The case of the elusive Mitt Romney tax returns gets curiouser and curiouser.
Ever since the Republican presidential nominee announced we would only get to see his 2010 and, once the forms are filed by the Oct. 15 extension deadline, 2011 returns, there has been widespread speculation as to what Romney's earlier 1040s might contain.
Last week, an anonymous group claimed to have hacked the computer system of Romney's accountants and obtained the GOP candidate's older returns. The alleged hackers said they'll expose the returns or keep the documents under wraps depending on who is the first to pay a cool $1 million in the digital currency Bitcoin.
Fee-free ransom help: BitInstant jumped on the purported tax hacker news. The Bitcoin transfer service offered Romney help in getting any tax return ransom into the preferred form:
"We've decided it's our patriotic duty to lend a hand to Romney. After all, if he's defeated in the election it should be because of his policy proposals (which are nearly as socialist as Obama's, unfortunately), not because of his career earnings or tax returns. Of all the things to fault Romney for, his wealth and desire to prevent the government from taking it is not one of them.
So, BitInstant would like to extend a friendly gesture to Romney:
Romney – if you'd like to acquire $1m worth of Bitcoins (somewhere in the range of 50,000-100,000 BTC), we'll help you get the coins without charging any commission."
Adult magazine publisher's offer: Now comes porn provocateur Larry Flynt with his own million-dollar offer in connection with Romney's tax returns.
Today's Washington Post readers will see the full-page ad below offering $1 million for any verifiable information about more of Romney's tax returns and off-shore tax haven funds.
The same ad is scheduled to run in Tuesday's USA Today.
Flynt's sudden and very public interest in Romney's taxes is probably prompted in part by the Republican Party's decision to include anti-smut language in its official 2012 platform.
The GOP wants the federal government to step up prosecution not just of child pornography, but calls for "current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity to be vigorously enforced."
Will Romney finally put an end to this ever-growing circus and release more of his tax returns?
I doubt it, even though many more than Flynt are asking the same question as in his ad.
And that's likely to mean even more return-related distractions this election season.You also might find these items of interest: