Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

On The Dole: Marjorie Taylor Greene Profits From Low-Income Federal Subsidy Program

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 24, 2021

Is Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Green Pretending?

Cue Eric Clapton’s 1989 hit “Pretending.”

Clay Bennett is a native Alabamian, and Pulitzer prize-winning, long-time political cartoonist for the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.

While Marjorie Taylor Greene has claimed business success credentials as a candidate for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District – while spouting the bizarre lies and not-even-specious rhetoric as part of the QAnon conspiracy – what she has NOT said is that Federal subsidy of low-income housing, and Federal tax credits associated with them, has played a significant role in that “success.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently published an investigative article about Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican QAnon conspiracy theory supporter who moved her campaign headquarters from the state’s 6th to the 14th Congressional District exclusively in order to campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. The Constitution does not require a Member of Congress to reside in the district they represent, only the state.

The 14th CD is located in the state’s uppermost northwest corner, bordering Alabama and Tennessee, a portion of which is considered part of the Chattanooga, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Located slightly north of the state’s capitol city, from 1992-2018, GA’s 6th CD has, until recently, been a largely Republican-dominated suburb of the Atlanta MSA which has produced the likes of Newt Gingrich, Johnny Isakson, and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

Georgia’s 14th CD includes Dalton, which has long been known for the numerous carpet and floor covering firms which supply a significant portion of all carpet sold domestically and internationally, and with at least 150 factories, is colloquially known as the “Carpet Capitol of the World.”

It is in that region that Marjorie Taylor Greene projected herself to district 14 voters not as a “carpetbagger,” nor as a “scalawag” – even though she is an opportunist Republican profiteering from Federal poverty programs – but as a business owner/entrepreneur alongside her spouse, Perry.

The term “carpetbagger” refers to:

“a traveler who arrives in a new region with only a satchel (or carpetbag) of possessions, and who attempts to profit from or gain control over his new surroundings, often against the will or consent of the original inhabitants.”

While scalawag refers to:

“White southerners who, for various reasons, saw more of an advantage in backing the policies of Reconstruction than in opposing them.”

And in an ironic video she recently shared with her supporters, she attempted to cast aspersions upon, and belittle fellow Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York’s 14th CD with whom she indicated that she’d spoken, and challenged her to a debate on her “Green New Deal” saying that “she just has a government job” – the same type job Greene has.

2. As a business woman in the construction industry, I’ve spent the last two decades alongside my husband, Perry, building our company and creating in jobs. The politicians in DC and really at all levels of government have let us down.”

The top of her campaign platform was “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Help Recruit Businesses and Bring Jobs to the 14th and NW Georgia.”

In the Friday, 23 April 2021 article, the AJC wrote that,

“Greene’s business record, however, is one of the least examined aspects of her life. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review found that while the Trump acolyte touted her experience as a construction company executive running her family business, there’s little evidence of her involvement in the company’s operations.

“From 2007 until 2011, Greene was listed as CFO of the family construction company, Taylor Commercial, Inc. in corporate registration records filed with the Georgia Secretary of State. Yet for several years during the time she was presumably helping her husband run their construction company, she spent her days at a gym pursuing her passion for CrossFit training and traveling to participate in national competitions.

“In 2015, she acknowledged in an Internet radio interview that when she opened a gym of her own in 2013, she and her business partner knew next to nothing about running a business.

“And while Greene has railed against big government, the AJC found that the family’s North Fulton construction business profited for years from work on taxpayer-subsidized low-income housing.”

The article stated that she refused to answer any of their questions about her business track record, the construction business, or the gym.

Travis Mayer & Marjorie Taylor Greene, owners CrossFit Passion gym, Alpharetta, GA, The gym is now named United Performance Fitness and Training Center.

The AJC reached out to Charles S. Bullock III, a Political Science Professor at the University of Georgia, who said that Greene’s appearance and campaign advertising, “was very well calibrated for that district, which is one of the most conservative districts in the nation. She packaged herself very well for the 14th District.”

