross.com or by mailing your contribution to Mike Ross for Congress, P.O. Box 360, Prescott, Arkansas 71857. No contribution is too small and will be used to respond to these untrue attacks being waged against me. To reserve your tickets to the October 17th event, please email dustinsmith@mikeross.com or call 870-887-8194.

If there were ever a time when I needed your help, it is now. Please stand with me through these attacks so I can continue to stand up for Arkansas.


Sincerely,

Mike Ross

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