Press-Republican

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April 18, 2012

Group protests tax code on Tax Day

Dodgeball game targeted the 1%

PLATTSBURGH — As John Donoghue built up a sweat dodging the big blue balls heaved his way Tuesday night at Melissa L. Penfield Park, the catcalls rained down.

"Real corporations don't even have to put up this much effort to dodge their taxes," Ellen Lennon hooted.

"We're keeping the pressure on," Betty Lennon yelled.

"You feeling the heat?"

Donoghue, a good sport, agreed to be the stand-in target of the frustrated taxpayers, donning a white T-shirt with "1 percent" scrawled on the front and back.

He was playing the role of the 1 percent of the wealthiest people — namely corporations — in the country that have been the target of the 99 percent, who represent the middle class, over the several months.

"I'll do whatever I can to get the message across," said Donoghue, the president of the Plattsburgh and Saranac Lake Trades Council.

'UNFAIR TAX CODE'

The Tax Day Action Rally was put together by regional union leaders and citizens who are fed up with what they believe is an unfair tax code that rewards the wealthy corporations and punishes the middle class.

Mary Alice Shemo of MoveOn.org said major corporations have it easy compared to the working men and women in the United States when it comes to paying taxes.

"The corporations make huge campaign donations and they target the members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee because they are the ones who write the tax codes," Shemo boomed into a microphone before the small gathering.

"They've got the best tax codes money can buy."

Shemo said the tax system is not only unfair to the middle-class workers, but to small businesses, the backbone of many local economies.

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