DePasquale calls on Trump to release tax returns
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a former state representative for York City, called on Donald Trump to release his tax returns.
"His entire candidacy hinges on his business record," DePasquale, a Democrat, said of the Republican presidential candidate. "So people need to know if he walks what he talks."
DePasquale, speaking Friday on a conference call with reporters around the state, said it was the taxpayers' right to know how the New York businessman makes and spends his money — and how much money he actually has.
"I believe that if you're serving the people (and drawing a public salary), they should know how you're spending their money," he said.
All major-party candidates since Richard Nixon have released their tax returns, according to the New York Times.
"This is unprecedented for a major-party candidate," DePasquale said.
Trump has cited the fact that he's under a regular audit by the Internal Revenue Service as a reason for not releasing the returns, though the IRS said he's free to make them public if he wants. He's also said his tax returns are none of the voters' business.
DePasquale said this makes him suspicious of Trump's motives.
"Whatever’s in them is worse publicity than the bad press he gets for not releasing them," DePasquale said.
The auditor general hazarded a few guesses during the conference call: Maybe Trump is not as rich and successful as he claims, or maybe he's not giving as much money to charity as he's said, or maybe he's doing business overseas with entities that would draw bad press.
DePasquale said he was the first state representative to release his expenses online in 2007, and he did so to make himself more transparent.
"I believe that if you're serving the people, they should know how you're spending their money," he said. "It’s critical for the most powerful person in the world to do the same thing."
— Reach Sean Cotter at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SPCotterYD.