After challenger Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas advocated for new online sales tax policies, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign fired back on Wednesday, reminding voters of O’Rourke’s family’s “history of breaking tax laws.”
In just another example of their political divide, the two Senate candidates have differing opinions on taxing online retailers, reported the Dallas Morning News. Both candidates claim to support mom-and-pop shops, only disagreeing on which businesses that term constitutes. While Cruz said he sees the “little guys” as small online retailers, O’Rourke supports taxing all businesses for sales across state lines in order for brick-and-mortar stores to become more competitive.
Cruz’s campaign issued a press release calling O’Rourke a “hypocrite” for endorsing more taxes while simultaneously ignoring his mother’s tax fraud conviction. The statement further called his stance “an interesting policy position given his family history of breaking tax laws while running a furniture store in El Paso.” (RELATED: Remember That One Time Beto O’Rourke Called For Legalizing All Narcotics?)
O’Rourke’s mother, Melissa O’Rourke, owned Charlotte’s Furniture when it was convicted of tax fraud. The store was charged as a corporate entity, with Mrs. O’Rourke as the authorized representative, and found guilty in 2010 of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements. The store was fined $500,000 and ultimately agreed to pay $250,000, according to the El Paso Times. The store closed just prior to the launch of O’Rourke’s campaign.
The press release also noted the congressman and his mother co-owned the shopping center where Charlotte’s Furniture was located.
The Democratic candidate said “the case in question has been resolved” regarding the fraud conviction.
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