C&L readers know all about dead beat dad, Rep. Mark Sanford's adulterous affair while being governor, but he still had harsh words for his candidate, Donald Trump and his refusal to release his tax returns.
Presidential candidates releasing their tax returns is not some "novelty" item, as Trump surrogate Katrina Pierson claimed, but is a long standing tradition in America's democratic process.
Sanford wrote an op-ed in the NY Times called:
I Support You, Donald Trump. Now Release Your Tax Returns:
To him, demands that he release his tax returns are just a ploy by his opponents and enemies to undermine his campaign. But that obstinacy will have consequences. Not releasing his tax returns would hurt transparency in our democratic process, and particularly in how voters evaluate the men and women vying to be our leaders. Whether he wins or loses, that is something our country cannot afford.
I suggest this not as a partisan against Mr. Trump. I am a conservative Republican who, though I have no stomach for his personal style and his penchant for regularly demeaning others, intends to support my party’s nominee because of the importance of filling the existing vacancy on the Supreme Court, and others that might open in the next four years. However, my ability to continue to do so will in part be driven by whether Mr. Trump keeps his word that he will release his tax records.
In May 2014, as Mr. Trump entertained the idea of running for president, he said, on television: “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely, and I would love to do that.” Nothing has changed that should justify Mr. Trump’s changing his mind.
A maxim often attributed to Thomas Jefferson holds that “an educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” Equipping voters with more, not less, information as they pick those who run for the highest offices in our land seems, to me, a reasonable requirement for anyone aspiring to those positions.