The 2014 elections might seem a long way off, but one group is already gearing up to try to defeat Sen. Mark Pryor. In a website reminiscent of the old FireBlancheLincoln.com website, RetirePryor.com has gone live.
The website is the creation of Little Rock businessman and political insider Carlton Saffa who tells me that he feels there are facts about Sen. Pryor that Arkansans need to know. The launch highlights a story involving a business involving Pryor’s mother-in-law, Bonnie Harvey, and a trucking company called Continental Express, Inc. The IRS attempted to collect $800,000 (reduced from $2.8 million) in back taxes from Ralph Bradbury, the company’s president, and the widow of Pete Campbell, the company’s vice president.
“U.S. Senator Mark Pryor has used his powerful position to shield his wealthy mother-in-law from $2 million in federal taxes owed by a company she owned,” Saffa said. “Why would the IRS pursue a company employee with no ownership in the company for these taxes, threatening to destroy him and his family?”
“Why would the IRS excuse Senator Pryor’s mother-in-law from $2 million in back taxes owed and try to collect from a company employee with no responsibility for these taxes?” asked Saffa. “Why is Mark Pryor’s mother-in-law getting a pass? The answer is political influence.”
Pryor spokesman Michael Teague denied the accusations. He told NewsMax, “This office, nor Sen. Pryor, has dealings with Ed Harvey’s business decisions. Mark Pryor has made no phone calls, no discussions, no emails, no letters, no meetings, nothing with the IRS in regards to this issue or anything Ed Harvey does.” Ed Harvey is Bonnie Harvey’s husband. They were co-owners of Continental Express.
But Saffa is not buying this explanation from Pryor’s office.
“Mark Pryor denies this abuse of power, but Mark Pryor is dissembling,” said Saffa. “His denials defy logic and reason.”
Saffa declined to say how much the newly formed Independent Expenditure Committee has raised, but said his goal is a million dollars. “The scope of our endeavor depends on our continued fundraising success,” said Caffa. “Our goal is $1 million in media buys.”
UPDATE (February 1) – Sen. Pryor was interviewed by KARN on the subject and categorically denied the charges made by Saffa.
“I nor anyone on my staff have communicated with the IRS – nor the Harvey’s for that matter – about the Harvey’s business interest,” said Pryor.