Sunday, August 14, 2016

Did Mike Pence Just Throw Some Shade at Donald Trump?

In response to Hillary and Tim Kaine releasing their taxes on Friday, Pence is doing the same. 

"Just how badly is the Donald Trump ship now sinking? Nevermind that the major media outlets are finally calling him out on his lies, and leaders of his own party are trying to cut off his funding so they can move on from him. The real nail in the coffin is that Trump’s own running mate, Mike Pence, is now taking major steps to distance himself from the dying campaign. Pence is releasing his own tax returns in order to prove that, unlike the guy he shares a ticket with, he has nothing to hide. The impact on Trump may be devastating."

"By releasing his own tax returns even as Donald Trump continues to refuse to release his own, Mike Pence is knowingly handing a talking point to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. They’ll now be able to hammer Trump for the hypocrisy of refusing to release his own returns even as his own running mate is releasing his own, thus erasing any flimsy excuses that Trump has been relying on up to this point."

"But Pence no longer seems to care what impact the move will have on the outcome of the election, as he appears to have concluded that Donald Trump is going to lose one way or the other – and Pence is trying to salvage some kind of political future for himself after the Trump-Pence ship finishes sinking. So what will the Mike Pence tax returns reveal?"

"Likely nothing of any importance, which is the entire point. Even as it becomes increasingly clear that Donald Trump has something to hide within his finances, Mike Pence seems to want to make sure the public knows he’s not a part of whatever financial corruption that Trump may be caught up in. It’s not clear what kind of political future Pence thinks he has; the deadline has already passed for him to run for reelection as Governor of Indiana."

Speaking of Mike Pence, somehow Trump is tied in Pence's own home state of Indiana in a new poll.

Speaking of what is Trump hiding, what is he hiding in refusing to disclose his bundlers? Judging by his campaign it's clear that his Presidency would be the least transparent one in American history.

“BIG BUSINESS, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place,” Donald Trump declared at the Republican National Convention last month. “She is their puppet, and they pull the strings.”

"Never persuasive, this line of attack was at least less hypocritical when Mr. Trump largely self-funded his campaign. These days he is raking in donations — $80 million last month, according to the campaign — and from bigwigs as well as small donors. Among others, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and coal executive Joe Craft are fundraising for the GOP nominee. So who, to use his formulation, is now pulling Mr. Trump’s strings?"

Woody Johnson is willing to publicly cop to supporting David Duke 2.0? Let's see if the NY press hits him for this.

I'd think that many supporting Trump don't want it public on their end.

"Voters could get some answers if Mr. Trump would release, as have Hillary Clinton and most recent candidates before her, the names of his bundlers. These are the people who solicit large numbers of often medium-size checks and hand them over to campaigns. Though they do not necessarily give huge amounts of their own cash, bundlers rake in big sums for their candidates — and therefore pose a similar threat to the integrity of the political process. Even so, the law requires campaigns to disclose bundlers only when they are registered lobbyists. It is left to the campaigns to voluntarily provide more information."

"Ms. Clinton has done so, releasing the names of some 500 bundlers. Mr. Trump, Politico’s Shane Goldmacher recently noted, has not. Nor would the campaign discuss with Politico, or with us, its intentions with regard to this rudiment of transparency."

"Such contempt for voters is not surprising. Mr. Trump also is thumbing his nose at the long tradition of major-party presidential nominees releasing their tax returns. He promised to do so. Ms. Clinton has released decades of hers, including her 2015 return, which she disclosed Friday . Yet Mr. Trump continues to keep his “beautiful” tax documents under wraps."

"Why the secrecy? With respect to bundlers, Mr. Trump might not want to draw attention to the special interests now backing him, and some of his bundlers might (understandably) be embarrassed to be outed. With respect to his tax returns, the candidate may not want to reveal that his business is not as successful as he claims, that he is stingy with charity or that he has compromising business relationships in Russia or elsewhere overseas."

One thing that occurs to me is that Hillary probably made a lot more money than he did last year. We know that more than once in the past Trump has received tax credits for only those who made less than $500,000 for the year.

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