Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Matt Bevin doesn’t see “any reason” why he should have to make his tax returns public.

Let me count the ways.

Just for example, let’s say he is in a business partnership with someone, as reflected in those returns; is elected, and that person starts getting state contracts.  Without knowing his tax returns, reporters---and the public---would not be aware of a real conflict of interest.

Or say any candidate for governor owns some property….it later turns out the state buys it for a highway. Conflict of interest?  Sure. (Has it happened? Yes.)

Just two examples of why reporters, acting for all citizens,  invade the privacy of candidates for office and insist their financial returns be made public BEFORE the election.

And it shouldn’t be limited to candidates for governor. Republicans are challenging Andy Beshear to make public his clients list before the election for attorney-general. The same concerns over conflict of interest expressed for the governor could well apply here. He, in his official role, could favor a previous client or  fail to act to protect a previous client.  You get the point.

And, in my mind, the same approach applies to candidates for judgeships. I dislike their accepting political contributions from lawyers or firms appearing before them. Same for contributions for attorney-general candidates.

Hopefully the noise raised about Democrat Beshear and Republican Westerfield this time around will lead to new and better rules for their positions, and the judges, by the time of the 2019 elections.  One can hope, even in a state where the “politics are the damndest!”

I'm just sayin'...

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