Geese and ganders are different

Of the thousand cuts they're going to deliver to Betsy "Machine Gun" Johnson before her candidacy for Oregon governor is over, the folks at the Weed are up to about No. 392. Now they gleefully point out that Johnson won't show them her tax returns; she says the mandatory disclosures she's been filing with the state are all they're going to get about her finances. Meanwhile, the Weed's darling, T. Kohoutek, has gladly turned over her federal and state returns, while the Republican candidate, Christine Drazan, has given up her federal return, but not her state.

In making that choice, Johnson deviated from recent norms in Oregon and across the country.

In 2018, for instance, incumbent Gov. Kate Brown and Republican challenger Knute Buehler both shared their tax returns with the press, and in 2014, incumbent Gov. John Kitzhaber and Republican nominee Dennis Richardson shared their returns.

Paul Gronke, a professor of political science at Reed College, says such transparency has been the standard for at least 50 years....

“Democracy depends on an informed electorate, which makes transparency critical,” says Kate Titus of Common Cause Oregon, a watchdog group. “Candidate tax returns help uncover potential conflicts of interest and red flags.” 

I share the Weed's disdain for any politician who won't show their tax returns. It's a valid knock on Johnson, and I think that Drazan's keeping her state return secret, if it was intentional, would be quite an alarm bell as well.

But you know whose tax returns you're never going to see, and the Weed is never going to ask? Their hero, Ron Wyden, the "Democratic" senator from "Oregon" whose wife and three small children have never, as far as I can tell, lived anywhere but New York City. That couple's federal and state tax returns (including both Oregon and New York) would make for way more interesting reading than Betsy Johnson's ever will. But the Weed's crusading journalistic spirit, it seems, is sometimes highly selective. 

You will never see Wyden's returns. If they asked him for them, he'd say the exact same thing Johnson is saying now. And that would be the end of it.


  1. Betty Johnson is only running so that Kotek wins by splitting the opposition vote. Is Wyden still alive?

    1. Thank goodness we have someone on here whose tin foil helmet is properly adjusted for maximum effectiveness.


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