U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown releases personal finances, tax returns
U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown released eight years worth of joint tax returns and his personal financial disclosure yesterday morning, revealing a 2013 income of $474,080 and $186,514 in speaking fees since 2013.
His campaign also called on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, whom Brown hopes to challenge this fall, to make good on her comment to WMUR several weeks ago that she would release her returns if her opponents did. In response, Shaheen’s campaign said it will release the documents soon.
“The Senator said she would release her tax returns and she will. We are readying the returns now and hope to have them available for review soon,” campaign spokesman Harrell Kirstein said in a statement.
Brown’s personal financial disclosure form is available online, and shows all of his income sources for 2013 and to date in 2014. The form, required by the Senate Ethics Committee for all incumbents and candidates, was due May 15, but Brown asked for an extension. The tax returns were only available to the media and photocopying was not allowed.
“By releasing eight years of joint tax returns, the Browns are proving they are committed to transparency and accountability,” said Colin Reed, Brown’s campaign manager.
Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, paid an effective tax rate of 24.1 percent in 2013 on their $474,080 income. Brown made $108,000 as a Fox News contributor that year, a contract that he ended this year before officially becoming a candidate for U.S. Senate. Other sources of income in 2013 include $41,666 from the Bipartisan Coalition for American Security, $127,000 from the Boston law firm Nixon Peabody, and $207,000 as a board member of pulp and paper company Kadant Inc.
In 2014, he made $28,000 through his contract with Fox News, $70,000 from Kadant Inc., and $31,000 as an adviser for 1st Alliance Lending, a company that helps low-income people finance home purchases. Before leaving Nixon Peabody earlier this year, he made $97,000 there.
Democrats have been calling on him repeatedly to release his personal finances, especially after news broke that he was an adviser for a Florida company that’s come under scrutiny and took a paid speaking gig at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas in May. The documents released yesterday show he made no money as an adviser for the Florida company, Global Digital Solutions (earlier this month, he quit his advisory role and relinquished his stock), and that he received $14,000 to speak in Las Vegas at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference.
Brown received $20,000 to speak at the conference in 2013 and, according to his tax returns, made $6,100 in dividends from Skybridge Capital in 2012.
Brown also traveled to Taiwan to give a speech in February of this year and received a $12,000 payment from the country’s government.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party, in a press release, criticized several of Brown’s speeches.
“Throughout the last year, Scott Brown has been cashing in, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Wall Street, corporate special interests, and even a foreign government – after he decided to run for the U.S. Senate,” party spokeswoman Julie McClain said. “This is merely the latest reason New Hampshire voters can’t trust Scott Brown.” Brown’s speaking gig in Taiwan was in February, and he did not officially form an exploratory committee until March, although he said on WMUR that he decided to run on Valentine’s Day.
Brown’s income peaked in 2010, when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. He made $839,520 that year and paid 28 percent in taxes. Of that income, $700,000 came from a book deal for his autobiography Against All Odds, which was published in 2011. He made a significant profit from the book in 2011 and 2012.
Brown filed New Hampshire business tax returns in 2013 for the two-week period he lived in New Hampshire after permanently moving from Massachusetts to his second home in Rye on Dec. 19, with gross receipts of about $8,000. Brown and Huff sold their Massachusetts home for $544,000, the returns show. He also paid income tax in Massachusetts for 2013 and made small tax payments to Colorado and Missouri, where he gave paid speeches.
Jim Rubens, one of Brown’s primary opponents, reported roughly $30,000 in earned income for 2013. Shaheen reported less than $2,000 in earned income. Both reported significant assets in mutual funds and corporate securities. Shaheen also reported income from several properties and business entities owned by her husband, Bill Shaheen.
(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kronayne.)