Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has refused to publicly release his tax returns—something every major party presidential candidate has done for three decades. One could say that Donald is “ducking” calls to open his personal finances to public scrutiny.
Yup, that’s why the Democratic National Committee has decided to have someone dressed as the iconic Disney character follow Trump around the country to remind voters about the GOP nominee’s decision to keep his tax returns private.
The effort started Thursday at Trump Tower in New York, with the duck sporting a bright yellow wig. Business Insider’s Max Tani was there to provide visual documentation that this was, in fact, a real thing that happened.
Hoo boy:Dem's have dispatched someone dressed as "Donald Duck" to Trump tower to make a point about his tax returns pic.twitter.com/Zwyp0Nih99— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) August 18, 2016
Reporters are now attempting to interview Donald Duck outside of Trump Tower pic.twitter.com/taX0hbIqvP— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) August 18, 2016
Donald Duck, making a point about Trump not releasing his tax returns, is now riding up and down the Trump escalator pic.twitter.com/0v5cWf2tGw— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) August 18, 2016
Representatives from the DNC did not respond to a request for comment, but a party spokesperson told AM New York outside of Trump Tower, “Is he ducking because he’s not as rich as he says he is? Is he ducking because he doesn’t donate to charities like he says he does?”
“Mr. Trump can expect to see me all across our great country,” the spokesperson continued, putting words into the mouth of one of the world’s top-five most famous cartoon ducks. “Mr. Ducks is not going to stop quacking until the other Donald releases his taxes.”
“Mr. Ducks is not going to stop quacking until the other Donald releases his taxes.”
The DNC is going hard against Trump for not releasing his returns, and not just through the use of cartoon characters from the 1930s. Earlier this week, the party put up a website, TaxesByTrump.com, which instructs users to “Click the button below to see Trump’s tax returns,” but the button constantly moves around the screen, making it impossible to click.
The Hillary Clinton campaign also released an ad on Wednesday darkly speculating as to why Trump won’t release his returns—suggesting everything from the real estate mogul paying an extremely low tax rate to him being “deeply involved with Russian oligarchs.”
The Trump campaign also did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump has cited an ongoing IRS audit as the reason why he can’t release his tax returns. There is no legal reason why being under audit would preclude someone from making their tax returns public. However, as Bernie Kent argued in Forbes earlier this year, there may be another motivation behind why the combination of public tax returns and an ongoing audit could be something the GOP nominee might want to avoid.
“Tax practitioners disagree whether there is a risk of additional tax being imposed on Mr. Trump due to public disclosure of the information contained in his tax returns under audit,” Kent wrote. “Some experts say that this would expose his tax return to greater scrutiny by allowing every tax professional in the country to suggest ways that Trump’s returns could be attacked. Others say the IRS already knows what they want to audit and are unlikely to be swayed by suggestions from the public.”
Clinton released her most recent tax return last week, showing she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, earning $10.6 million in 2015. The former secretary of state released her previous eight years of tax returns last July.
According to a recent poll of likely voters in Texas conducted by Public Policy Polling, nearly two-thirds of respondents thought Trump should release his returns, compared to only 25 percent who said the disclosure wasn’t necessary. Even among voters backing Trump, the survey found a slim two-point majority felt he should release the returns.
Another poll, released earlier this month, showed that 37 percent of registered voters across the country see the tax return issue as something making them less likely to support Trump in November. The goal of the DNC’s Donald Duck stunt is to push that number up as high as possible.
Besides, everyone knows Scrooge McDuck is the only real avian billionaire who can truly make America great again and, unlike Trump, no one will put a naked statues of Scrooge McDuck in a Times Square. Hopefully.