Op-Ed: An Open Letter to Donald Trump

by | Aug 20, 2016 | Opinion

Letter and image from the Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford Democratic Committees.

Dear Donald Trump,

Virginia has a proud history in shaping our nation. From the founding of Jamestown to the Commonwealth’s nickname as the “Mother of Presidents” with eight Virginians going on to assume the highest office to now being one of a handful of battleground states critical to swaying presidential outcomes, Virginians know the critical role we play and take our vote very seriously. It is our business to know about our candidates, and the responsibility of our candidates to inform us before we cast our votes.

One key way to inform voters is for each candidate to release their tax returns. Candidates’ tax returns preach no slogans nor offer any spin, they serve as honest testaments to gauge a candidate’s fitness for our nation’s highest office. Tax returns are the one and only way voters can see if what a candidate says about their own personal wealth, charitable giving, conflicts of interest, effective tax rate, and even potential financial ties to foreign entities – is in fact accurate. If candidates are who they say they are, their tax returns will reflect that and validate them. That is why, for 40 years, every major party presidential nominee has voluntarily released their returns prior to November.

It’s completely unacceptable for you to break this bipartisan precedent and withhold your tax returns from the electorate.

Hillary Clinton and our Senator Tim Kaine have released their returns to the public. We urge all Virginians of both parties to demand to see your returns, Donald Trump, and those of your running mate Mike Pence.

Failure to do so is not just completely unacceptable, it should be disqualifying. But you don’t have to just take our word for it; ask Mitt Romney. The former Republican nominee wrote, “It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service.”

Your claim that you can’t release your returns because of an IRS audit makes no sense. The IRS has said tax returns can be made public during an audit, adding, “nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.” If nothing is preventing you from sharing your tax returns, why won’t you release them?

I hope you’ll take the opportunity during your visit to Fredericksburg today to answer that question for Virginians. Until you do, voters will be left asking what you have to hide.

Chairman Jason Graham, for the Fredericksburg Democratic Committee
Chairman Al Durante, for the Spotsylvania County Democratic Committee
Chairman John Johnson, for the Stafford County Democratic Committee

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed in op-ed letters to the editor are those of the writers, and not necessarily those of Fredericksburg.Today.

Donald Trump to Campaign in Fredericksburg August 20

Subscribe To Daily News Updates

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news from The Free Press

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This