Tag Archives: Politico

Records show Trump released tax returns when he stood to gain

Donald Trump won’t publicly release his income tax returns but records reveal the New York businessman turned them over when it suited his needs.

The Associated Press is reporting that Trump provided his returns when he stood to make a profit, needed a loan or when dealing with legal matters.

The news service reports that Pennsylvania gaming regulators were given at least five years’ worth and eight boxes full of Trump’s tax documents.

Also, Nevada, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and other state gaming officials had access to multiple years of Trump’s returns.

And large banks that lent Trump money over the years have obtained Trump’s returns.

In all cases reviewed by The Associated Press, each person, organization, company or government office that has seen Trump’s tax returns is barred from discussing their full contents by professional or legal restrictions.

So the public still knows little about Trump’s more recent finances.

At a press event today in Waukesha, Wisconsin Democrats plan to call on Trump to release his tax returns.

An announcement from Hillary Clinton’s campaign said the event at noon at the Waukesha DNC headquarters would involve Democratic supporters, including state Rep. Mandela Barnes.

In the debate earlier this week, Clinton questioned whether Trump’s tax returns might reveal that he has paid little or no taxes. Trump said he was “smart” for not paying federal income taxes in some years.

Documents first reported on by Politico show Trump didn’t pay any federal income tax during at least two years in the early 1990s because he lost more money than he earned.

Other documents show he didn’t pay any federal income taxes in 1978, 1979 and 1984.

Trump has repeatedly refused to release his tax returns citing an IRS audit, but the IRS and tax experts have said an audit doesn’t bar Trump from making the documents public.

Since 1976, every major party nominee has released the returns and Clinton has publicly released nearly 40 years’ worth.

Trump’s tax returns would reveal his charitable contributions. The AP has reported that there is little record of substantial personal philanthropy from Trump.

The returns would also reveal how much Trump earned from his assets, helping someone work back to an approximation of his net worth to compare to his own estimation.

Conservative calls on Scott Walker to step aside and let Kleefisch write the next budget

An influential Wisconsin conservative is calling on Gov. Scott Walker to step aside and allow Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch to write the state’s 2017–19 biennial budget. Walker’s term ends in 2019.

An opinion piece appearing in Right Wisconsin, an e-newsletter produced by influential right-wing political observer Charlie Sykes, argues that Walker is unlikely to run for a third term in 2018, while state Republicans who do run will have to contend with the 2017–19 budget hanging over their heads. The article underscores lingering internal divisions created by Walker’s battle with GOP lawmakers in creating the 2015–17 budget.

Preparing the next budget would be a “huge boost for Kleefisch in preparing for a possible GOP primary in 2018,” writes George Mitchell. “It would allow Kleefisch to work with Republican legislators in setting an agenda” that “could still exploit the important successes of Walker’s term without being weighed down by the baggage of more recent events.”

Mitchell, a leading advocate for voucher schools in Wisconsin, has been a substantial contributor to Walker’s campaigns since 2009.

“To put it mildly, Gov. Walker’s standing in Wisconsin politics is far removed from the heady days of June 2012 or even November 2014,” Mitchell observes. “Barring a stunning turn of events, a lame duck budget coming from his desk in early 2017 could become a free-for-all. The big loser would be Republicans running for election in 2018, starting at the top of the ticket.”

During Walker’s presidential run, Kleefisch has become increasingly more visible, often acting as an effective stand-in for the governor when he’s out of state. Once dismissed by Walker as a political lightweight, Kleefisch has emerged as a promising political contender.

Mitchell’s article goes so far as to suggest that the governor “could resign next year, either because he is the Republican presidential nominee or because he concludes that his days of political effectiveness in Wisconsin are over. “

Mitchell’s proposal comes at a time when Walker’s approval rating in the state has fallen below 40 percent for the first time and his presidential campaign has proven lackluster at best, embarrassing at worst.

Numerous flip-flops and gaffes, along with shallow debate performances, have toppled Walker’s standing by 15 points in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first political caucuses on Feb. 1, 2016. The surprising popularity of reality TV celebrity and real-estate tycoon Donald Trump has also been a major force in sucking the air out of Walker’s campaign and those of his competitors.

Winning Wisconsin’s neighboring state is essential to Walker’s campaign strategy.

Walker dismissed the importance of polls this early in the election cycle, noting that Ronald Reagan was “something like eight points (behind) six days before the (1980) presidential election” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“So for us, polls are going to go up, they’re gonna go down,” he said.

