Senator Seay is pissed at 11 Alive because the station used her picture when running their story on elected officials who haven't paid their state taxes. Yes, 11 Alive used her picture; however, when Senator Seay was discussed, I never heard anyone say she had not paid her taxes. The reporter said Senator Valencia Seay replied with "None of your business." If Senator Seay would have responded with "I'm current" over "None of your business," she wouldn't have been discussed on the news.
Senator Seay claims she has received hate email and calls because of the 11 Alive story. If these are claims are true, they are disappointing, disheartening, and disgusting. The people who made the claims should be ashamed of themselves. They could have easily sent Senator Seay a message requesting that she, like 50%-plus of her peers, disclose whether she has paid her taxes or not.
A blog reader, who asked remained nameless, sent me what he alleges are two press release from Senator Valencia Seay's office. I use "alleges" since I have not been able to verify them as official. Senator Seay's state webpage or her personal website do not have them listed.
Here is one of the alleged press releases from Senator Valencia Seay:
Senator Valencia Seay today demanded an apology and an on-air editorial repudiation from 11 Alive News in Atlanta for their deceitful implication that the senator failed to pay taxes.
The station called the Senator Thursday and asked that she disclose her tax records. Told that those records were private and none of their business, 11 Alive later used the senator's photo in a story about those who have not paid their taxes.
Tax records are private under Georgia law. Failure to pay taxes is a crime, and accusing a person of a crime - even by implication - constitutes libel under Georgia law. O.C.G.A. § 51-5-1.
Following the report, Senator Seay received the following threatening message in an email: "Pay your taxes. Typical deadbeat baby killing democrat."
The email arrived the day after SR 452 - a proposal to allow senators to dig into the tax records of political opponents - was defeated on the floor of the Georgia General Assembly.
"This is precisely the sort of irresponsible, unprofessional and trashy journalistic response that we would expect to see as a result of Senator Johnson's witch-hunting ethics proposal," Senator Seay said. "Undaunted by their ignorance of the facts, 11 Alive News showed their willingness to take a refusal to disclose personal information as license to imply the worst. For the record, I have NO tax delinquencies - federal, state or local. 11 Alive should go back to doing what they do best - empty reporting on celebrity drug addiction and car crashes."
Senator Valencia Seay is a leader among a committee of senators investigating how the recession is affecting Georgians and how best to mitigate that damage through smart responses from government. She said, "It is a shame and an abomination for me to be distracted from working on addressing the needs of homeless Georgia Veterans of wars from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan and other citizens hard-hit by the largest recession since the Great Depression. I should not have to spend time responding to my children and grand children's concerns that I could be a victim of an Olympic bomber/Eric Rudolf wannabe."
Senator Valencia Seay is a former member of the Clayton County School board where she earned a reputation for being in politics for the right reasons. This reputation propelled her to a successful run for the state senate after reapportionment and redistricting. During the last election, she easily defeated a candidate backed by the infamous former Sheriff, Victor Hill.