Thu July 19, 2012
Wisconsin Dems press Republican Senate candidates for tax returns
Only one of the four Republicans running for U.S. Senate plans to release his income tax forms before the August 14th primary.
As national Democrats continue to press Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release his tax forms, Wisconsin Democrats, including state Party Chair Mike Tate, are making a similar push in the U.S. Senate race: “We have candidates here who are very wealthy, and there's nothing wrong with that. But I think they should be transparent about where they got their money and where their money is invested and if they're going to potentially benefit from the policies that they're advocating.”
While candidates are not required to release their tax returns, they are required to file financial disclosure statements. Those showed that three of the Republicans running for Senate are millionaires—hedge fund manager Eric Hovde, former Congressman Mark Neumann and former Gov. Tommy Thompson.
Hovde, whose personal wealth is at least $50 million, said Wednesday that he would release his returns: “Probably with—literally—in the next two weeks.”
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson said yesterday that he would not. “I've released everything the law requires and then some. And so it is what it is.”
Neumann said largely the same thing—that his financial disclosure form said it all, “If anybody wants to know what we own and what we have, it's pretty well exposed in that report.”
Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald—the only non-millionaire running among Republicans—said he'll release his tax forms if he wins the primary. “I said after the primary I would release as many tax returns as they want from me. Mine probably aren't as interesting as others.”
Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has tried to force the issue, releasing 10 years of her own tax returns. They showed Baldwin paid an average of about $29,000 a year in taxes and earned an average adjusted gross income of $169,000.