View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Kerrys' Money 

Hugh and the Wall Street Journal have been calling on the Kerrys to open Teresa's tax returns. While this is absolutely the right thing to do, I think they're off on their reasoning. I'm much less concerned with what they've done in the past than I am about what interests he might be beholden to as President.

While it might be fun to see that Teresa has been heavily invested in Coors Beer, or has been using Ken Salazar's Dairy Queen as a money-losing tax shelter, the public has shown an impatience with the details of marginal financial misdoings of politicans they like. (Read: cattle futures.) If Kerry's wife had holdings in companies accused of wrongdoing, it's unlikely she was directly involved in the decsions, and would probably just claim victim status as a swindlee. Even supposing something was amiss, in the absence of Democrats wiling to be ashamed at such behavior, we're reduced again to Republicans crying "Aha!" and Democrats and the press calling it a diversion.

I'm more concerned that, without revealing her investments, a President Kerry would find himself under marital and financial pressure to shade certain decisions, and we'd have no way of finding out about it. This party has been particularly scornful of accounting misdeeds of others, frequently quoting Brandeis about sunlight and disinfectant. For all that, their nominee sure does seem to like to pull the shades a lot.

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