Skubick: House Democrats call for financial transparency

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – House Democrats want every lawmaker to make a financial disclosure to avoid any conflicts of interest.

And that’s not all.

They also want future presidential candidates to release their tax returns before they qualify for the ballot in Michigan.

House Democrats believe forcing presidential candidates to release five years of their tax returns could avoid a situation unfolding in the White House.

The Democrats contend the president has some conflict of interest issues.

“There is mounting evidence regarding his washington hotel and his many business dealings around the world and there are still many questions,” insists Rep. Vanessa Guerra.

Closer to home there are no state laws forcing lawmakers, the governor and other elected officials to issue a financial statement on their business holdings.

Lawmakers are allowed to self-police.

“To self-police is not a good situation,” claims Rep. David LaGrand. “Because some will be honest but we don’t want a situation where lawmakers have an active incentive to hide their own self-interest.”

Some key Republican lawmakers have already rejected this proposal.

So are the Democrats ready to release their own financial data without a new law?

“I’m going to leave that up to each member on how they handle that,” says House Minority Leader Rep. Sam Singh. “I’m comfortable personally doing that.”

At a news conference Democrats were asked if they would volunteer the information without a law and most raised their hands.

But Senator Steve Bieda says such a pledge is not going to do a lot of good.

“It’s not going to do a lot of good when ten out of 138 do it and the governor and others don’t do it.”

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