Today on the show we mentioned a new article by John Heilemann in the upcoming issue of New York Magazine, in which he argues that Governor Romney’s donations to the Mormon church may be a reason as to why he’s shielding his tax returns. The Romney campaign has released his 2010 tax returns and an estimate of his 2011 return, but the Governor has said those two years are “all that is necessary for people to understand something” about his finances.
Heilemann suggests that releasing more tax returns might expose “the extent of [Romney’s] donations to his church.” He discusses the irony that for most politicians, large charitable donations would be a point to highlight on their resume. But for Governor Romney, “a candidate who has taken extravagant pains to avoid discussion of his supremely prominent role in contemporary Mormonism, the idea of a wave of news stories detailing the tens of millions of dollars that he has given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…must be a kind of nightmare.”
As November approaches, the calls for Romney to be more transparent about his finances will likely only grow louder. The Romney campaign – and really, Mitt Romney himself – must decide if the candidate can afford to publicly embrace his faith and find a way to use it to his advantage.