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Sanford to Trump: Release your tax returns

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford
South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford AP

A S.C. congressman is calling on GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

After Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, released her 2015 tax returns Friday, U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-Charleston, penned an op-ed column for the New York Times Sunday asking Trump to do the same.

“To him, demands that he release his tax returns are just a ploy by his opponents and enemies to undermine his campaign. But that obstinacy will have consequences,” Sanford writes. “Not releasing his tax returns would hurt transparency in our democratic process, and particularly in how voters evaluate the men and women vying to be our leaders.”

In the column, Sanford said he supports Trump, partly because of the importance of filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“However, my ability to continue to do so will in part be driven by whether Mr. Trump keeps his word that he will release his tax records,” Sanford writes.

Sanford noted he released his own tax returns twice when he ran for governor in 2002 and 2006.

“To be frank, it felt a bit like a colonoscopy,” he said. “I didn’t like it, but it was our tradition in South Carolina.”

The GOP congressman argues a candidate’s tax returns provide useful information about a candidate for president, which is why Trump’s campaign reviewed Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s tax returns before naming Pence as his vice-presidential running mate.

Tax disclosures have been a standard practice in U.S. presidential elections for 40 years.

In 2012, Trump criticized Republican nominee Mitt Romney for resisting calls to put own his own returns. “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely, and I would love to do that,” Trump said then.

“Nothing has changed that should justify Mr. Trump’s changing his mind,” Sanford said in Sunday’s column.

Sanford worries Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns could decrease the incentive for other candidates to do so.

“If presidential candidates won’t release their tax returns, you can expect the same in the states,” he said. “If a presidential nominee doesn’t do it, why should a candidate for governor?”

Gov. Haley to headline fundraiser for GOP women

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is headlining an Atlanta fundraiser next month for Republican women in Atlanta

When? The invitation to the Sept. 16 event was sent out by Eric Tanenblatt, one of the largest GOP bundlers in the South and a principal with Dentons, a law firm headquartered in Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

How much? The $2,500-a-ticket event will raise money for the “Women Winning Victory Committee 2016.”

For who? The committee’s Republican beneficiaries, who also will attend, are U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire; Wyoming congressional candidate Liz Cheney, daughter for former Vice President Dick Cheney; and U.S. Reps. Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Martha McSally of Arizona and Elise Stefanik of New York, according to a note accompanying the invitation.

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