Star Tribune publishes anti-tax letter written by TCF Bank CEO and doesn't identify him

Categories: Media
BillCooper.jpg
:::: UPDATE :::: Strib editor Scott Gillespie admits decision to not ID TCF Bank CEO was "borderline"

Today's Star Tribune "Readers Write" page features an anti-tax letter entitled "All are burdened when upper incomes are" penned by a Wayzata resident named William A. Cooper.

But unless there are two William A. Coopers in Wayzata, it appears the writer isn't just some Joe Blow off the street. That's because William A. Cooper is the CEO of Wayzata-based TCF Bank.

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The Strib doesn't identify Cooper's affiliation with a bank whose executives certainly stand to gain a lot if lawmakers take his "don't tax the rich or we'll move to Arizona" argument to heart.

Star Tribune Editorial Page Editor Scott Gillespie didn't immediately return an email and voicemail seeking comment, but we'll update if we hear back. (See update at bottom.)

Here's the entire text of Cooper's letter:
STATE TAXES

All are burdened when upper incomes are


The April 16 article spelling out the 26 criteria that Minnesota uses to prove residency for tax purposes is important not only for individuals who live outside of the state but still are taxed here, but also for Minnesotans who live and work here ("Avoiding state tax net is no easy task").

The criteria include which church you belong to, where your lawyer or accountant resides, where your bank accounts are held, where you buy your insurance, where you buy your vehicle, where your clubs or associations are located, which real estate broker you use, where your doctor is located and so on.

So why should the average Minnesotan care? Because when upper-income people move -- and they will -- all of these attributes will cost jobs and income to working Minnesotans. If you work in a bank, an insurance agency, a car dealership, a lawyer's office, an accountant's office, a country club, a church, a real estate broker's office, a doctor's office or a hospital, and so on, all of the spending and associated income will move to Florida or other low-tax states.

Upper-income people spend a lot because they earn a lot. All this spending and the income associated will move.

It is interesting to note that the one attribute Minnesota government does not use to prove residency is political contributions.

William A. Cooper, Wayzata
And here's how it appears in print:

letter.jpg

:::: UPDATE ::::

AM 950 host Matt McNeil alerted us to this Twitter exchange he had earlier today in which Gillespie confirms that the Cooper who wrote the letter is indeed the same one who is CEO of TCF Bank: -- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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66 comments
Stonybrook1
Stonybrook1

This man got his money from Minnesotans. Now he can't pay his fair share to help support his state. How can he look himself in the mirror?

Jeremy Martin
Jeremy Martin

I still don't miss TCF. Thanks Credit Union!

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

Maybe it's time the u of mn reconsiders it's contract with TCF then? Since they seam to dislike public funds so much maybe we should stop giving so much public money to them.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

Oh cry me a fucking river. TCF gets a ton of public fund since they manage a lot of the student accounts and student is cards from the u of mn which has subsidized tuition from the state. The day they stop using public funds from our state colleges and universities ID the day they can say anything about taxes, since they get a great deal of revenue as a result of public funds.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

nobody is bothered by those who hide in -Wayzata


@atrupar was getting cozy in those parts this weekend, provided he doesn't steal copyrighted images from google (somethingi recently learned is illegal? hahahahaha)

Robert F. Ackerman
Robert F. Ackerman

Right! What a farce! The CEO of TCF not identified by the Strib!

Ross Ackerman
Ross Ackerman

Their cash or the amounts that matter anyway are stateless and in the Caymans anyhow. You don't actually believe Mr Coopers accountants haven't already sheltered most of his wealth? If you don't your a fool, naive or both.

igotmine
igotmine

Let him leave. Who needs rich ceo's anyway? I get a check from the government each month,not to mention free obamacare. They treat me real good. TCF don't do shit for me so they can just move with him. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD YOU GREEDY OLD FUCKS

David Duerre
David Duerre

This douchebag has been saying this crap for years, fuck him and his ilk, bankers are a blight upon the land and I wish he would leave. TCF plays all sorts of games to screw their customers. TCF sucks.

Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss

Maybe he can take Michele Bachmann with him on his way out of the state!

Kittie Graf
Kittie Graf

If they move, they move...they made it in MN but don't want to pay for the quality of life they enjoy.

Blake Anderson
Blake Anderson

It's the middle and lower classes that get nothing out of taxes.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Everytime I read about a TCF getting robbed, I smile and hope the guy gets away. 

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

If I steal $500 to give to a homeless person so they can get medical treatment it's a crime.

If 1,000 people agree that it's OK, it's still a crime.

But when elected officials decide to confiscate your income (in the form of taxes), and redistribute that income, then It's no longer a crime.

The tax law is nothing more than a set of rules.   Since the tax and spend lib's make the illegitimate laws, there's nothing wrong with using the same methods against them.

And what's wrong with Cooper voicing his opinion?   Why do you feel the need to denigrate him?

Jessica Thomas
Jessica Thomas

And let's also not forget that TCF was a pioneer in such profitable endeavors like charging tons of hidden fees, and in re-ordering deposits and withdrawals in order to maximize overdraft charges among customers who live paycheck to paycheck. Tell me again how those who became wealthy due to business practices like this should be given a tax break on top of it because otherwise they might leave. That's right up there with the investment banks justifying paying their executives huge bonuses for destroying our economy, because otherwise they might quit. Please. Quit and leave, I dare you. I'll even help you pack.

