A person who is inclined to conceal their true feelings and intentions, or not to disclose requested information is considered secretive and it is well within reason to distrust such a person if they are seeking a political office. The only reason a politician would conceal information from voters is to obscure questionable business practices associated with their political office or to conceal damaging financial information that may show unlawful or dubious activities to avoid paying taxes or circumvent regulations. It is important for presidential candidates to disclose prior years’ tax returns so voters can judge whether or not the candidate is trustworthy or if there are potential conflicts of interest that may influence their decision-making process. There are federal disclosure requirements for presidential candidates, but Willard Romney claims he is exempt from reporting all the details of his business investments made through Bain Capital because of confidentiality agreements with Bain. It becomes obvious then, that Romney is attempting to hide something from the American people.
There have been repeated questions about whether or not Romney avoided paying taxes by hiding assets in offshore accounts or through an unusual Bain Capital Individual Retirement Account, and it prompted him to refuse to release any more tax returns until President Obama “releases the full transcripts of all classified meetings with foreign heads of state, including Israel.” First, there is no relation whatsoever to a candidate releasing tax returns and classified meetings between the President of the United States and foreign heads-of-state, and second; classified meetings with foreign leaders are classified for security reasons. Since Willard has never been a world leader, he cannot be expected to comprehend that simple concept even though any semi-intelligent human being grasps the importance of classified meetings being kept classified. Romney is using any tactic to avoid releasing financial information and it is easy to understand why based on the recent exposure of his donations to a hate-group, National Organization for Marriage (NOM), during the 2008 Proposition 8 campaign to deny same-sex-couples the right to marry in California.
On Friday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released previously undisclosed IRS documents that revealed a donation from a Romney PAC in Alabama to NOM that may be a violation of California disclosure laws because it was made with express goal of influencing a California election and did not show up on Romney’s PAC filings with the Federal Election Commission. Romney’s PAC, “Free and Strong America” and NOM did not disclose the donation in California which was required because it was made in the final weeks of the contentious Prop 8 campaign. It is a shady practice, but establishing a PAC in a state with less stringent disclosure laws like Alabama is a frequent practice to conceal and protect donors from unwanted publicity such as donating $10,000 to a hate group intent on pushing discriminatory laws like California’s Prop 8 which has been struck down time and again in the 9th Circuit Court.
It is no secret that Romney is a staunch NOM supporter because he signed their radical marriage pledge, and apparently followed directives from his religious cult to “spare no expense” to defeat gay marriage in California. Mormons in Utah spent millions of dollars for television attack-ads that spewed hateful lies and propaganda about the dangers to traditional marriage and 2nd grade school children if same-sex couples were allowed to pledge their love and devotion to their partners. Earlier this week, HRC released documents from Maine that revealed NOM “devoted virtually all of its resources in 2008 toward the Prop 8 campaign in California,” that lends credence to the idea that Romney’s donation was explicitly to support the ban on same-sex-marriage.
The HRC President, Joe Solmonese, noted that Romney’s tactic of funding a “hate-filled campaign designed to drive a wedge between Americans is beyond despicable,” and “whether this whole thing was an attempt for Mitt Romney to fund the Prop. 8 battle without his own fingerprints.” It is reasonable to assume that by not disclosing the $10,000 donation to NOM in California or federal disclosures, Romney was concealing his affiliation with a divisive hate-group. Late last month, it was revealed that NOM’s long-term “strategic goal … is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” NOM also attempted to divide the Latino vote by implying that the process of assimilation into the Anglo culture might “lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values,” and that NOM “must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity — a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”
It is no wonder Romney concealed his donation to NOM because not only will he damage his chances at securing the LGBT vote, most Americans will be repulsed he supports a group whose stated intentions are dividing the population along racial lines. There is a reason the more Americans learn about Romney, the more they dislike him and it is more than his out of touch wealthy elitism towards working-class Americans’ or his promise to give more entitlements to his wealthy friends. A necessary aspect to appeal to voters is a semblance of trust that one assumes they know who they are entrusting to run this country. Willard may garner trust from Mormon cultists and wealthy cohorts on Wall Street, but he has not given voters any reason to trust one word he says. Between his outright lies and his refusal to release his tax returns, there is no telling what else the man is hiding. Obviously, there are secrets Romney is concealing and it is possible it is related to his secretive religion, but whatever he is hiding, it relates to his aversion to the truth.
Romney must release his tax returns, investments through Bain Capital, and donations to hate groups so Americans know exactly what his experience was as a corporate buyout specialist and divisive homophobe. He cannot be permitted to exploit federal ethics laws to avoid paying taxes or shield his assets. Romney’s claim of adhering to a Bain confidentiality agreement does not explain hiding a $10,000 donation to a hate-group, but it does explain his attempt to defeat the federal disclosure requirements that no candidate can avoid regardless if they have something egregious to hide or they think they are elite enough to be a law unto themselves. Romney is not immune from following the law and he is not secretive. He is a deceitful liar who cannot be trusted to unite this country’s population, transport his family pet safely, or sit in the Oval Office.