I think Willard Mitt Romney (aka Wall Street Willie) was hoping the furor over his refusal to release even one full tax return would die down and be forgotten by the voters before election day (the only return he has released, for 2010, is missing the required page for foreign holdings). Well, he can forget that. It is once again in the news.
There is someone who is claiming to have hacked into the computers of Romney's accountants, and says he/she/they now have copies of those returns and are threatening to release them to the public if a $1 million ransom is not paid. Now Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine, has jumped into the fray and is offering to pay the $1 million -- but he wants to make the returns public, not keep them hidden. He is putting the full page ad pictured above in The Washington Post and USA Today.
The authorities are investigating the alleged theft, and so far, nothing has been uncovered. In fact, we don't even know if the theft actually happened, or whether this is just a scam to try and get some money out of the candidate. One thing is for certain. This is not an action by the hacker group that calls itself Anonymous. If it was, those returns would have already been released online to everyone.
Whether the theft is real or not, this whole affair is not good for Romney. It once again highlights that he has refused to release any of the documents. And it once again makes many people wonder just WHAT IS ROMNEY TRYING TO HIDE? And the longer his refusal goes on, the more nefarious the thing he is trying to hide looks.
Romney did his best at the Republican convention to get people to like and trust him. But frankly, the refusal to release these returns just makes it look like he can't be trusted. And this is not the last we'll hear about this. There are two months to go until election day, and you can bet this issue will come up again and again.
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