One of the nation’s top pornographers is offering a $1 million bounty for the publishing rights to a different kind of booty.
Larry Flynt and his publication, Hustler Magazine, have taken out a full-page advertisement in today’s Washington Post offering the reward for anyone who can bring them information on Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s “unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts, and business partnerships.”
“What is he hiding?” the ad asks in bold font, and tells readers the cash reward will be paid to anyone they publish with verifiable documentation of the former governor’s financial records.
Flynt is no stranger to controversial politics. A Democrat, free-speech activist, and self-labeled “smut peddler who cares,” the porn king has a long history of targeting Republicans — mostly regarding sex scandals. Nor is this the first time Hustler has offered a bounty for potentially embarrassing information about a politician: In 2007, the resignation of Rep. David Vitter, R-La., was directly tied to a similar million dollar contract also placed in the Post. And in September 2011, Flynt offered $1 million for evidence of infidelity from then-Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry.
As far back as the 1960s, Flynt offered rewards to debunk the congressional investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
During the 2007 recall election of California Gov. Gray Davis, Flynt ironically announced his candidacy as a Republican.
The subject of Romney’s tax returns has been a target for Democrats for months, as they’ve criticized the candidate for releasing a single year’s filing for public review. In that 2010 return, Romney reported a tax rate of 13.9 percent on $21.7 million in income. His campaign says they will release his 2011 return in October, which they estimate was filed for 15.4 percent on $20.9 million.
While Romney maintains he has not paid less than 13 percent in taxes in the last 10 years, predictably Democrats have refused to budge on the issue until presented with proof.
Hustler’s advertisement will also run in the Sept. 11 issue of USA Today.