The Shell Game Is Not Over (Continued)
Having been licensed in the state of Texas as a real estate appraiser for 15 years, I can tell you for an absolute fact that Cheney's claiming the General Homestead Exemption in Texas, while also claiming that he's a Wyoming resident, is a pretty big deal. By Texas law, this exemption is not available to anyone who does not legally reside in Texas, or to anyone claiming a legal residence in any other state. Nor is it available on any property in Texas OTHER than the owners' legal domicile. Because Texas has no income tax, property taxes are pretty hefty. The General Homestead Exemption is a sort of "tax deduction" on your place of residence, which has the same effect as claiming dependents on your federal income taxes. If one is claiming residency in another state (say, Wyoming), and still claiming a General Homestead Exemption on his or her property in Texas, then one is breaking the law and evading Texas taxes, at the very least.
Also with regard to taxes, it is very telling that Mr. Cheney has filed all of his federal income taxes since 1995 from Texas, where there is no state income tax. He has not paid any state income taxes in Wyoming since he bought his Texas dwelling. Not even on the $20 million that he got as a "going away" present from his friends at Halliburton, which they were not, in any way, required to give him, and which raises UNLIMITED questions about just what that $20 million will buy if Cheney is VP. (It makes Hillary's $8 million book deal look rather pitiful, doesn't it?) I guess if we want to give him the benefit of the doubt, we can assume he's made all required estimated tax payments to Wyoming for 2000, when he got the $20 million, based on that amount. But it surely does seem that Mr. Cheney wants us to believe that for tax purposes he lives in Texas, while for national election and constitutional purposes, he lives in Wyoming.
Richard and Lynne Cheney did not even list their Texas home for sale until the Bush campaign learned, after Election Day, that a suit was filed in an effort to block the Texas electors from voting for two Texans. The Cheneys were still claiming their Texas General Homestead Exemption at the time sale closed on November 30, fully four months after Mr. Cheney flew to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to register to vote there. If you would like a look at the tax record, it is still available here.
But it gets better. From Wyoming's perspective, Mr. Cheney only got a "temporary voter registration" back in July, when he did his big photo-op trip there to become a Wyoming resident (not!). Wyoming statute requires that all information provided by a prospective voter/resident must be verified. This could not have happened, because if the information had been verified, Wyoming would have learned that Cheney was claiming his Texas home as his legal residence right up until the day he showed up in the elections office to register to vote. One cannot become a legal resident of WYOMING if one has been a legal resident of any other state within the 12 months prior. This means that when Dick Cheney gave us another photo-op, at the polls in Wyoming on Election Day, he was probably casting an illegal vote. (Mr. Cheney would not even qualify for a resident hunting license in Wyoming. Of course, I guess if he really needed one, Charleton Heston and his friends over at the NRA could get it for him - thus providing further "proof" of his residency.)
There have been three lawsuits filed with regard to this matter. The first was filed in Florida. This is the one that precipitated the listing of Cheney's Highland Park home for sale toward the end of November (well after Election Day) and probably the only reason he got a Wyoming driver's license. WHY it was filed there is anybody's guess. Maybe just the frenzy of the moment? As the (REPUBLICAN) judge properly pointed out, he had no jurisdiction over Texas electors.
The second suit was filed in Fort Worth, on behalf of a Texas voter by a personal injury attorney named William K. Berenson. This suit was dismissed. The (REPUBLICAN) judge said that the plaintiff had no "credible evidence" that Dick Cheney was a legal resident of Texas. According to the (REPUBLICAN) judge, Dick Cheney was born and educated in Wyoming, and he served that state in Congress. To this (REPUBLICAN) judge, this was all the "evidence" that was needed to prove that Cheney is/was from Wyoming.
(Continued on NEXT PAGE)