Democratic governor candidate Chris Koster’s says he’ll cancel debate negotiations if his Republican opponent fails to release his tax returns.
Koster’s giving Eric Gretien’s a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline to disclose his last four years of returns before pulling the plug on a proposed October 14th debate.
In a letter, the Koster campaign accused Greitens of keeping voters in the dark after previously hiding identities of multi-million dollar campaign donors.
Koster released his returns Thursday, which revealed a 2015 income of nearly $114,000, mostly from his salary as Missouri’s elected Attorney General.
His disclosure revealed four years of returns, the same as what he’s demanding from Greitens. In those years, Koster claimed additional income in excess of $100,000 in 2012 from investments, with diminishing returns from those investments in subsequent years through 2014, when he claimed a $3,000 loss.
Koster spokesperson David Turner claims it’s important for Greitens to provide the same level of transparency. “We’ve seen, obviously in the presidential race, a huge storm over Donald Trump’s taxes” said Turner. “I think it’s important for Eric Greitens to at least meet the same level of transparency that the attorney general has.”
In a statement released within a couple of hours of Koster’s ultimatum to cancel debate negotiations, the Greitens campaign said it “would not meet the arbitrary demands of crooked Chris Koster”, using similar language to how Republican Donald Trump often refers to his Democratic Presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.
The statement said Koster’s letter shows he’s “terrified” of debating Greitens because Missourians deeply disagree with Koster’s liberal positions. It attacked Koster for wanting to expand Obamacare in Missouri and raise taxes for more public programs.
Koster has actually said the state should expand Medicaid coverage, which would be largely financed under Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.
The Greitens statement said there should be at least four more debates in the election, but didn’t directly address whether the retired Navy Seal would release his tax returns, accept to state he wouldn’t comply with Koster’s demand.
Greitens has sent mixed signals regarding his tax returns. On several occasions, he’s indicated he would either release, or consider releasing them. He’s also said he would disclose his tax returns once Koster released his, which the attorney general did last week.
Koster spokesperson Turner says a debate’s not a requirement to bring his candidate’s vision to voters. “I think that there’s a number of ways we can communicate with voters, but it’s incumbent on Eric Greitens to come clean and level with Missourians about his taxes.”