Morning Briefing: April 6, 2012

Ahead of the April tax filing deadline, the Obama campaign is calling on Romney to “release more of his tax returns and questioning whether he has used loopholes to avoid publicly disclosing more information about his personal wealth.” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wrote, “Mitt Romney has put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key.”

The Mitt Romney campaign announced yesterday that Ed Gillespie, a former counselor to George W. Bush, will be joining as a senior adviser. Gillespie’s former lobbying firm advocated for an individual mandate in health reform, though Gillespie asserts that he personally never did so.

Rick Santorum met with a group of conservative leaders yesterday to consider ways to help his faltering campaign, including possibly persuading Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race. But Gingrich advisers confirmed he had no intention of quitting.

Actor and screenwriter Tyler Perry says he was a victim of racial profiling after he was pulled over and interrogated by two white police officers in Atlanta. In a Facebook posting following the incident, Perry argued, “Racial profiling should be a crime investigated by the FBI!”

Half a billion trees are dead as a result of the Texas drought that left the state desiccated last year. So far, Texas has lost $7.62 billion in crop and livestock, but that number is expected to grow.

President Obama signed the JOBS Act yesterday. The law is aimed at helping small businesses reduce costs by getting rid of regulations and bureaucratic obstacles that supporters say make it harder for them to expand.

On Thursday, a military board recommended that a 26-year-old Marine be dismissed from service without an honorable discharge after he criticized President Obama on Facebook. The three-member Marine Corps panel ruled that Sgt. Gary Stein had committed misconduct by posting “contemptuous” anti-Obama comments.

A former CIA officer who became a focal player in the debate over waterboarding was indicted yesterday on charges that he leaked classified secrets to journalists. The indictment of John Kiriakou is part of an aggressive crackdown on leakers by the Obama administration.

And finally: Americans often complain about the government being bought and sold by wealthy interests, but now someone literally bought a whole town in Wyoming that was being sold. Buford, population 1, was sold for $900,000 to an unidentified buyer yesterday in an 11-minute Internet auction that attracted worldwide interest.