(PNS reporting from EL PASO) Early this morning, area farmworker Celestino Sepúlveda made five years of his tax returns public.
Holding faded copies of his 1040EZ from tax years 2007 to 2011, Sepúlveda told reporters, “Quiero ser un ejemplo para Romney” (I want to be an example for Romney) by publicly revealing his Federal returns.
At a press conference held at 3AM scheduled to accommodate his need to obtain agricultural day work from farm labor contractors, who start recruiting at 3:30, Sepúlveda explained.
“I have nothing to hide about the way I earn my money, because I earned it through honest work,” said the 37-year-old native of Jalpa, Zacatecas, standing with several other farmworkers on the corner of Paisano and Oregon Streets. (A family photo, above, shows him harvesting cucumbers.)
Fellow farmworker Pepe Martínez agreed. “Sí, una persona humilde como mi compadre lo hizo, ¿porqué no El Romney?”
A review of Sepúlveda’s tax returns showed an average yearly income of $7,000 earned primarily by picking green chile throughout Southern New Mexico and West Texas, at 50 cents a bucket. He also earned income from weeding and harvesting onions.
The press conference ended when a contractor abruptly offered Sepúlveda work picking green chile near Deming, New Mexico.
He put away his tax returns and began to board the contractor’s old Blue Bird school bus that would transport him to the green chile fields two hours away.
Before he entered, he said, “I may not be a millionaire, but I’m honest.”
As the contractor’s bus sped away, a Romney/Ryan 2012 bumper sticker was clearly visible on the bus’ bumper.
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