A birdy tells me that the Seattle Times is apparently asking a number of candidates to release their tax returns, as has CrossCut’s Austin Jenkins of Gov. Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi. Considering the press gave Gregoire zero credit for releasing her returns in 2004, while Rossi refused, it’s hard to see why any candidate would be motivated to comply with the request this time around.
But it also strikes me as a bit hypocritical that journalists, who justifiably hold themselves up as essential elements of our democracy, should righteously demand disclosure of others that they don’t demand of themselves. I suppose I might support strengthening our state disclosure statutes so that they actually require candidates to release their tax returns, but currently… they don’t. So if journalists are going to demand that politicians expose their personal finances to greater scrutiny than required by law, I suggest they lead by example.
So here’s my offer: if Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen releases his 2007 tax return, I’ll release mine, and, I’ll join him in publicly demanding that Dino Rossi release his.
Of course, Rossi ain’t gonna, ’cause he obviously has something to hide. But at least with our returns on the table, Frank and I can mock Rossi in good conscience for his lack of openness.