A handful of protesters gathered in Key Largo Tuesday urging President Trump to release his tax returns.
The eight people, members of the newly formed Upper Keys Action Network, chose the deadline day for people to file their income taxes to protest Trump’s refusal to release his returns, something that during the campaign he said he’d eventually do. Trump has said that he’s being audited and that’s why he’s not made the returns public, but critics, including the protestors in Key Largo Tuesday, aren’t buying it. There is no Internal Revenue Service rule that prohibits anyone from release his or her tax returns.
“I’m absolutely appalled by how he just flaunts laws and traditions,” said Carol Larson of Key Largo. “He refuses to release his taxes, his coziness with Russia, the emoluments clause — he’s absolutely making money from his office, his nepotism, promises not kept.”
“He promised to drain the swamp,” Larson continued. “He put the swamp people in office.”
The group protested in front of the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center at mile marker 102.
“Without the financial details available in his tax returns, we’ll never know when his decisions benefit his business interests more than the American people he was elected to serve,” said John Howe of Tavernier. “That’s why every president since Richard Nixon has released his taxes — out of respect for the American people and the office of the presidency.”
Dianna Ross from Key Largo said the protest isn’t just about Trump.
“I believe we should be doing this all the time, whoever is in charge,” she said. “We should speak up in a democracy.”
Amber Goldstein said the issue of Trump releasing his tax information is becoming more paramount now that the president said next on his to-do list is reforming the tax system.
“He can’t propose his latest tax plan until he shows us what he reported,” Goldstein said. “He’s making money off this presidency and that’s really sad.”
Phil Schaper of Key Largo agreed.
“This is even more important because tax reform is on top of the agenda,” Schaper said.
Wayne Smith, also of Key Largo, said the issue is most of all about fairness.
“He doesn’t think he should do what everybody else has to do,” Smith said. “It’s important for the president of the United States to lead by example.”
David Goodhue: 305-440-3204