Presidential Candidates to File Financial Disclosure Forms Today

By Matthew Mosk
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Republican presidential hopeful Rudolph W. Giuliani scooped up roughly $11 million on the speaking circuit last year, while potential first spouse Bill Clinton trailed close behind with about $10 million in speech fees, according to sources familiar with financial disclosure forms that will be filed today.

The former New York mayor was a popular draw for his hour-long talks about leadership and the lessons learned in the ashes of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Clinton's speeches -- mostly focused on the impact that a global economy will have on the future -- have been a consistent source of income for the former president and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Both men have routinely been paid more than $100,000 per speech.

The finance reports, due today from the candidates for president, provide a glimpse into the personal dealings of those seeking the nation's highest office, and of their spouses.

Democrat Barack Obama's report is expected to show roughly $500,000 in earnings from the Illinois senator's book projects, including his best-selling memoir. Republican Sen. John McCain's latest report is likely to again show that the bulk of his $15 million family fortune traces to his wife, the daughter of a beer magnate in his state, Arizona.

The most wealthy of those seeking the White House appears to be former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Republican who has run a private equity firm and served as the chief executive of consulting giant Bain & Co.

Romney sought and received a 45-day extension for his filing but will eventually report personal assets valued between $190 million and $250 million, according to a Romney campaign adviser familiar with the report. His campaign will also disclose that he has between $70 million and $100 million set aside in a blind trust for his five children and 10 grandchildren.

That puts Romney in the company of other superwealthy presidential contenders, such as former candidates Steve Forbes, a publishing magnate, and billionaire businessman H. Ross Perot.

Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) is expected to reveal how much he was paid by Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund that became a major player in the high-risk mortgage sector Edwards has pilloried while campaigning.

So far only one candidate, Obama, has voluntarily released a copy of his 2006 tax returns, which candidates are not required to do.

Sen. Clinton's returns would be particularly revealing. They would show in far more detail the income her husband has brought into the family as a result of business partnerships with longtime friend and donor Ronald W. Burkle.

Aides to Giuliani would not say yesterday how much detail they will provide about his private consulting work for Giuliani Partners, the firm he started after leaving the mayor's office in early 2002. That work has earned Giuliani tens of millions since the firm opened, according to a knowledgeable source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the firm's financial information is private.

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