A hallmark of American democracy has been a steady increase in levels of transparency. And that’s good thing; as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
In many cases, voluntary disclosures by individuals running for office have become an expectation. But “voluntary” is no guarantee.
Today, I wrote to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Election Laws in support of S. 365: An Act Restoring Financial Transparency in Presidential Elections. The bill quite simply says one thing: To be on the Massachusetts ballot for President of the United States, you must disclose your three most recent years of tax returns. That’s the least we could ask.