The Grassroots Corner September 20, 2021

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 09/20/2021

FAIRtax lost a powerful radio and podcast voice who had been educating the public about our cause for the past six years. Ron Maiellaro, 75, of Ocala, FL, passed away unexpectedly on August 26,2021 following a brief illness.

Ron was known to us all as one of The FAIRtax Guys, hosts of the weekly podcast FAIRtax Power Radio.  The Guys used a blend of humor and seriousness to educate and inform people about the many ills of the income tax and how the FAIRtax was by far the superior way to fund the government.

Ron was born on August 6, 1946 in Auburn, New York. He served in the Navy Reserves and was on active duty during the Vietnam War as a Radarman Second Class Petty Officer.

After earning a Masters’ degree in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education Administration, he spent most of his career teaching General Science and Chemistry at Beaver River Central School in Beaver Falls, New York. He then became the developer of Computer Services through Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, an organization created by the New York State Legislature.

Ron worked out of Glenfield, New York, traveling all around the county teaching teachers how to use computers and how to incorporate them into the classroom.  It is perhaps no accident that fellow FAIRtax Guy, Bob Paxton, was also a computer programmer during most of his working life.

In 1988, Ron moved to Ballston Lake, New York and was the Director of Information Services for the Shenendehowa Central School District before becoming Assistant Principal at Coda Junior High School.

In 1995, Ron left education and moved to Ocala, Florida. Working with his wife, Elaine, they started their own business, Square Routes, Inc., an expedited trucking company.  Running their own business gave Ron and Elaine first hand exposure to just how complex and unstable the Internal Revenue Code could be.

It also gave them lots of time to listen to the radio.  Neal Boortz caught their ear—especially when he started talking about a new tax system to replace the antiquated and incomprehensible Federal income tax.

Ron and Elaine began to attend presentations given by Barb and Nick Rudelic. We wrote about Nick last November after Nick passed away.  One day, Elaine was at one of the Rudelic’s presentations while Ron was out on the truck.  Afterwards, Nick collared Elaine and asked if she would like to start doing presentations on her own.  She politely declined, but volunteered Ron for the job.

Upon Ron’s retirement in 2007, Ron and Elaine became even more involved with the FAIRtax movement. By 2009 Ron and Elaine gave monthly presentations at the library in Ocala and Belleview, Florida, to small groups. Marketing and Communications Team Leader, Randy Fischer, remembers meetings in the Ocala library.

Ron moved up to District Director and then when Mark Gupton stepped down, Ron assumed the presidency of the Florida FAIRtax Educational Association, one of the nation’s largest and most active state level FAIRtax organizations.

In the beginning of his FAIRtax tenure, Ron sought out opportunities to present the FAIRtax to as many civic and business organizations in and around Marion County Florida as he could.  When fellow Marion County resident Bob Paxton retired and offered his services to the FAIRtax cause, Ron and Bob quickly became a team.

Not long afterwards, Bob, a radio DJ in his younger years, got the opportunity to put a FAIRtax program on Leading Edge Radio Network, an internet radio operation based in Texas.  Despite his insistence that he knew nothing about radio beyond how to turn one on, Ron accepted Bob’s invitation to co-host the program and FAIRtax Power Radio was born.

In FTPR’s early days, the duo would meet at Bob’s home radio studio and record their program.  Later a friend of Ron’s, Tony McKnight, invited The Guys to use his professional studio in Gainesville, Florida, to record their shows.  At that point, the program transitioned from being an audio-only podcast to streaming video.  That arrangement worked well until the IRS stepped in and made McKnight withdraw his offer.  He didn’t want to, but he didn’t want to tangle with the IRS either.

Still, the show went on.  Production shifted to the Maiellaro home.  They bought a backdrop, a video camera and a microphone.  Elaine became “Miss Producer”.  Every two weeks, they’d transform the Maiellaro’s living room into a studio and record two episodes.  After the raw footage was shot, Ron would use his video editing skills to create the finished product and set up streams to several social media platforms.

Elaine notes that Ron and Bob were two entirely different people—one from New York and one from North Carolina—but they always worked well together.

Bob notes, “In all the years we worked as partners, we never used a script.  Of course, we had an outline of the topics we wanted to cover and we often referred to published articles from other sources, but our interactions were always ad-libbed and Ron never missed a beat.  For someone who claimed to know nothing about radio, Ron was pretty darn good at it.”

In addition to working for the FAIRtax, Ron also enjoyed golf, traveling, cruising, photography, and visiting family. Ron is survived by his wife, Elaine, daughters Deborah Stine and Hiroko Land, and sons Mark Maiellaro and Derek Maiellaro.  He also had seven grandchildren.

The show will go on, as Ron would want it to, but it won’t be the same.  We will miss Ron’s contagious good humor, and the way he and Bob would pull open the FAIRtax scroll to begin each show.

Someone else will eventually sit in Ron’s chair.  Someone else will learn the signature signoff “Once you understand it, you’ll demand it!”.  But no one will ever replace Ron Maiellaro.

If you have any stories about Ron, I would love to hear from you.
Yours In the FAIRtax Movement!

Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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