Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Jed Lewison at Daily Kos asks the right question: Why was Mitt Romney willing to hand over 23 years of tax returns to John McCain's vice presidential vetting team but he will not do the same with the public. What's in his tax records that he was willing to let McCain's people see but that he doesn't want to share with the rest of us?
Corollary: What does John McCain know about Romney that he is not telling us? Does he know what is in Romney's tax records?
In the wake of yesterday's Washington Post report that Mitt Romney is exploiting a loophole in federal ethics laws to hide the details of his holdings through Bain Capital, the Obama campaign is renewing its call for transparency from Romney in a statement from campaign manager Jim Messina:
“Mitt Romney has asked Americans to elect him President based on his experience as a corporate buyout specialist. Each week, new questions are raised about whether he took unusual steps to avoid paying his fair share in taxes. Today’s report suggests that Governor Romney is exploiting a loophole in order to shield his assets and investments from public review.
“Mitt Romney has put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key, attempting to play by a different set of rules than any candidate in recent history. In fact, Mitt Romney’s own father released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president. President Bush released his tax returns dating back to 1991. And President Obama released his returns dating back to 2000 when he ran for president.
“Governor Romney provided 23 years worth of tax returns to the McCain campaign so they could determine if he would make a suitable Vice President. He must meet that same standard now so that the American people may judge whether he would be a suitable President, and whether there are any conflicts of interest that could cloud his judgment.”
According to The Post's report, Romney has claimed he is exempt from reporting the details of his investments made through Bain because of his past ties to Bain. Normally, federal candidates are required to disclose the underlying investments made through other companies, but Romney claims an exception to this rule because of confidentiality agreements with Bain. As a result, his disclosure documents don't provide details on what companies he has a financial stake in through Bain. According to The Post:
Several outside experts across the political spectrum, however, say Romney’s disclosure is the most opaque they have encountered, with some suggesting the filing effectively defeats the spirit of disclosure requirements.