A Rhode Island state senator has pitched a fascinating idea that I hope becomes law. Indeed, her idea has already passed the state Senate. Where it goes next is anyone’s guess.
I fear that it won’t see the light of day.
Democrat Gayle Goldin authored a bill that would keep Donald J. Trump’s name off the 2020 ballot unless he releases his income tax returns, something he has so far refused to do.
Trump already has launched his re-election effort. He won’t win Rhode Island’s electoral votes in 2020, just as he didn’t win them in 2016. Sen. Goldin wants him to do something that every presidential candidate has done for the past 40 years, which is release his tax returns for public scrutiny.
Trump’s excuse for refusing to do so is as lame as it gets. He says the Internal Revenue Service is auditing his returns. The IRS says an audit doesn’t prevent someone from releasing their returns to the public, although it has not commented specifically on whether it is actually auditing Trump’s returns.
For that matter, the president hasn’t even produced any evidence that the IRS is in fact auditing his returns, which makes many of us question whether any such audit even has taken place.
Democrats control the Rhode Island Senate. Goldin’s bill passed 34-3. It now goes to the state House. I don’t yet have confidence that this gutsy measure will become law.
I hope it does. I also hope it catches on in all 50 states. I know. It’s not likely to happen. One can hope.