In a surprising move today, all of the major candidates from both parties, except for one lone contender, have broken the 35-year-old tradition of Presidential candidates disclosing their income tax records.

Edwards even released his records four years ago when running for President, but no longer. He now refuses to give details about his income taxes or about the money he made consulting for controversial hedgefund Fortress. Giuliani refuses to speak about the millions he’s made with his consulting firm. He won’t even disclose the firm’s clients.

And who’s the lone candidate who’s kept up the tradition and released his tax returns? It’s Barack Obama. He went on record about it, saying,

“I think it’s critical that people know who their candidates are – what their sources of income are, if we have any potential conflicts.”

Bravo to Barack. How can the rest of the candidates speak about Government ethics and transparency when they themselves refuse to be personally transparent? And what has made them break this established tradition? While there’s no evidence to suggest unethical behavior, the appearance of impropriety is certainly strong.

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