Postman on Politics
Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.
July 9, 2008 1:28 PM
Posted by David Postman
Gov. Chris Gregoire released three years of her family’s federal income tax returns today. The Gregoires’ total income has gone up from $162,290
$129,073 in 2005, the governor’s first year in office, to $180,179 last year.
I’m not an accountant - boy, am I not an accountant - but there doesn’t look to be anything too fascinating in the returns. The family paid more than $32,000
$29,000 in total taxes on the 2007 income and made $9,260 in charitable gifts and donations.
In the three years I see only a one-time $10 capital loss.
Why ask the governor for the tax returns and write so little about what’s in there? We ask because we want to collect as much information as possible about candidates for governor.
Republican Dino Rossi has rejected requests to release his tax returns. This is what happened in 2004 as well; Gregoire released hers, Rossi didn’t.
The Rossi campaign says that the candidate has complied with all disclosure laws and filed a personal financial disclosure form this year with the Public Disclosure Commission. Spokeswoman Jill Strait said the candidate "will not release any more personal financial information."
There's no question that releasing tax returns is over and above what’s required by law. And a tax return from a career state employee and office-holder - whose salary is already public information - is likely to be less interesting than one from a businessman and real estate investor.
Those PDC forms, though, leave a lot to the imagination. Office holders, candidates and some appointed officials are required to file the reports. But income and investment numbers are reported only within ranges:
A -- $1 to $2,999 B -- $3,000 to $14,999 C -- $15,000 to $29,999 D -- $30,000 to $74,999 E -- $75,000 or more
Rossi’s filing shows three sources of income that qualify as an “E”: book sales, his salary from the non-profit Forward Washington, and apartment income. He has one “D,” rental income from a medical building.
But those “E” incomes could be - as we know, from other sources, about the non-profit salary - just about $75,000. Or they could up to any amount you could imagine. Or at least up to $1 billion, which would put him on Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world.
If you are a candidate with little wealth, the public will know about your finances with more specificity than if you are well-off. And if you’re super rich, you can pretty much keep that to yourself.
Posted by jacob
1:43 PM, Jul 09, 2008
Posted by Tinkerbell Hilton
2:36 PM, Jul 09, 2008
Okay I have some problems with this posting. First of all the governor, Christine Gregoire is a PUBLIC OFFICIAL. Wherein her salary is based solely on the generosity of the tax payers who reside in the great State of Washington. Seriously. It is NONE of ANYONE's business what Dino Rossi's income was in 2008. For the curiously infatuated Washontonians, I suggest that you, again, Seriously Get A Life! The fact that Rossi is not willing to disclose more that he is already required to has NOTHING to do with his ability to be the next best thing that happens to our state. Seriously.
Posted by just wondering
2:39 PM, Jul 09, 2008
Of more interest to me is Gregoire's ownership of multiple homes, or so I understand. That just doesn't seem very green of her. Additionally, 2 of the 3 homes I've heard she owns are outside Washington, being Whistler and Hadyn Lake, Idaho. I hope she includes all of those, if in fact she owns them, when calculating her carbon footprint.
Posted by Particle Man
4:18 PM, Jul 09, 2008
Just what is Dino hiding from the people of our state who he intends to lead.
Dino like anyone who seeks public office should willingly subject themselves to public scrutiny. Throughout his political career Dino had been given a pass and like a young child, this has only resulted in more strident ethical lapses on his part.
Voters should be shouting from the hill tops for Dino to release not only his full tax returns but also all of the real-estate transaction and partnership records from the Windsor Court Apartments scam. The questions these documents raise must be answered and delay must not be tolerated.
The tax returns will show just how much BIAW cash reached Dino’s pockets from his Forward WA scam and I am sure will also yield some new and sleazy surprises. The papers of this state and the Gregoire campaign let us all down last time when Rossi was given a pass in regard to his BIAW lobbyist apartment “investment” scam which laundered between $150,000 and $200,000 in, what can reasonably be called bribes, paid directly to Dino.
That Hinton and others would suggest that we should trust this huckster with our state when serious questions about his finances and ethics go unanswered is laughable.
If Dino has nothing to hide then he should
RELEASE THOSE RECORDS!!!
Posted by Josef
8:49 PM, Jul 09, 2008
I really think this is nobody's business, as long as the authorities legitimately find the Gregoires & Rossis in legal compliance.
Posted by Particle Man
9:38 PM, Jul 09, 2008
Dino seeks P U B L I C O F F I C E Not a job in the private sector. P U B L I C !!!
Posted by Turbine
9:41 PM, Jul 09, 2008
Postman get money from the State for the show he hosts. Does that make him corrupt ? Is he beholden to his friends in the ruling class who pay his wages and allow him to have access to the public airwaves ? Postman ..post your IRS returns !! The public has a right to know.