Joe Fimtimwimbimsim Moag
Joe Fimtimwimbimsim Moag

1. Subsidized labor so that corporations don't have to pay living wages. 2. Subsidized healthcare so that corporations don't have to pay for adequate benefits. 3. Schools to produce workers. 4. Police to arrest anyone who gets "too much" in the way of corporations' political agendas. Shall I continue?

Jessica Thomas
Jessica Thomas

Let them move. The remaining 99% of the population, who actually *pay* taxes and participate in our economy instead of merely siphoning wealth from it, will continue to make our state the great place to live that it is. They can move to Florida, Texas, South Dakota, all states that have very low taxes and, not coincidentally, really high quality of life by virtually every measurement...oh wait. No, those states are all ranked at the bottom. Why is that, since they supposedly are so welcome to all the wealthy people who allegedly contribute so much?

Sue Campbell
Sue Campbell

This is why I closed my TCF account years ago.

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

Blackmail is blackmail no matter what the income.

Jamie Larson
Jamie Larson

I was wondering if this was the first greeting kiss by the editorial board to Cooper. It definitely will be interesting to watch the Strib after the sale.

Jamie Larson
Jamie Larson

John - actually they did not do the correct thing from a journalistic standpoint. That is why this is coverable news. Also, news sources need to make money, so of course they will cover when a competitor makes a major mistake like this. This is not rocket science. news sells, people making mistakes sells even more.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

How many times do you have to post something that is wrong before it becomes right?

Jeff Skinner
Jeff Skinner

TCF is a real bank? I thought it was set up by Cub Foods to divert criminals from robbing the stores.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

What you don't know about journalism would probably fill a textbook on journalism.

Tim Burkhardt
Tim Burkhardt

Gee... where's Hal Greenwood when you need him?

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Can we post this as a billboard someplace?

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Sorry, Jamie, you're laboring under the impression that the Star Tribune is somehow obligated to meet journalistic standards. With the impending sale to Glen Taylor the Strib is retooling itself as the corporate communications arm of Taylor's industrial base. Since Cooper is on the board of some of Taylor's businesses, the first interest of the Strib is to protect Cooper's reputation and standing.

Kathleen Smith
Kathleen Smith

What exactly do taxes "buy" for the upper income?

John Grimes
John Grimes

My point is simply that the Strib did the right thing from a journalistic perspective not identifying him because he wrote in as a private citizen. If you want to critique Cooper's viewpoint and bring in the additional angle of his occupation, feel free. Just leave the Strib out of it, they did their job.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

They're VICTIMS I tellya! They worked HARD to inherit that money from Dad, they don't see any reason why the cash they got from corporate tax refunds should go to inner-city moochers.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1  Because he's a treasonous scumbag. Taxes are the price of admission to a civilized society. You want to have a military, roads, schools, hospitals, etc.? Don't like it? Try Somalia? You's absolutely love it there! 

lkjhasdf
lkjhasdf

"The remaining 99% of the population, who actually *pay* taxes"

Hahaha. Right. You know how income tax returns work? Oh, you don't? You know how sales taxes work, when you buy things? Or how corporate taxes, payroll taxes and taxes on uei work? No? Whether you like it or not, rich people pay the bulk of taxes. Yeah, it's partly because they have the most money, but without it all the little social programs and other crap progressives and like enjoy would dry up because the rest of us simply don't pay enough to support the current level of spending.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@Jessica: "will continue to make our state the great place to live that it is"

Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, and reading the Mpls Red Star .

nodikpicspls
nodikpicspls

Enforcement of property rights, a militarized police centered around the idea of protecting the rich and powerful.

JulesK
JulesK

Actually most news sources identify politicians, board members, and community leaders to offset any bias. Taught in my first year journalism class back when journalists were to remain unbiased.

lkjhasdf
lkjhasdf

@MNjoe @Truth_Teller_1  Hur durr, somalia! Straw everywhere! Straw for everyone! Good argument, boot-licker. Not wanting to pay exorbitant taxes = anarchy in a society defined by violent military groups that want to instill their own dictatorial regime. Yep, that's what everyone who wants to reduce taxes is thinking. 

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@MNjoe

Right now we’re slaves, debt serfs, indentured subjects of king Obama and the liberal progressive fascists. It hard to imagine not being terrorized by the IRS and forking over half your money. We declared independence for far less in taxes.

yoopie93
yoopie93

@Truth_Teller_1   "The Minneapolis Red Star."  You mean the same publication that printed this jackass' letter?  Please keep your paranoid liberal media mythology to yourself.  Actually, just keep all of your comments to yourself.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@lkjhasdf @MNjoe @Truth_Teller_1  Taxes have already been reduced dramatically - at least for the upper earners. Why don't you look up what the rich were paying under Reagan or Eisenhower for that matter? Trickle-down doesn't work. 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@MNjoe  What a boring schtick you have. You've used those lines to death. At least you didn't attempt to correct anybody's spelling/grammar/ punctuation like you so often do.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 @MNjoe  Wow, I didn't realize how mentally ill you are. I hope that ObamaCare will help you to get the help you so obviously need. 

P.S. If you line the inside of your hat with foil, the government spy-beams can't penetrate. 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol Pussy ass tyrants are far worse. Scared of something: BAN IT! What a pussy

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