Wednesday, July 24, 2002
UPDATE ON SIMON'S TAX RETURN FIASCO
As I said, it was the worst of all possible worlds. Bill Simon is being crucified in editorials and op-ed pieces throughout the state (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) for the belated semi-release of his tax records. As usual, venerable political analyst Dan Walters puts it best:
Simon could have saved himself a lot of grief, and kept the focus on Davis, had he understood that when he ran for governor, he implicitly evolved from a private citizen into a public figure, accountable not only for his positions but for his demeanor.
Simon should have known that coming from a wealthy family with myriad investments, he would face intense financial scrutiny and questions -- especially when he would be claiming business experience as his major qualification to govern. You can't ask Californians, in effect, to elect you as governor because you know how to run things, and then claim that details on your business and financial life are private. It just doesn't wash any cleaner than Davis signing billions of dollars in power supply contracts and then refusing to release details, or insisting that the tens of millions of dollars he has raised from special interest groups have no effect on his policies.