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Inside Air America: the Sheldon Drobny files

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 25, 2005 04:20 PM

Inside Air America: An Investigative Blog Report
The Sheldon Drobny Files

by Brian Maloney and Michelle Malkin

Part of a continuing series


My investigative blog partner, Brian Maloney, watched the surreal appearance of Air America co-founder Sheldon Drobny on C-SPAN this weekend. Drobny was on the network to plug his 2004 book, “Road to Air America: Breaking the Right Wing Stranglehold on Our Nation’s Airwaves.” (Video here.)

Click here for Brian’s exclusive transcript/analysis of Drobny’s remarks and the second half of our Sheldon Drobny files.

Our thanks to the caller from Dallas who broke the silence about the Air American financial scandals on the program. Drobny was visibly uncomfortable. As he should be.

Drobny, a deep-pocketed, self-described venture capitalist from Chicago, is a strange duck who deserves much more media scrutiny than he’s getting. In October 2003, NRO’s Byron York explored his moonbat writings for a fringe website called Make Them Accountable here. York noted Drobny’s Lyndon LaRouche connections and wrote:

In the 1990s, conservatives came under heavy criticism for relying on funding from the foundation run by Richard Mellon Scaife. Liberal commentators routinely portrayed Scaife as a right-wing zillionaire who harbored dark visions about the evil nature of his political adversaries. Now, it is a zillionaire on the left-the guiding force behind liberalism’s premier outreach effort-who harbors dark visions about the evil nature of his political adversaries. And that is the face of liberal talk radio.

Since then, however, neither the New York Times nor any other major MSM outlet has had anything more to say about the checkered past of Drobny and his wife, Anita, their apparent shell game habits, or their latest efforts to drum up new cash for the Air America money pit through the dubious “Nova M” business plan, which we first exposed here.

Question: Would you give money to a couple involved in this:

COFFEY, Circuit Judge. The petitioners-appellants, Sheldon and Anita Drobny, are husband and wife. During the late 1970’s, Sheldon Drobny, a former IRS agent, was a partner in the accounting firm of Adler & Drobny, Ltd., based near Chicago, Illinois. Drobny promoted (and he and his wife invested in) two “research and development” programs purportedly designed to develop the substance known as “aloe vera” for commercial purposes. “Aloe vera” is an extract of the Aloe Barbadensis plant, and today is used in many skin-care and personal hygiene products. The Drobnys, on their joint federal income tax return for 1979 (prepared by Sheldon Drobny), claimed certain losses as deductions in connection with their investment in the aloe vera research and development programs. In 1983, the Illinois District Director of the IRS (based in Chicago, Illinois) disallowed these deductions, after determining through investigation that they were part of an impermissible “tax shelter” scheme, and informed the Drobnys that they were liable for a $10,877 tax deficiency. The District Director also notified Sheldon Drobny that he was liable for a civil fraud penalty (or “addition to tax”) in the amount of $5,439.

And, may we remind you, accused of this:


And this:


Bleeding-heart liberals, beware. Like pied pipers in progressive clothing, Drobny and his wife may be coming to a town near you to entice you into Air America’s sea of red ink.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Go to The Radio Equalizer for the rest of our examination of Drobny.

Related: The blogosphere continues to take up the MSM slack…

ThinkDude has started a helpful timeline of Air America’s financial fiascos.

Chris Fotos at Post Watch keeps an eye on the Washington Post’s disinterest in Air America.

Stephen Spruiell at The Media Blog marks this very special day in the Air America timeline. 😉

Aaron at The Blue State Conservatives compiles AAR ratings.


Wednesday scandal updates
New York Post: The Money Pit
Inside Air America: The Lizz Winstead case
Fraudulent Conveyance 101
Multicultural Radio says Air America owes it $1.5 million
Inside Air America: An investigative blog report (Part II)
Air Enron: Morning update
Inside Air America: An investigative blog report (Part I)
Air Enron: Al Franken needs help
Air Enron updates
Air Enron: The dam bursts
Air Enron: NYTimes corrects
Air Enron: MSM errs and lags
Air Enron: The NYTimes speaks! (or rather, whispers)
Air Enron: Heads roll, victims shafted
Air Enron: No letting up
Air Enron: Franken speaks again
Air Enron: Elite media blackout contd.
Air Enron: quotes of the day
Air Enron: Spitzer steps in
Air Enron: questions, questions
Air Enron: the blame game
Air Enron: thumb-twiddling MSM
Silence of the race hustlers
Air Enron: Al Franken speaks
Air Deadbeat: the saga continues
The Air America loophole
Air America is scrambling
Air America: Don’t blame us
Air America: Stealing from poor kids?!

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Categories: Air America, Al Franken