Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Meg Whitman is not releasing her tax returns — at least not yet. Is this an important issue with Legs, or does it get lost in the partisan campaign wars?”

She’s richer than creme brullee. Does it matter exactly how rich?

It will be the gift that keeps on giving.

It is an important issue with voters when you are running a holier-than-thou-campaign and spending over $100 million of your own money on the campaign. Her family foundation records are important too because it shows what she gives to. Her gifts to the Environmental Defense Fund won’t sit well with conservative Central Valley voters. Remember Al Checchi.

Everybody wants to know how a billionaire makes money and avoids paying taxes.

Normally, neither the media nor the public cares, but in this case there may be a more prurient interest to see what a billionaire’s tax return looks like.

At the moment, it’s nothing more than political posturing by her opponents — both Republican and Democrat. But at some point in the not too distant future, she must begin to fill in the blanks about herself for voters. And she needs to do it with neutral information, not fancy and misleading campaign ads. Her income tax returns are neutral information — this is what she earned, this is how she complied with IRS regulations and laws, this is what she paid, this is how she dodged paying more. If she doesn’t release them, the media and her opponents will fill in the blanks.

I’d rather know if she has the guts to get the state’s fiscal house in order.  If she’s willing to fight for long-term solutions, then I’m not interested in getting out the microscope to look for something embarrassing in her tax returns.

No.  Everyone knows she is rich.

It is only a big deal because she is rich. It does create a sense of distrust.

At least they’re depressingly consistent… no tax returns, no interviews, no debates. It lends a little more support to the growing feeling that she’s a self-serving empty suit with no real grasp of policy or governing.

Of course this is an issue.  She cannot run as some outsider who will do things differently and then play hide the ball with her 6,000 page tax return.  The cry will be simple – Whitman is out of touch with problems facing working families and is afraid to show us just how out of touch she is by hiding her tax returns.

It is only an issue if voters suspect a candidate has not been paying their fair share of taxes.  The common one-time, drive-by looks (only 2-3 hours for reporters to review mounds of paper, no notes or photocopies) at tax returns by wealthy candidates don’t usually reveal much that average voters can get their teeth into.

She – nutMeg – is threatened by actual facts. Why do you think they wanted Steve Poizner out so badly? If her returns come out it will be bad for her.

It’s a so what-er.

It is the sign of a campaign grasping at straws. Past governors have limited access to financials. It is a non-issue.

Meg is witless when it comes to knowing what’s appropriate for full disclosure for someone running for public, statewide office.

Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Morgan Crinklaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger.

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: