Delegate reconciles being a tax attorney and a Democrat

August 27, 2012

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Gail Morse makes no bones about the differences between the demands of her job and her personal political views.

Morse is a tax attorney. She’s also a North Side Democrat.

And in an election that’s focused so much on the economy and the nation’s tax structure, Morse has to reconcile her politics with her work.

"Well, it’s hard because – and this is where my professional life often collides and clashes with my personal life," she said.

I met Morse in a spotless conference room with a marble table at her office, high up in a building with stunning views of downtown. When it comes to why she supports the Democrats and how that might affect her work, she talks about what government is for.

One word kept coming up: Fairness.

Morse said her job is to make sure tax law is followed.

"Believe me, we’re very busy making sure that that’s fairly enforced," she said.

And what’s “fair” transfers over into her politics. For Morse, the Democratic Party fights to create an equal playing field, whereas Republicans believe more in individualism and often demonize the government.

Morse said government can be a good thing. Take the example of your alarm clock.

"Your alarm clock is fueled by electricity," she said.

And electricity is regulated by the government.

"We have electricity 24 hours a day seven days a week," she said.

Morse said anyone would be hard-pressed to find anything in every day life that isn’t supported by government in some way.

So when she hears the debate over what the tax structure in the country should look like and whether the wealthy should be taxed more, Morse goes back to what she says is fair — even for her own high tax bracket.

"I’m probably in that category. I’m not in the Mitt Romney category, but I don’t begrudge having to pay a few more dollars," she said. "Now people are going to hear that. They’re going to say, ‘Oh. I don’t want to go to her as my tax attorney.’ But what I do on a daily basis is to make sure that the government, the tax collector, doesn’t overstep its bounds."

Morse said her philosophy of fairness isn’t just about the tax structure, it also relates to her support of gay marriage and social welfare programs designed to help those in need. But she bristles when she hears those programs called ‘handouts.’

She said the government should be there for everyone, whether it’s Medicare or to make sure the next person who has a brilliant idea to get rich has somewhere to turn for support.