Out here on my limb, I have a different take on the whole not-releasing-my-taxes thing by candidate Romney.

Think about this, as polarized as the electorate is, people who are already committed to voting for Romney don’t give a hoot how much he paid in taxes. Hell most of them would probably stand up and cheer if it turns out he didn’t pay any taxes for some of the past 10 years, because that’s what they want to do themselves – not pay taxes.  People who don’t want to pay taxes are probably MORE likely to vote for a candidate who has demonstrated the ability to get out of paying taxes. 

People who are already committed to voting for President Obama will get upset about Romney not paying taxes, but they weren’t ever going to vote for Romney anyway. And unlike previous elections the number of undecided, swing voters is miniscule. The Republicans already know this, that’s why they are putting so much of their efforts into preventing people likely to vote Democratic (poor people and young people and people of color) from voting, through restrictive registration rules, voter ID rules, and narrowing the time periods when voting can take place.

So why is Romney so adamant about not releasing his taxes?  My theory is that it has nothing to do with how much income he made, or how much taxes he paid, as neither of those would affect his base.  Instead, I suspect that 1) he has income from sources that would upset his base, and/or 2) he’s given money to organizations that would upset his base. 

Given Romney’s life history, I could imagine either Romney or his wife making donations to Planned Parenthood.  It’s a charity that many moderates used to like, because PP provides so much basic health care for poor women, it took some pressure off providing tax supported health care.

Or what if the Romney’s have made significant investments in the health care industry – it’s certainly been a very profitable industry in recent decades and the Romneys are savvy investors – and some of that health care money was made health care corporations that provide or pay for abortions?

I’m telling you, that whatever it is that Romney is hiding, it isn’t how much taxes he did or didn’t pay; it is almost certainly something else, something that WOULD upset his base supporters.

The Ballot in Florida will contain the following amendment to the Florida State Constitution:

Amendment 8  “Religious Freedom”- new amendment to appear on the 2012 Florida election ballot
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution providing that no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious identity or belief, governmental benefits, funding or other support, except as required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and deleting the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution. (http://www.examiner.com/liberal-in-orlando/update-florida-bill-would-send-taxpayer-money-to-churches-and-religious-schools)

This Amendment would remove language from the Florida Constitution that prohibits using public monies (largely from taxes) to aid church, sect, or religious denomination or any sectarian institution, and replaces it with language that says that

“neither the government nor any agent of the government may deny to any individual or entity the benefits of any program, funding, or other support on the basis of religious identity or belief.”
and
“that no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious identity or belief, governmental benefits, funding, or other support” (http://election.dos.state.fl.us/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/10-86)

So what does that have to do with Madrasahs? This amendment is supported by Christian Conservatives and Tea Party Activists in Florida, with the intent of making public moneys available for religious schools and charitable institutions. However, to be consistent with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (as the Amendment states), ALL religions must have equal access to state funds.

I personally don’t want to see any tax payer money go to support any religious organization activities – especially when religious organizations are exempt from taxes themselves, and exempt from many laws (such as ADA requirements on hiring, promotion and firing as determined by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision).  I wonder how those supporting this Amendment to Florida’s constitution will feel about their tax monies going to ALL  religions?