Daily Archives: July 15, 2012

Alabama’s GOP Governor Calls On Romney To Release More Tax Returns: ‘Release Everything To The American People’

Usually the GOP party stays in lockstep with the leadership of the party.  Will this one rogue GOP Governor start a domino affect?  We’ll see…

Think Progress

In a series of interviews yesterday, Mitt Romney maintained he would only release tax returns dating back two years. Romney told CNN, “that’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances.”

Robert Bently, the Republican Governor of Alabama, isn’t satisfied. The AP has the story:

Pressure was building on Romney from within his own party to be more forthcoming with his finances, a day after he declared he would not release past income tax returns beyond his 2010 tax records and, before the November election, his 2011 taxes.

On the sidelines of the National Governors Association meeting in Williamsburg, Alabama’s Republican governor, Robert Bentley, called on Romney to release all the documents requested of him.

“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong,” Bentley said. “I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.

Ana Navarro, a prominent Republican strategist, has also called on Romney to release more tax returns, telling Politico “I wish he’d hurry up and release more tax returns so this distraction would go away.”

Romney’s father, George Romney, released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for President in the 1960s. Romney provided John McCain with 23 years of tax returns when he was being considered for the Vice Presidential nomination in 2008.

 

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The Selling of American Democracy: The Perfect Storm

As usual, Professor Robert Reich gets it right…

The Huffington Post

Who’s buying our democracy? Wall Street financiers, the Koch brothers, and casino magnates Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.

And they’re doing much of it in secret.

It’s a perfect storm:

The greatest concentration of wealth in more than a century — courtesy “trickle-down” economics, Reagan and Bush tax cuts, and the demise of organized labor.

Combined with…

Unlimited political contributions — courtesy of Republican-appointed Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Kennedy, in one of the dumbest decisions in Supreme Court history, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, along with lower-court rulings that have expanded it.

Combined with…

Complete secrecy about who’s contributing how much to whom — courtesy of a loophole in the tax laws that allows so-called non-profit “social welfare” organizations to accept the unlimited contributions for hard-hitting political ads.

Put them all together and our democracy is being sold down the drain.

With a more equitable and traditional distribution of wealth, far more Americans would have a fair chance of influencing politics. As the great jurist Louis Brandeis once said, “we can have a democracy or we can have great wealth in the hands of a comparative few, but we cannot have both.”

Alternatively, inequality wouldn’t be as much of a problem if we had strict laws limiting political spending or, at the very least, disclosing who was contributing what.

But we have an almost unprecedented concentration of wealth and unlimited political spending and secrecy.

I’m not letting Democrats off the hook. Democratic candidates are still too dependent on Wall Street casino moguls and real casino magnates (Steve Wynn has been a major contributor to Harry Reid, for example). George Soros and a few others have poured big bucks into Democratic coffers. So have a handful of trade unions.

But don’t be fooled. Compared to what the GOP is doing this year Democrats are conducting high-school bake sales. The mega-selling of American democracy is a Republican invention, and Romney and the GOP are its major beneficiaries.

And the losers aren’t just Democrats. They’re the American people.

You need to make a ruckus. Don’t fall into the seductive trap of cynicism. That’s what the sellers of American democracy are counting on. If you give up on our system of government, they win everything.

This coming Monday, for example, the Senate has scheduled a cloture vote on the DISCLOSE ACT, which would at least require that outfits like the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove’s “Crossroads GPS” disclose who’s contributing what. Contact your senators, and have your friends and relatives in other states — especially those with Republican senators (who have been united in their opposition to disclosure) — to contact theirs. If the DISCLOSE ACT is voted down, hold accountable those senators (and, when and if it gets to the House, those House members) who are selling out our democracy for the sake of their own personal ambitions.

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