Sunday, April 26, 2015

Could Rand Paul Back Kent Hovind?

The big news in Hovindology this week is an inroad into the Rand Paul campaign.

First some background for those who have not been following along


Independent Baptist minister and young earth creationist Kent Hovind, nearing the end of a long prison sentence for tax related crimes, finds himself facing more time in prison.  In mid-March, he was convicted of contempt of court, while the jury hung on more serious fraud and conspiracy charges.  He faces retrial on May 18th.

Kent Hovind has managed to spark a pretty powerful social media campaign for Hovindication.  There is a pretty slick website #FreeKent and Kent, making collect calls from the Santa Clara County Jail, has appeared on numerous podcasts and youtube channel ranging from the extremely obscure such as mine

to the borderline mainstream such as Alex Jones

His primary venue is Rudy Jones's LoneStar1776 where of late he has been appearing more than daily.

I have a number of issues with the Hovindication narrative that Kent Hovind is an innocent man, who has paid all the taxes that he has owed and is a victim of religious persecution.  Hovindicators have suggested that I might be a paid disinformation agent of the IRS and that since my views on taxation are treasonous, I should move to Communist China.  They have even offered to pay my expenses.

Nonetheless I have some common ground with them.  (Somebody once suggested that I want everybody to get along because I'm an Aquarian).  Kent Hovind has written a powerful critique of the prison industrial complex.  I also agree that he has probably already served enough time and that there is a thinness to the current charges against him.

My biggest source of sympathy with Hovind is his apparent sincerity. When I look at how things have worked out for Kent Hovind as opposed to how they would be if he had followed the fairly mundane tax advice I or a few hundred thousand run of the mill CPAs, enrolled agents, tax attorneys or unlicensed tax advisers (rather than the three idiots he relied on) would have given him, how can I doubt his sincerity? He has spent over eight years in prison, had his wife sent away for a year and faces multi-million dollar deficiencies when he is finally released.

If he had run his organization as a 501(c)(3) organization, taking most of his compensation as a tax free housing allowance and electing out of social security, he would probably have quite a little empire there in Pensacola without having paid much in the way of taxes. Clearly he was not motivated by greed in his war with the government. As one of the people Jonathan Schwartz interviewed mention "Hovind picked a strange hill to die on."

Rand Paul?

One of the regular features of LoneStar1776 is a weekly meeting of Hovindicators to discuss how the campaign is going.  Their perennial concern is to move the cause closer to the evangelical right wing mainstream.

The big news, a bit past the 25:00 mark, comes from Erin Davis.  A Rand Paul delegate will be making an appeal to Rand to come out in favor of Kent Hovind.  She was assured that the Senator is already aware of and sympathetic to Kent Hovind's plight.

Hovindologists that I have mentioned this development to are dismissive of the notion that it might come to anything.  I don't agree with their analysis.  Ed and Elaine Brown held similar view on the validity of the income tax to "I'm not a tax protester" Kent Hovind.  They took much more extreme measures, holing up in their home with a stockpile of food and weapons.  Nonetheless Presidential candidate Senator Ron Paul endorsed their stand comparing them to Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

If Rand Paul were to pledge that after his election one of his first acts will be to pardon Kent Hovind, there might be a good bit of upside for him.  It just might bring a decent number of alienated voters into his fold.  He can insulate himself from criticism from potential supporters who are closer to the center by focusing on IRS heavy handiness and the amount of time that Hovind has already served. I really think a pledge like that is a winner for him with little downside. There is a lot of alignment between the Hovindication movement and the Rand Paul campaign.

I have to say that I thought this piece was almost forbes worthy, but I think I'll wait to hear something directly from a Rand Paul source.  Also I have quite a backlog of straight tax material for forbes right now.

Peter J Reilly CPA  hopes to be the first tax blogger to give up his day job.  He has no interest in moving to China, but is open to other offers of all expense-paid travel.