For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
press [at] dpo [dot] org
August 1, 2018
One month later: Buehler still hasn’t released his full tax return
PORTLAND – It’s been one month since State Rep. Knute Buehler refused to disclose his full tax returns to The Oregonian, and questions continue to mount about his lack of transparency.
During the recent 2018 session, House Republicans tanked a bill to close a loophole in state ethics law dubbed “the Buehler Loophole.” This loophole allows legislators, like Buehler, to legally omit from their financial disclosures the extent of income they receive from companies that do business with the state. Buehler has yet to release relevant records despite calls for him to do so.
“Buehler talks a good game about transparency, but his actions don’t match up,” said Jeanne Atkins, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “Buehler has to do better. Voters need to see his full returns, the ‘Buehler loophole’ documents, and hear that the Buehlers will establish a blind trust to avoid future conflicts of interest.”
Buehler told voters that he’d release his returns after the Republican primary, when he ran to the right to shore up his base. But afterward, he released only part of his return, leaving out the documents that detail his business earnings.
That means voters still don’t know where Buehler’s sizable income comes from, and what potential conflicts of interest it creates.
The cleanest way to avoid these ongoing questions about conflicts of interest is to dispose of the conflict entirely through a blind trust, making sure that his decisions as an elected official are walled off from his personal finances.
“In order for Buehler to gain the public’s trust, he needs to show he has nothing to hide,” said Atkins.