Bill Maloney, Republican candidate for West Virginia governor, said he paid more than $1 million in taxes during his last four years in business - tax years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. He also denied Friday that he incorporated one of his companies in Delaware "to avoid paying taxes."
The Democratic Governors Association has placed ads in West Virginia making reference to Maloney's business in Delaware and accusing him of moving another of his businesses and its jobs to nearby Pennsylvania.
During a stop Friday outside the closed True Value Hardware store on Washington Avenue in Wheeling, Maloney said neither claim was true. He is challenging Democratic incumbent Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in the Nov. 6 general election.
"This race is starting to heat up, if you haven't noticed," Maloney said. "The ad wars are flying. Just in recent weeks, the Democratic governors and Republican governors (associations) are coming heavy. Yesterday, there was an ad that came up about me, my career ... it was so unfactual."
Maloney, a mining engineer and businessman, said he had six companies before selling them six years ago.
"And just one was incorporated in Delaware so it could do work overseas," he noted. "The company was named Shaft Drillers International. And we never did do any overseas work with it."
Maloney said he paid a "$50 or $100" filing fee in Delaware for the company.
"We weren't avoiding taxes," he said. "That's just false."
Maloney sold his Morgantown-based North American Drillers company in 2006. It has since moved to nearby Mount Morris, Pa.
"And they say I moved jobs to Pennsylvania," he said. "I sold my company six years ago - they moved their corporate headquarters last year. I had nothing to do with that.
"They also said I retired to a mansion in Georgia. Yeah, I've got a little place in Georgia that's a lot smaller than his (Tomblin's) place in Myrtle Beach," Maloney added.
The ads were pulled by media sources after complaints to state media organizations. Maloney referred to the DGA and the Tomblin campaign as "hypocritical."
"If this is what it takes to win elections, this isn't America," he said. "It should be about ideas and what we need to do to make our state a better place."
Tomblin's campaign stood behind the DGA ad, which also makes reference to the fact Maloney was born in New York. He has lived in West Virginia during his adult life.
"Bill Maloney is trying to hide from the facts," said Chris Stadelman, spokesman for the Tomblin campaign. "He incorporated his West Virginia-based business in Delaware. He admitted that he 'got caught' trying to avoid paying the property taxes that fund our schools. West Virginia jobs went to Pennsylvania, while the company that he owned continued to pay him.