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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Michigan Rep. Sander Levin to introduce measure requiring Presidential candidates to release financial holdings

Michigan Congressional Representative Sander Levin (D-Michigan) will introduce legislation that would require Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to release 10 years of tax returns, along with other important personal financial information in early August 2012.

The measure is focused at presidential candidates with complex and secretive financial holdings, similar to former Gov. Mitt Romney. 

It would require candidates to disclose information "not currently included on disclosures and not easily discernible from tax returns," providing potential voters with a "fuller picture of a candidate's financial holdings and interests," according to a press release from the House Ways and Means Committee.

Candidate Romney has repeatedly refused to release more than two years of tax returns despite direct pressure from President Obama's campaign committee, along calls from Republican leaders Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former GOP Chairman Michael Steele.

Rep. Levin's legislation would also require the release of complete financial assets held in IRAs, 401(k) plans or other tax preferred holdings, along with requiring financial disclosure of any ongoing compensation received by the candidate by a corporation or private entity.

"The stunning lack of transparency from someone in pursuit of the highest office in the country highlights the need to change the law to require fuller disclosure," Levin said in a press release Wednesday morning.

"For decades, presidential candidates have voluntarily provided a thorough accounting of their tax returns and finances, as they should. But we clearly cannot continue to rely solely on the willingness of a candidate to disclose fully what the public has a right to know about the candidate’s financial record".
Levin hopes to gain support from Congressional Republicans, who control the chamber, prior to introducing the legislation in August.

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