Democratic National Committee Chief of Staff Leah Daughtry may not have been entirely honest with Washington DC.
The New York-born Pentecostal minister turned politico allegedly exploited DC's property tax exemptions. That's not a scandal, of course. Countless citizens use the Homestead Deduction to cut their tax rates nearly in half. The district's law states, however, that to take advantage of the deduction, you must vote in DC. Some say Daughtry didn't get the memo, because she's been registered to vote in New York City since February 21, 1996. The original deduction law said nothing about voting in DC, but lawmakers changed the rule back in 2002.
If this story sounds familiar, it should: Bush henchman Karl Rove played the same game back in 2005 until the Washington Post exposed his illegal exploitation.
One would think that an insider such as Daughtry would have noted Rove's outing, but the DNC staffer must have been distracted - she's voted in New York four times since the new law went into effect. Daughtry's property is currently valued at $239,250. That price doesn't include the land, which boosts the total to $341,780.
Daughtry isn't alone, either. As The Washington Blade reported, Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council chair Claire Lucas also stands accused of manipulating DC's laws to her financial advantage.
Ms. Daughtry did not reply to our comment inquiries by press time. We'll definitely let you know if and when she offers a statement. In the meantime, you can pour over all the evidence, which we've included below.
Update: The DNC just sent over this statement. They claim Daughtry had no knowledge of the deduction:
Rev. Daughtry has made clear that her legal residence is in New York, that she did not believe she was entitled to the Homestead Deduction, and that her accountant is correcting the error. Once again, while the DNC has consistently refused to comment on this case out of respect for the legal process and to protect the interests of everyone involved, the plaintiffs continue to use dishonest and increasingly desperate smear tactics to try their case outside the courtroom.
We wonder if she'll be paying DC the money she owes...
This post first appeared on Queerty.