Her Congressional biography states that she and her husband purchased Taylor Commercial, the construction company which she often references, though she fails to mention that they purchased it from from her father, and formerly mentioned that she is a 51% shareholder in the firm.

Tellingly, the AJC found that the company’s website had been offline for “scheduled maintenance” for quite some time, and when they searched the Internet Archive website, and their “Wayback Machine,” which caches millions of websites, they found she had “no significant presence on the company’s web pages collected over the past 20 years.”

Even more oddly, is the fact that on the pages that are archived, there is little-to-no mention of her in the company, in any capacity whatsoever – not as owner, not as an executive in any capacity, not even as employee of any kind. However, what those same pages DO show is that “her father and husband are the central actors in the company’s story.”

While Taylor Commercial, Inc. has webpages that depict the firm’s existence, and others, it mysteriously has a virtual absence of any information about Marjorie Taylor Greene and the role(s) she claims to have had there.

In fact, Marjorie Greene appears only sparingly on the website pages of the company. From mid-2007 to 2010, she is listed as Chief Financial Officer, but in 2011, the company reported that she was no longer present in that capacity. No other details were made.

Examination of Georgia State business records on file with the Secretary of State’s office, and others, bears witness with, and substantiates the findings on the website, that Marjorie was absent from the firm for the majority of its existence.

The AJC wrote,

“The company’s July 2006 annual registration lists Perry Greene as CEO, replacing his father-in-law in the position. The registration also lists him as CFO and secretary. Over the past 15 years, Taylor Commercial’s annual filings often listed Perry as the only officer of the company.

“If Marjorie Taylor Greene was involved in day-to-day operations of the company, she apparently had a low profile. She does not appear in the company’s corporate filings again for nearly a decade.”

The AJC checked with others who were involved in the construction projects with which Taylor Commercial, Inc. was involved, and found that she was never mentioned, nor seen, in any capacity during the times of the projects.

Ken Blankenship, an executive with the Atlanta-based firm Prestwick Development which contracted with Taylor Commercial, said, “If Marjorie Taylor Greene walked in front of me then, I would not have known her.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during a Second Amendment rally at the Northwest Georgia Amphitheatre on Saturday, September 19, 2020 in Ringgold, GA / AJC Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Federally-required campaign finance disclosures state that Taylor Commercial, Inc. is valued between $5 million and $25 million, generates between $100,001 and $1 million in annual income for Marjorie and her husband, and that she had a salary of $100,000 in 2019 – the most recent year reported on her disclosures – while her husband’s salary was $200,000.

What is equally interesting, even quite curious, if not hypocritical, given Marjorie’s anti-government rhetoric, is the fact that Taylor Commercial is heavily involved in the construction and rehabbing of taxpayer-subsidized low income housing, and has marketed itself as expert in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit work, with over 40 years of experience in such work.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is a $9.5 billion Federal program that subsidizes the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income tenants. The LIHTC was enacted as part of the 1986 Tax Reform Act and has been modified numerous times.

The program has broad bipartisan support, but has come under repeated criticism and scrutiny since it was created. Some of the criticisms include claims that government auditors make, that the program lacks proper oversight and accountability, while others criticize the program more broadly saying that it benefits developers, investors and others in the cottage industry surrounding it, while residents who need its help are not helped.

Michael Daniel, a civil rights attorney in Dallas, Texas, who has advocated on behalf of low-income residents for decades said, “So many people in the low-income housing web make a lot of money on this stuff. It is loosely described in the trade . . . as a cascade of cash.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Congressional committee assignments page shows no committee assignments because the House of Representatives voted to strip them from her because of her incendiary and inflammatory remarks threatening Members of Congress, and other government officials.

