MFA Proponents – A Cheat Sheet

Just a simple summary post to keep track of who is who, rather than reading more detailed posts about each company or astroturf organization.  Links if you want more details from other blog posts here.

Organizations

Stand with Main Street (website, facebook, twitter) = DDC Advocacy.  A fine purveyor of pretend grass roots movements.  A heavy tweeter.   AKA Alliance for Main Street Fairness. @standwithmainst

21st Century Retail – International Council of Shopping Centers – Run by Finn Partners (who won an award for the astroturf site).  ICSC seems fond of misleading “polls” that lack credibility – but good for press releases. Medium-level tweeter. @efairness

Marketplace Fairness Coalition – Paid for the Laffer Report, source of many Pro-MFA sites’ tweets and posts that selectively or falsely represent the contents.  Finn Partners runs this site as well.  @mfcoalition

Taxcloud – Most visible of the 6 tax providers (CSPs) by far in pushing this issue (for obvious reasons).  Probably the smallest of them.  Source of MANY blog posts here and has aggressively pushed for passage, many times I believe with dubious claims, or worse.    Would probably support taxing a lemonade stand as long as they got their cut.  @taxcloud @fedtax @mfainfo

Avalara – A venture-funded, seemingly pretty large CSP.  The first CSP I took to task for misleading and contradictory statements and another one who (in my opinion) downplays real concerns regarding MFA.  @avalara

People

David Campbell – CEO of Fedtax/Taxcloud/The Federal Tax Authority and primary spokesman for them and a key commenter and publisher of pro-MFA propaganda.  “It’s free, it’s easy”.  Years of comments, posts and testimony almost unchecked by small business owners until the Senate rammed through passed the MFA.  Then we woke up.  Those days are long gone.  Generally posts as Fedtax or his name (which I do respect).

Sten Wilson – Even a more prolific commenter than David.   Frequently they both comment on the same stories (no, they aren’t the same person).  Taxcloud Customer.  A sheep farmer in NY.  According to Linkedin: “Technology Evangelist”, “Free Lancer” and “Advocate” as well.  Honestly, the combination of his post volume, the time he must spend on it and the over-the-top Taxcloud mentions, my first thought was paid shill for them.  Virtually every post uses very interesting language and word choices, I can generally see his posts a mile away (even if he posts under aliases).  He setup a blog for it, a twitter account… and he has also traveled to pro-MFA events.  How is he affording this?  Who is paying him or footing the bill?  I have my doubts, but in the absence of proof, I’ll go with MFA zealot for now.  IF he’s being compensated in any way, time for some FTC disclosures.

Congressman Steve Womack (3rd AR) – Sponsor of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 in the House of Representatives.  Surely a coincidence that Wal-Mart is based in his district?

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