What's probably the only thing Gill Holland has in common with Donald Trump and Matt Bevin? Skip to content

What's probably the only thing Gill Holland has in common with Donald Trump and Matt Bevin?

3 min read

What’s probably the only thing Gill Holland has in common with Donald Trump and Matt Bevin?

All three refuse to release their tax returns.

At last night’s KET Democratic lieutenant governor debate, Holland, former auditor Adam Edelen’s wingman, seemed to suggest that his financial disclosure forms are sufficient info for John and Jane Q Voter.

“The only difference is it doesn’t have your total income,” he said. “And you know I’ve got three little kids in elementary school and they don’t need to know.”

Holland debated Stephanie Horne, House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins’ running mate; and Jaqueline Coleman, who’s paired with Attorney Gen. Andy Beshear.

It’s unclear how Holland’s controversial stance will affect the party faithful when they head to the polls from Jordan to Jenkins.

But “Matt Alley – BlueCollarWriter” @mattalley413 tweeted

Absent reliable, independent polling, it’s impossible to know how many Democrats ditto Alley.

Alley bills himself as “PROGRESSIVE, PRO-EQUALITY, UNION PROUD.” Kentuckians of his political persuasion are an endangered species beyond “Liberal Louisville” and a tad less-left-leaning Lexington.

Though I hear liberals are supposedly solid for Edelen, I know some who are in the Adkins and Beshear camps. Alley is apparently behind Beshear. Based on local union endorsements, Edelen trails Adkins and Beshear among union voters.

A quartet of tweets followed Alley’s. One tweeter identified himself as a Democrat; the others seem to lean that way, too.

Occam’s Razorback (@janeite1900), a “Mom, wife, associate professor, diver, reader, writer, thinker” replied

He’s worried about his elementary kids finding out his total income by releasing tax return as he runs for LG? Can your kids understand tax returns? If so, they are brilliant.

J O’Hagans (@JLOHagans) chimed in:

Not disclosing tax returns is an automatic disqualification from me = no vote.

Larry (@Larry_freedom1) says he’s a “YELLOW DOG DEMOCRAT.” He barked,

Your three kids in elementary school don’t vote. Your constituents need to know you have nothing to hide,… or do you? Release your returns and remove all doubt or withdraw.

B-DiLL (@bdill22) was succinct:

The Trump effect…

Since Bevin tossed his hat in the ring four years ago, Democrats have been hammering the GOP governor for not imparting his tax returns. In 2015, Bevin buried Democrat Jack Conway in a landslide anyway.

Bevin—mum’s still the word on his taxes—is expected to cruise to renomination over a trio of primary opponents.

President Donald Trump wouldn’t unveil his tax returns in 2016 either. He won, too. Trump carried Kentucky with 62.5 percent of the vote and nearly ran the table, pocketing 118 of 120 counties – all but Jefferson (Louisville) and Fayette (Lexington).

Beshear and Coleman have made public their 2017 and 2018 tax returns, according to campaign manager Eric Hyers. “Both other tickets have refused to release 2018,” he texted to Forward Kentucky. “And Gill Holland refuses to release ANY!”

The Adkins-Horne team has released their 2017 returns. Adkins and Horne “have both filed for an extension on 2018 but would release those in the general,” said campaign spokesperson Courtney Daniel.

Likewise, Edelen has revealed his 2017 returns. But he also sought an extension for 2018.

Holland’s my-kids-wouldn’t-get-it-anyway line is in Philip M. Bailey’s Louisville Courier-Journal story under the subhead “Lieutenant governor gaffes.”

Democrats ridiculed Bevin when he begged off“If I did release my tax returns, people would see that I am, frankly, trust me, there’s nothing in there I’m concerned about people seeing at all.” The loyal opposition has been flogging the issue since.

At the same time, Dems still diss Trump for fibbing that he can’t show everybody his taxes because he’s under IRS audit.

Back in January, when Holland took his stand, University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton pointed to a trend among politicians to keep their returns from John and Jane Q “because it makes it that much more difficult for the media and watchdog groups to follow the money.”

Then the prof got down to brass-tacks politics: Candidates who don’t divulge their tax returns give their enemies ammo for “political attack advertisements.”

“What is he hiding in his tax returns?” is the stock attack line against the president and Kentucky’s proto-Trump. If Edelen wins, you can expect counter-battery fire from Team Bevin’s big guns: “If Holland’s got nothing to hide, why won’t he tell us what’s in his tax returns?”


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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)

Arlington, KY