Our View: Summaries?

Posted: April 25, 2013

If Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe believes he can sweep the tax-return issue off the table simply by providing six pages — three years’ worth — of tax summaries, he may have another thing coming. State voters may think they deserve more information than that, especially given the hundreds of pages of tax information released by Mr. McAuliffe’s Republican opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

And they’d be right.

As stated in this space Saturday, we’ve never belabored this issue. We certainly didn’t do so a year ago, when Democrats put the rhetorical muscle on Mitt Romney to release his returns.

So, you say, why do it now? It’s a fair question, best answered by noting that, by Spring 2012, Mr. Romney’s career was pretty much an open book. He had run for president before, and so we knew how he made his fortune; we knew a lot about Bain Capital.

But Mr. McAuliffe we know precious little about — and, in this vein, we feel we speak for most Virginians. Here’s a man staking his entire gubernatorial bid on the self-ascribed fact he’s a rainmaker capable of bringing business and jobs to Virginia. What in his resume, other than time spent as a party fundraiser extraordinaire, suggests this may be case?

What are his credentials? How did he amass his fortune, however modest or grand? Those tax returns offer greater insight into the sort of governor Mr. McAuliffe might be.

And so this issue will not go gently into the Virginia night.