McAuliffe releases abridged tax information, reports $8.2 million in income in 2011

April 23, 2013

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe released summaries of income tax returns Tuesday — five days after his Republican opponent, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, released nearly a decade of tax returns in an effort to raise transparency as an issue in the race.

According to the six pages of abridged returns provided by the McAuliffe campaign, the businessman made $8.2 million in 2011, including nearly $1.9 million in capital gains income. In 2010, he reported making $1.8 million, including about $812,000 in capital gains. In 2009, he reported income of $6.5 million, including $4.2 million in capital gains.

The documents, which McAuliffe filed with his wife, don’t include additional years.

Republicans have criticized McAuliffe since Cuccinelli took the unusual step last week of opening eight years of tax records — a total of 225 pages — to the media. Except for forbidding copies and redacting some personal data, the campaign gave reporters full access to Cuccinelli’s 1040 forms.

According to the documents, he made $194,398 in 2012, including salary as attorney general and $30,000 he received for writing a book.

The tax drama has brought new controversy to the nationally watched contest, one of only two gubernatorial races this year. For about a week, Virginia Republicans have reminded people of the criticism from McAuliffe and other Democrats when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seemed reluctant to release his tax returns.

McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin said in a statement Tuesday evening that the release goes “above and beyond the disclosure requirements.” Historically, Virginia gubernatorial candidates have not released income tax returns, and the returns of governors are not public record. But they file annual personal finance disclosure forms.

Still, Republicans said McAuliffe’s release did not go far enough.

“Ken Cuccinelli has set the standard for disclosure and Terry McAuliffe fell woefully short,” Cuccinelli campaign manager Dave Rexrode said in a statement Tuesday night. “There are a growing number of questions for McAuliffe to answer about his circumspect business dealings and now he refuses to share with the public the details of how he made his income.

McAuliffe, 56, has launched his past two gubernatorial campaigns on the premise that Virginia needs a self-made millionaire who not only raised millions for the Democratic Party but launched dozens of businesses that created lots of jobs. But his strength as a wheeler-dealer also has posed certain weaknesses as questions have arisen about the viability of one of his latest ventures: GreenTech Automotive, an electric car company in Mississippi that he initially tried to open in Virginia.

The Cuccinelli campaign put up an online video ad that showed McAuliffe pushing Romney to show the public his money. “By not putting them out there, you’re letting everybody’s imagination run wild,” McAuliffe is shown saying on an unidentified talk show.

The ad concludes with a quote from McAuliffe saying, “If you have nothing to hide, then release the tax documents.”

Cuccinelli, 44, has come under fire after he failed to disclose his stake in Star Scientific for nearly a year, including from Democrats, who accused him of releasing his tax returns as a distraction.

Disclosure of the holdings in Star Scientific, which sells a nutritional supplement from an ingredient found in tobacco, was required by state law, and Cuccinelli’s office was defending the state in a tax lawsuit filed by the company. Cuccinelli has said he wasn’t aware his holdings had crossed the $10,000 threshold at which disclosure is required, and he amended his disclosure forms after learning about it.

He has since appointed outside counsel to handle the lawsuit. Democrats have pressured Cuccinelli to recuse his office from the Star Scientific case because of his holdings. They also have called for an investigation into his relationship with the company’s chief executive, Jonnie R. Williams Sr., and an independent inquiry into the discrepancy in his financial disclosure forms.

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