But maybe Walker can take heart from recent indicators indicating that Trump appears to have peaked. On a political prediction market run by CNN and Pivit, Trump’s odds of becoming the GOP presidential nominee tanked from 20 percent to 12 percent between the Sept. 16 debate’s start and its end, according to Politico.

Bristol Paln slams ‘liberal media’ for coverage of her brawl, says she didn’t even break a nail

Sarah Palin showed the world her “mama grizzly bear” side last week when she called out CNN anchor Carol Costello for ridiculing daughter Bristol Palin.

Costello aired an audio recording of Bristol Palin explaining a Sept. 6 drunken brawl involving the Palin family. In the recording, Palin detailed the tussle outside of an Anchorage home, during which she allegedly pummeled a man she accused of pushing her sister Willow Palin to the ground.

Costello described the recording as “quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across.”

Sarah Palin took umbrage with that description.

 “What happened on the night in question wasn’t funny,” Sarah Palin wrote on Facebook. “It was humiliating and frightening. My kids aren’t proud of what happened, nor are they seeking sympathy by playing the victim card — that’s why they haven’t commented on this for weeks.”

Costello later apologized for what she said via Politico. Sarah Palin questioned why Costello didn’t apologize to her audience on CNN

Bristol Palin broke her silence concerning the incident on Oct. 22, when she took to her faith-and-motherhood blog to damn the media for once again spreading what she called “rumors” about her family and to explain what really happened on the evening in question.

“I’ve finally decided to comment about the situation. Instead of listening to all the people who weren’t there — people who claim they heard this from their cousin/brother/sister-in-law/step-daughter/long lost little brother — let me tell you what actually happened,” she wrote.

According to Bristol Palin’s account, the fracas was intentionally begun by a young man who wanted to “get famous” by mixing it up with Alaska’s highest-profile family act. She acknowledged taking some swings at a man who pinned her to the ground after calling her a slut and a c**t. 

But Palin went on to say that she couldn’t have hit the man very hard because a manicure she’d received earlier in the day remained intact throughout the ordeal.

She dismissed the coverage of her behavior as the latest example of liberal media bias.

She wrote:

“Here’s the thing.  Violence against women is never okay …  Even if that violence occurs against conservative women.  Imagine for a second the outrage that would happen if Chelsea Clinton had gotten pushed by some guy.  Had she tried to defend herself, the liberal media would’ve held her up as some feminist hero.

But it wasn’t Chelsea.

It wasn’t Hillary.

It wasn’t someone they liked or someone they agreed with.

It was a conservative.”

No charges were filed in connection with the incident. You can read the entire blog post here, but you’ll have to scroll down a few items to find it.

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Town clerk in upstate N.Y. says she won’t sign marriage licenses

The town clerk in Volney, N.Y., says she will not sign any same-sex marriage licenses because she’s morally opposed.

Barbara MacEwen told Politico.com, “If there’s any possible way to not do it legally, then yes, I would not want to put my name on any of those certificates or papers. That’s their life, they can do it, but I don’t feel I should be forced into something that’s against my morals and my God.”

MacEwen, 75, said she’s written her state senator to determine her legal options.

Although the state’s new same-sex marriage law allows exemptions for religious organizations, it does not exempt public officials who might not wish to follow the law when it takes effect on July 24.

Volney, a town of about 6,200 people, is 30 miles from Syracuse. MacEwen told Politico that she doesn’t expect t receive many requests for same-sex marriage licenses.

“I don’t know of anybody like that in my town,” she said. “I’m sure that there might be, but I haven’t heard about anybody.”

Lady Gaga demands – and gets – changes in Target’s giving

When Target asked Lady Gaga for a special edition of her latest hit “Born This Way,” the pro-equality superstar said no way unless the retail giant agreed to change its corporate-giving agenda.

Apparently, the Lady prevailed, reported Politico, under the headline “Lady Gaga and Target Unite for LGBT Causes.”

The singer objected to Target Corp.’s $150,000 donation last year to support a political action group backing anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. He was loosely affiliated with a group calling for the execution of gays.

“That discussion (with Target) was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting,” Lady Gaga told Billboard.com. “Part of my deal with Target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups.

“Our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made supporting those (anti-gay) groups.”

Target has pledged almost a half-million dollars to pro-equality groups so far in 2011, according to Billboard.

Released two weeks ago, “Born This Way” is the fastest-selling song ever on iTunes. Elton John hailed it as a “gay anthem.”