About four years ago at this time, Mitt Romney ran into a bit of trouble. He insisted on keeping his tax returns hidden, which was a problem made more acute
when the Republican asked potential running mates to turn over their returns from the previous 10 years.
Apparently, Team Romney believed a thorough examination of a national candidate's record meant a close review of tax materials -- even while Romney said American voters couldn't make a comparable examination of his own record.
Candidates hoping to earn a spot as Donald Trump's running mate are reportedly expected to submit their tax returns to the campaign, even though the presumptive GOP nominee has said he has no immediate plans to make his own taxes public. NBC's Katy Tur reported Wednesday that all vice presidential hopefuls would be required to submit their returns as a standard part of the vetting process.
When NBC's Katy Tur asked a Trump campaign source about the apparent hypocrisy, the source responded
, "Trump's not running for vice president."
That's cute, I suppose, but it only reinforces the absurdity of the candidate's posture. The idea that disclosure and transparency requirements should be tougher for a vice presidential candidate than a presidential candidate is tough to defend.
Making matters worse, with each passing day, new questions arise about Trump's finances. USA Today reported
this morning that a fresh analysis found Trump's businesses "have been involved in at least 100 lawsuits and other disputes related to unpaid taxes or how much tax his businesses owe."
Trump's companies have been engaged in battles over taxes almost every year from the late 1980s until as recently as March, the analysis of court cases, property records, and other documents across the country shows. At least five Trump companies were issued warrants totaling more than $13,000 for late or unpaid taxes in New York state just since Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015, according to state records. This spring, as Trump flew to campaign rallies around the country aboard his trademark private jet, the state of New York filed a tax warrant to try to collect $8,578 in unpaid taxes from the Trump-owned company that owns the Boeing 757. The company has since paid that tax bill.
It makes it that much more difficult for the candidate and his team to suggest his tax documents are a meaningless distraction.
Hillary Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, released a new video
yesterday, hoping to maintain interest in the story, and speculating about the kinds of things Trump may be hiding while keeping his tax returns under wraps.