Senator hunts for 'death tax' dead
WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- A leading proponent of abolishing the federal estate tax reportedly looked into using Hurricane Katrina victims to promote the cause.
Time magazine reports U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., called his old law professor to discuss the prospect. The professor, Harold Apolinsky, is also a co-author of federal legislation to repeal the estate tax, Time said.
Sessions called Apolinsky Sept. 9 and left a voicemail indicating the legislation -- which ran into some opposition on Capitol Hill before Katrina struck -- could get a boost if someone who would be affected by the tax were to die during the hurricane.
'(Arizona Sen.) Jon Kyl and I were talking about the estate tax,' Sessions reportedly said on the tape. 'If we knew anybody that owned a business that lost life in the storm, that would be something we could push back with.'
Apolinsky, an estate tax lawyer, got colleagues along the Gulf Coast to look for victims whose stories could be used. But Time said the search has been fruitless because so few people are affected by the estate tax, which opponents call the 'death tax.'
'But I`m still looking,' Apolinsky told the magazine.