Hatch hiding from Iowa voters on taxes, business deals
DES MOINES—Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann blasted liberal state Sen. Jack Hatch for his hypocrisy, utter disregard of facts and talking down to Iowans after the flailing Democrat gubernatorial nominee defended hiding his tax returns from Iowa voters at a press conference today.
“Jack Hatch must have something extremely damaging in his tax returns since he continues to keep Iowans in the dark on his business dealings,” said Kaufmann, a century farmer from Wilton and a former statehouse leader. “First, his campaign said they would release tax additional tax returns, only to backtrack on that promise a mere three hours later. Then they floated a weak excuse that Gov. Terry Branstaddid not release more than one year of tax returns when he first ran for governor. This is simply false. Then Lt. Gov. Branstad released three years of returns prior to his initial run for governor.
“Why is Jack Hatch misleading Iowans and keeping his tax returns secret?” Kaufmann said. “Iowans deserve to know if Hatch, a longtime state Sen. from Des Moines, voted to line his pockets with taxpayer dollars.”
At a today’s press conference, Hatch said he’s avoiding disclosure because he wants to avoid attacks (also known as scrutiny of his record): “Why give a robber the combination to another safe?” he said, according to Des Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich.
“Apparently, Jack Hatch thinks Iowa journalists and voters are ‘robbers’ underserving of the truth about his business dealings,” said RPI co-chairman Cody Hoefert, a chiropractor from Rock Rapids. “Why does Jack Hatch know he will be attacked? Is he admitting guilt about his business practices?”
Hatch claims he is following Iowa tradition by only releasing one year of tax returns. That’s blatantly false.
“It’s an Iowa tradition to follow through on your promises,” Hoefert said. “When you say you are going to release additional years of returns and backpedal three hours later, that’s not following tradition—it’s disrespecting Iowans’s intelligence.”
The Branstad-Reynolds campaign made a simple request of Jack Hatch months ago: Release your last five years of joint tax returns, just as Gov. Branstad has done. Initially, Hatch’s campaign stated they would release tax returns in a self-proclaimed effort to “run a very open and transparent campaign.”
“The public deserves to know about how Jack’s made his money and what his business interests have been over the years,” [Hatch] campaign manager Grant Woodard said. “We’re committed to running a very open and transparent campaign and also the most open and transparent government the state of Iowa has ever seen.” [DMR, 5/9/2014]
In 2013, Hatch reduced his tax liability by $35,000 in federal tax credits. Iowans deserve to know how much money the real estate developer has received from the federal government.
Hatch’s campaign indicated they were “willing” to release more than just one year of tax returns and “did not rule out releasing five years of returns,” according to The Des Moines Register and Sioux City Journal [4/15/2014]. They reversed course less than three hours later.
“One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show,“ the Iowa Democratic Party chair said in 2012. [IDP release, 7/3/2012]
The Hatch campaign claims they are simply following precedent. They are entitled to their own opinions—not their own facts.
In 1982, then Lt. Gov. Branstad released three years of prior tax returns while he ran for governor. As Gov. from 1982-1999, Branstad released his tax returns to the public each and every year. Gov. Branstad released his most recent tax return as he has done the past five years. In total, Gov. Branstad has disclosed 24 years of tax returns to the public—without being required to do so.