In her short time as a legislator, she has been quickly rendered legislatively ineffective and persona non grata by virtue of her removal from committee assignments – Committee on Education and Labor, Committee on the Budget – after discovery of a tranche of her caustic and incendiary remarks made before the election, including endorsing the assassination of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy gave a tepidly vapid response to her behavior, and because of his inaction, the entire House of Representatives was forced to vote on her removal from committee assignments, which included 11 GOP supporting votes among all Democratic votes.

Some of the utterly bizarre behavior she has exhibited includes video recording herself chasing and heckling David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, FL Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, who was in D.C. to testify before Congress in March 2019.

And, she has called the February 14, 2018, massacre in which 17 were killed and 17 injured at the Parkland High School a so-called “false flag” – a term frequently used by conspiracy theorists referring to an intention misrepresentation of a deed with specific intent to conceal its true origins, and to place blame upon another.

Bizarre remarks she has made include a recently uncovered Facebook post in which Greene claimed that “space lasers” were responsible for the devastating 2018 Camp Fire California wildfire. She falsely claimed that “space lasers” funded by the Rothschilds were being used to clear forest for a high-speed rail line when they missed, sparking a fire.

She has even claimed that the 9/11 terrorist attacks – September 11, 2001 hijacking kamikaze bombings of the World Trade Center – was a hoax.

In the time since, she has become a Congressional pest, and has gone “off the hook” with her behavior attempting to shut down Congress, filing impeachment charges against President Joe Biden, and more bizarre obstructionist behavior.

Marjorie Taylor Green Timeline

1996 – Marjorie Taylor Greene & husband Perry graduate from University of Georgia business school, they married while students in 1995

2002 – Majorie Taylor Greene & husband Perry purchase Taylor Commercial, Inc. from her father

2007 – 2010 – Marjorie listed as CFO of Taylor Commercial, Inc.

2011 – Taylor Commercial removed M.T. Greene’s name as CFO from business filings; Marjorie began CrossFit training personally

2011 July – Business filings with the NC Secretary of State show Perry Greene established “Greene Raleigh Gardens, LLC” with an Alpharetta, GA principal office location; issued “Certificate of Existence” by GA SOS Brian P. Kemp

2102 – Taylor Commercial boasted of success on Raleigh Gardens, a government-subsidized NC apartment complex renovation, making clear that Federal subsidy was significantly helpful; Perry Greene’s press release read “This was a North Carolina Housing Authority LIHTC project with city bonds and HUD funding.”; the company was involved with Eddy Benoit, Jr., principle of Benoit Group, an Atlanta-area developer that “focuses on the development of affordable mixed-income housing, market-rate workforce housing, independent senior living, student housing, and mixed-use developments.”

2013 – M.T. Greene opened CrossFit Passion, a CrossFit gym in Alpharetta, GA (now known as United Performance) with business partner Travis Mayer, a nationally-recognized CrossFit athlete

2015, November 11 – M.T. Greene & Travis Mayer interviewed by Atlanta-based Business RadioX about their Alpharetta, GA gym CrossFit Passion, said they knew plenty about coaching, but little about business, so they sought others’ advice

2017 – Greene’s interest turned to politics; name no longer appeared on CrossFit Passion gym’s corporate papers

2019, May – Taylor Commercial, Inc. amended state registration papers to include Greene as an officer, listing her as Secretary; later that month, she announced candidacy for CD6, making her newly-named role a prominent part of her campaign

2019, November – Greene tweeted that “around 40% of my construction company’s business is in black impoverished communities.”

2019, December – M.T. Greene, then a Republican candidate for GA’s 6th Congressional District seat interviewed on The Ben Burnett Show podcast; shortly afterward, 14th CD Representative Tom Graves announced he would not seek re-election, and Greene dropped out of the 6th CD race and entered the 14th CD race.

2020 – Greene’s candidate financial disclosure lists Greene Raleigh Gardens, LLC as a real property in Raleigh, NC valued between $50,001 and $100,000 which has generated between $15,001 and $50,000 in annual income

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