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Editorial: For Astorino: Full debates, tax returns

Editorial: For Astorino: Full debates, tax returns

GOP candidate for governor should release back tax returns, invite all candidates to debate with Cuo

Rob Astorino has two potential new image problems. And they have nothing to do with him being a Miami Dolphins fan.

The Republican candidate for governor is under pressure from the campaign of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release his tax returns for the past five years.

The demand is a traditional campaign ploy to make it look like the other guy has financial skeletons in his closet. That being said, it's also a legitimate request.

The Westchester County executive has already disclosed income from his role as a consultant for a media company and as a paid guest on radio programs for a company that does business with the county. His tax returns from his time as county executive would reveal more details about his income sources and, therefore, more details about any conflicts of interest he might have in either his current job or the one he seeks. Astorino's campaign has only agreed to release his most recent return. He should release at least five.

The second stumble is his insistence that only he participate in debates with Cuomo — without the presence of other candidates like the Green Party's Howie Hawkins. One of the reasons why government is corrupt and ineffective is because it's controlled by the two major parties. New York voters have a right to see what the people outside the system have to say on the issues as well. If Astorino wants to show voters that he cares about them, he'll withdraw his demand for one-on-one debates with Cuomo and invite everyone on the ballot to join in.

Astorino's refusal so far to disclose detailed accounts of his income, along with his unreasonable demand for closed debates with Cuomo, pose potential problems for a candidate who claims that he "hears you," but doesn't seem to be listening to what the people want.

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