AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 4/23/2004 09:42:00 AM ----- BODY: Larry Sabato is Wrong - Teresa Heinz Kerry has applied for an extension on last year's taxes. Mrs. Kerry, who is worth about $550 million, has refused to release her tax records, claiming privacy issues. In the Boston Globe story about the controversy, political analyst Larry Sabato is quoted as saying it's no big deal for her to keep those records secret. Wrong. Were it not for Mrs. Kerry's wealth, John Kerry would not be the presumptive nominee. The campaign had to borrow against the value of a house jointly owned by the couple to finance the senator's presidential run when his fundraising was anemic. Her wealth is a part of this campaign. Plus, she has a record of giving to liberal special interest groups, some of whom may be working to get Kerry elected president. If Mrs. Kerry is funneling private money through such groups that support her husband's presidential candidacy, that's a legitimate issue. Sabato says the controversy is silly when compared to issues such as the economy and national security. That doesn't make it any less important, though. We should know who is paying to get our presidents elected and whether someone is trying to circumvent campaign finance laws. Kerry should release the records and put the issue to rest. --------