Warren, Brown and the optics of income tax returns
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Let the name calling begin. The latest salvo in class warfare, Bay State edition , finds Elizabeth Warren
trying to shake off the “elitist hypocrite
” label bestowed upon her by US Sen. Scott Brown.
As the two candidates jockey over just how many years of tax returns
they will release, neither candidate is likely to emerge unscathed in the battle between two people who have the financial security that most voters can only dream of.
Warren’s impulse to release two years of tax returns won’t burnish her image if Brown decides to release six. The Brown campaign has already cannily laid a trap for Warren, who has multiple millions in assets and investments, by asking if she voluntarily paid a higher state tax rate.
Brown doesn’t get off scot free, however. The senator’s barn-coat-pickup-truck-man-of the-people image (and new Southie
persona) belies the fact that he, like Warren, also has reported assets
that tipped the million dollar mark. When reporters pored over his 2008 financial records, they found that he owned five properties
including a time share in Aruba and beach front property in New Hampshire.
The interest in the Warren/Brown tax return episode promises to rival the Mitt Romney-Barack Obama
comparative worth contest and provides some important lessons about the political optics of tax returns.
Dueling tax returns is a fight that Romney, who has already filed for an extension on his 2011 return, is never going to win.
senior editor-at-large Allan Sloan scanned the Obama and Romney 2010 tax returns
, he proclaimed multi-millionaire Republican the loser in the public relations war.
It’s not just Romney’s nearly $22 million in income (and 13.9 percent tax rate) that rankles Sloan. “Politically clueless” is how he describes Romney’s return, which includes “a Swiss bank account and tacky looking tax credits.” Obama gets a nod for being more “politically astute” for decisions related to his nearly $790,000 income (and 20.5 percent tax rate), including steering nearly $50,000 of his book royalties into retirement instruments. --GABRIELLE GURLEY BEACON HILLSteve Crosby
, the chairman of the new state gambling commission
, wants to delay
his panel’s takeover of the state racing industry, saying that added obligation would distract from the focus on getting casinos licensed.
Former Methuen Mayor William Manzi
says he will run for the Senate seat vacated by Steven Baddour, dropping plans to run for the post of register of the Northern Essex District Registry of Deeds, the Eagle-Tribune reports
columnist Peter Lucas rants
about women taking over in politics and business and includes the line that even the male tokens on Boston TV news shows now ”act like women.” Ouch!MUNICIPAL MATTERS
Weymouth Mayor Sue Kay
has proposed a budget that has no cuts and no layoffs
but also does nothing to reduce the town’s $1.9 million deficit.
Beaches were very crowded in Gloucester
over the long weekend, but the city didn’t collect any money for parking because an ordinance bars beach staffing until May 1, the Gloucester Times reports
The Haverhill City Council
approves 10 more liquor licenses, bringing the city’s total to 70, the Eagle-Tribune reports
mayor Kevin Dumas wants
the city to use free cash to pay off the debt of its redevelopment authority.
The new owners of the shuttered Evergreen Solar
plant in Devens
begin lining up tenants
. NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTONDemographics look good for Democrats
, in part because the minority vote is increasing and the white middle class is shrinking, Governing reports
Leslie Gelb handicaps the race
for the next Secretary of State in Newsweek
. Of Sen. John Kerry
, he writes: “According to insiders, President Obama is thinking Kerry would travel a lot and successfully, and interfere least with policymaking.”
Rep. Barney Frank
gives an exit interview
to New York
A New Bedford Standard Times
article wonders what it takes to get fired at NOAA
.ELECTION 2012Mitt Romney
is facing a big hurdle, reports
: Voters don’t much like him. Maureen Dowd parses
the “phony mommy wars.” The Trumps give Ann Romney
a Trump-ily understated birthday cake.
For the second straight quarter, Republican Richard Tisei
raised more money than US Rep. John Tierney, the Salem News reports
says it’s hard for Gov. Deval Patrick to argue for any kind of tax hike
regardless of who’s paying it.
Author Michael Lewis (Liar’s Poker, The Big Short) interviews himself
in the Daily Beast and urges a boycott of the nation’s biggest banks. Citigroup shareholders
reject a $15 million pay package for the company’s CEO, the New York Times reports
In what’s becoming a comical game of revisions to the revisions, the US Labor Department now says
it probably erred last month in downgrading its earlier projection of job growth in Massachusetts
. Which means, if you’re having trouble following this, that we’ve been adding a decent number of jobs after all.
Coming soon: local craft beers in can
The Atlantic previews
the coming book wars.EDUCATION
Two of the six finalists for University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
chancellor have withdrawn
After 100,000 people sign up for a free Stanford online class, the professor and a colleague launch a company called Coursera
to bring more classes to the masses, NPR reports
(via WBUR).HEALTH CARE
Seven Boston area hospitals are set to take part in a pilot program that allows doctors to apologize for errors and make early settlement offers to try to bring down malpractice costs. CommonWealth
has the story,
as does the Globe. CommonWealth earlier reported
on the Michigan program on which the Massachusetts initiative is based as part of its What Works series of features.
Two new studies show mixed results for the state’s children, and The Berkshire Eagle
suggests that more needs to be done to combat abuse and neglect.
Community health centers are falling short,
according to a new study.TRANSPORTATION
Municipal bike-sharing programs are not generating enough revenue to cover costs
but most cities seem to be okay with the tradeoff, according to U.S. News & World Report. Globe
columnist Derrick Jackson says
dedicated bike lanes in Boston and Cambridge are going to take our newly-found urban bicycling mojo to the next level. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The American Civil Liberties Union
is suing the city of Lynn, challenging the legality of an ordinance that bars sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or recreational facility, the Lynn Item reports
did an in-depth examination of sex offenders and the way the state regulates them in a story called “Society’s Lepers
” in its recent issue.
An Easton attorney who is vice chairman of the town’s Planning & Zoning Board
is facing a disciplinary hearing for misusing a client’s funds
Subscribers willing to pay for detailed policy coverage in Washington from Politico Pro
, the Nieman Journalism Lab reports
r was a big part of the Tuscaloosa News
coverage that earned it a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news, Poynter reports