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Some Big Money Is Getting Behind A Relative Unknown For NYC Mayor

Joe Lhota Mta 5The chances that former MTA head Joe Lhota will become the next Mayor of New York City seem small right now, but some of NYC's wealthiest are throwing their money behind him anyway, the NYT reports.

Lhota, who also served in the Giuliani administration, is entering a crowded field in this race. On the Republican side, he faces billionaire CEO of Gristedes supermarket, John Catsimatidis, who has promised to deploy his fortune for the campaign.

The Democratic side is stacked with veterans — former Comptroller Bill Thompson (who took on Bloomberg in 2009), Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and powerhouse fundraiser and City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn.

That isn't scaring some big names (and wallets) away from Lhota, though. Ken Langone, the billionaire founder of Home Depot, is one of them.

From NYT:

Kenneth G. Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, has pledged his financial backing. Peter S. Kalikow, the real estate investor, has cut a big check. And James S. Tisch, the chief executive of the Loews Corporation, is on board...

Mr. Langone, a prodigious Republican donor, is even entertaining the possibility of an independent political action committee, unbound by spending limits, devoted to electing Mr. Lhota. “All I know is that Joe is not going to want for money,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Langone, who raised millions of dollars for Mr. Romney, said, “I plan to do everything I can to help Joe Lhota get elected, as long as it’s ethical and as long as it’s legal.” He called Mr. Lhota “a superb manager.”...

“I worry a lot about the fiscal health of New York City,” said Mr. Tisch, the head of Loews and an invitee to the Lhota breakfast. “As I look around at the group of people running for mayor, the person I think has the best capacity of dealing with these issues is Joe.”

It's important to keep in mind that NYC isn't a Republican town. Even if Lhota manages to win the Republican nomination, that doesn't mean every GOP donor will rally around him because victory could still be a long shot.

Christine Quinn has bagged some big former Romney donors like Randy Levine, the President of the New York Yankees, and Ron Perelman the chairman of Revlon.

For the full run down head to the New York Times>

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The 10 Dow Stocks That Do The Best In The Final Week Of January

At Seasonal Odds we analyzed the average historical performance of each of the Dow Jones components in the last week of January over the last 5 years.

These 10 stocks all returned over 1% on average in the single week that closes out the first month of the year.

Notable even among the top 10 is Bank of America, which was positive 100% of the time in the last week of January, returning 6.36% on average. American Express returned an average of 3.71% and was positive 80% of the time, while The Travelers Companies returned an average of 3.39% and was positive 100% of the time.

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Seasonal Odds is a live-updating stock market Almanac and real-time back-testing engine developed at Harvard and MIT. It was created by Daniel Nadler (PhD Candidate, Harvard) and Pete Kruskall (S.B. and M.Eng., MIT).

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10 Of America Strangest Federal Tax Laws

HeascratchAmericans are known to bristle come April 15, but nearly 240 years after the founders threw a Boston Tea Party to protest unfair taxes, citizens are using less dramatic – but no less creative – ways to test the tax code. Modern-day challenges often end in U.S. Tax Court, where citizens can go to take on the Internal Revenue Service.

The basic questions that get brought up in Tax Court seem straightforward enough: What is income and what are its related expenses? The specifics can get, well, flat-out weird.

The IRS code may be full of loopholes and deductions as it is, but the IRS has also approved more than a few imaginative – even wacky – tax breaks.

If you have a huge deduction that you’d like to take but are unsure if it will pass muster with the IRS, talk to your tax preparer to see if a private letter ruling (PLR) makes sense, advises Gil Charney, principal tax researcher at the Tax Institute at H&R Block in Kansas City, Missouri. The PLR is written guidance from the IRS that provides an advanced decision on how it would treat the case. It does cost money, so make sure the deduction is worth it.

Maximizing the look of your muscles

Maximizing The Look Of Your Muscles

The Tax Court ruled that a professional body builder who uses special oils to prepare for competition could deduct their cost.

What is not deductible are the wheat-grass shots and buffalo meat he eats to tone his form. Go figure.



Tax breaks for drug dealers

Tax Breaks For Drug Dealers

If you make your money dealing illegal drugs, getting your taxes right might not be high on your list of priorities, but just because the money is made illegally, doesn’t mean the IRS won’t accept taxes on it.

The Tax Court has clarified some potentially helpful details on the situation. (Remember, sometimes tax evasion is easier to prove than more insidious crimes. Think Al Capone.)

Baggies and soil for marijuana plants are not deductible. Neither is the apartment you work from or the cost of your security team. However, you can deduct the cost of your product.



Depreciating breast implants

Depreciating Breast Implants

A stripper known as Chesty Love was allowed to write off her breast implants because they’re considered a stage prop. As it applies to business expenses, those assets can now be depreciated each year, even if her clients’ appreciation for them never diminishes.



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