Sten Wilson

Who is he?  Why does he post all over the place for the last few years regarding any article concerning the Marketplace Fairness Act.  Is he a sock puppet?  A paid shill (A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the person or organization.) – Wikipedia.

Or is he just a dedicated (OK, kool-aid-drinking, very enthusiastic proponent of the MFA) advocate?  His posts are legendary among store owners who follow the issue.  The long, rambling posts.  Statements like “There are no burdens for Internet retailers”.  The awkward, stilted language repeating the same phrases over and over.  Completely ignoring inconvenient points brought up in replies.  They just aren’t how most people write or talk.  Cynical me certainly jumped to shill.  Especially with all the fake PR fronts for big business in the campaign for this bill.  If I see grass, it’s astroturf with regards to the MFA.

What he’s publicly stated:

  • Runs a small sheep farm in upstate New York.
  • Less than $50,000 per year in revenue (2 yr. old post) w/ very simple website & paypal express.  He’s well under any MFA limits.
  • Uses Taxcloud and is happy with it.  Repeatedly references this fact.
  • Has stated he does not work for Taxcloud.  Certainly copies and pastes a lot.
  • Stated conservative
  • “I am not a lobbyist”
  • List his status as free-lancer, self employed on Linked-in and 2009-present as “advocate”

Sten gets around.  Not just in his posts.  What led to this blog post was yet another discovery of a place he went to for the MFA.

He went to Washington D.C. to share his support with Senator Enzi

He attended the 10/2011  SSTGB Governing Board meeting in Seattle.

Is he being paid?  Will he benefit financially if the MFA passes? (besides his stated hope for lower property taxes).  Who is funding his travel?   It certainly doesn’t sound like the sheep farm does it.  IF he’s being paid, compensated, given options… whatever.  His posts would seem to fall under FTC guidelines (blogger laws) for disclosing financial ties.

I did think it odd that the CEO of Taxcloud and Sten both posted on the same day, to a 2-year old blog post on the topic.  Nothing automatically nefarious, but my spider senses certainly go crazy.  Perhaps one of them shot another an email.

http://www.comptia.org/news/blog/view/11-10-25/another_take_on_internet_sales_tax.aspx

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  1. […] bot-like dedication of Sten continues.  His unswerving devotion to the MFA and Taxcloud continues and yes, he continues to post […]

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