I was not able to check my e-mail for the past two days. When I finally logged in last night, I was shocked to find an e-mail from Senator Harry Reid (He has my address from the many e-mail complaints I send him) harping on Mitt Romney’s reluctance to open his personal finances beyond that required by law. In the Reid message there were three places where I could click for a link to donate to the Friends of Harry Reid!!!*
With Reid claiming a “very credible source” but refusing to disclose who it is, this is essentially an extortion attempt. Reid’s e-mail says he will “not back down” unless Romney releases his tax returns for many years back. That is, Reid threatens to continue unsubstantiated accusations if he does not get what he wants. There is no legal requirement for Romney to release the information Reid wants, so Harry will use whatever means possible to harass and embarrass Romney.
You might say Romney should provide the tax returns. But I know if it were me, at this point I would refuse because I would not give in to a bully. I suppose it is possible Romney has something to hide. President Obama hid his birth certificate for a long time, even though there was nothing wrong. And from what I have heard, no one can gain access to his college records. Senator Reid negotiated the final Healthcare reform bill behind closed doors in December 2009 and details of the legislation are still being revealed.
Reid’s e-mail uses the generic stereotype that “It’s well-known that wealthy individuals like Mitt Romney have all sorts of creative tricks to dodge taxes.” Is Reid indicting himself? After all, his net worth is estimated from Senate disclosure forms to be $3.3-$10 million (not including primary residence). Reid is in the top 75 (out of 535) wealthiest members of Congress.** He lives at the Ritz-Carlton hotel while in DC. He has far more in common with Mitt Romney than with the average American citizen. I believe the old saying that would apply here is “The pot calling the kettle back”.
* After his tight reelection win in 2010, Rid may need the money. As of June 30, 2012, he only had a bit over $167,000 on hand.