For Immediate Release – March 22, 2005


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516



GENESEO, N.Y. – David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times and the best-selling author of "Perfectly Legal," will speak April 11 at the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Johnston, a Rochester resident, will deliver his lecture, "You Think You Got a Tax Cut," at 4:30 p.m. in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom. The talk is free and open to the public.

In addition to his Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for innovative coverage of America’s tax system, Johnston was a finalist for that award in 2000 and a double finalist in 2003, a record unmatched by any other journalist. In 2004, Investigative Reporters and Editors honored "Perfectly Legal" as Book of the Year.

The Washington Monthly last year called him "one of this country’s most important journalists." The magazine wrote that Johnston’s reporting in The New York Times has resulted in so many laws, regulations and prosecutions, that he has been called "the de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States."

"Anyone who wants to know how their tax break isn’t really a break after all, but actually part of a system that keeps the rich rich, needs to hear what David Cay Johnston is saying," said Denise Scott, associate professor of sociology at SUNY Geneseo.

"Instead of focusing on highly publicized scandals, Johnston brilliantly examines the obscure mechanisms within our tax system that essentially take from the poor and give to the rich," said Scott. "That there are two tax systems – one for the common worker and one for the wealthy; one that is accessible, one that is not – is fundamental to understanding how economic and political inequality is perpetuated in the U.S."

Johnston began reporting for two weekly newspapers in Santa Cruz, Calif., when he was 17. In 1968, at age 19, he talked his way into a job as a staff writer for the San Jose Mercury, where he was its youngest reporter until he left five years later to study economics at the University of Chicago. From 1973 through 1994, he was an investigative reporter for The Detroit Free Press, The Los Angeles Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1995, he joined The New York Times.

The SUNY Geneseo president’s office, the sociology and political science departments, and the Jones School of Business are co-sponsoring Johnston’s lecture.

– 30 –