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Tea Party Candidate Against Reid Owes More Than $200,000 in Back Taxes

J. Patrick Coolican profiles Jon Scott Ashjian, the wealthy businessman who’s filed as the Tea Party’s candidate against Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). He doesn’t get too deeply into Ashjian’s finances — that’s left to the comments below the article — but reveals that Ashjian owes more than $200,000 in back taxes and shut down one venture after bouncing a check.

In Sun interviews, Ashjian said the IRS lien and the Contractors Board were news to him, which he said is not surprising given his sprawling business enterprise, which he said includes 27 properties.

… “This elitist crowd doesn’t have any clue about the pain and suffering experienced by the average American,” he said. “Every small-business owner is in the same boat.”

Ashjian works pretty hard to dispel the notion, pushed on conservative blogs, that he’s a spoiler in league with Harry Reid to make it impossible for a Republican to win the seat. “I’ve never met Harry Reid,” he says in a video interview. “Don’t plan on meeting Harry Reid. Don’t like him.” And for what it’s worth, FEC records don’t show him donating any money to candidates of either party; members of his family have donated to Mitt Romney and to the pro-Prop 8 effort.

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