Editorial: Release the tax returns

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton in late June agreed to release his income tax summary statement for public scrutiny, according to various Twin Cities news outlets.

He decided he would make them public when responding to a reporter’s question.

Good for him. Voters — and newspapers — tend to prefer openness.

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In the wake of Dayton’s decision, DFL candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher decided she would release hers, too.

That’s to be commended.

However, other governor candidates have not.

DFL’er Matt Entenza, GOP candidate Tom Emmer and the Independence Party’s Tom Horner need to step to the plate and let the people of Minnesota know how they earn their living.

To be sure, Horner has made a half-hearted commitment, saying he will decide after Dayton and Kelliher release theirs.

If anything, the question is an indicator of whether the governor candidates will be open with the public should they become the leader of the state. If they are unwilling to make their personal tax summaries available to the public — obviously something fitting for voters to see — what state documents would they keep hidden from public view if they were in office?

Erring on the side of sunshine makes for a better and stronger government.

And, in the case of the tax return, sunshine only strengthens the candidates.

Entenza, Emmer and Horner remain in the dark.