Posted by WhyDave
10:32 PM, Jul 09, 2008
If you don't like the Public Disclosure Laws, why not lobby your Lefty pals in the Legislature to change them??
The Democrats are in charge, aren't they??
This is showboating by Gregoire.
Why don't you ask her about her other houses since she gave you the info??
Posted by evergreen_representative
11:15 PM, Jul 09, 2008
David Postman has showed time and time again that he is the Washington Democratic Party's "Blogger," and come to think he about it, he reminds me of Alan Colmes of "Hannity and Colmes," as Postman plays the "liberal" card for the Corporate Mainstream News Media, as the CMNM plays on all sides of the fence -- better for them to enroll as many sheep as possible.
Posted by JimD
11:21 PM, Jul 09, 2008
Anyone running for public office - certainly the state's chief executive - should be willing to disclose their financial interests and sources of income above and beyond the basic requirement.
The only legitimate reason Rossi wouldn't is because there's something he doesn't want us to know.
(sorry, the principle of privacy is NOT a legitimate excuse for a gubernatorial candidate)
I'm quite pleased that Rossi resists revealing to his potential employers - we the people - the financial connections and dealings he doesn't want us to know about.
It further demonstrates he's not worthy of our trust.
Posted by GT
8:53 AM, Jul 10, 2008
When you step back to look this whole situation over, it is evidence of a slow news day.
All this proves is the Gregoire is stingy when it comes to chartiable giving, only 5.7% of her income. She says the government needs to do more to help the poor, homeless, etc., but she isn't doing much from her own account. Rather, she prefers to take money to support the poor from other taxpayers through state programs, aka The Overhead Monster.
Posted by rj
9:25 AM, Jul 10, 2008
Is there a point to this article? Why don't you come out and just say it, "those guys that make lots of $ by being smart and working hard really piss me off." Being successful and happy will wrankle any liberal.
Posted by Bothsides
11:27 AM, Jul 10, 2008
You got it! Besides, Chrissy has been on the government payroll for how long?? Big surprise she has a moderate income......
Dino Rossi's income taxes are of no concern to me, or any other taxpayer, at this point, he's a private citizen.
Posted by John
1:44 PM, Jul 10, 2008
The grip here is his portfolio, hard work and investing wisely is not to be ashamed of unless you’re a “d.”
Dino, is not a fool like some of the people you have allowed in public office. He was vetted only a few years ago and knowing the occupant in Olympia robed him, he has all his holdings in order,as the “d” attack machine never sleeps.
Posted by Capser
3:29 PM, Jul 10, 2008
What is Rossi Hiding?
Posted by JimD
5:36 PM, Jul 10, 2008
"...Why don't you come out and just say it, "those guys that make lots of $ by being smart and working hard really piss me off..."
Not at all.
There are many very successful and well-off "liberals", both in the public and private sector, who enjoy high esteem.
Since when do democrats or "liberals" find wealth and success distasteful?
The Clintons, Obama's, Kennedys....come on.
The problem isn't Rossi's relative wealth, but to what extent his sources of income and financial dealings might compromise his performance in office - his conflicts of interest and ethics.
When one has nothing to hide - or indeed as you suggest, much to be proud of - why would they hide it?
Frankly, if Rossi disclosed a relatively conflict-free success story based on "being smart and hard work," he'd probably pick-up more votes from moderate democrats who want to vote for someone other than Gregoire, but just don't trust Rossi.
And don't trust him for good reason, if he refuses to disclose his financial ties.
Those who suggest a politician is a private citizen first and foremost, don't get it.
The voters are considering EMPLOYING him to run OUR state.
Any and every bit of information we want him to provide is obviously fair game.
I have to sugmit to drug tests, extensive background check, credit check, and account for virtually every penny I've made going back ten years, just to haul hazardous materials on our highways.
For goodness sake, Rossi's applying to run the whole state.
Why SHOULDN'T he prove his financial integrity.
If he doesn't want to comply with our employment process criteria, he should apply for a lesser job somewhere else where they aren't as picky.
Posted by C'mon
5:54 PM, Jul 10, 2008
Why don't you Leftists lobby your pals in Olympia to change the PDC Disclosure Laws??
The Dems are in charge of the Legislature and Governor's Office.
They won't do it because.....????
Posted by John
6:28 PM, Jul 10, 2008
Once he becomes a public official by all means he should and will reveal his assets. Until then who cares, to say he'll get a few extra votes for doing so is silly. When the votes are counted this time it will reflect the vast majority of voters for Dino. To say liberals are not envied of success is laughable this could be topic for years.
You cannot be a progressive and think of people as multiple classes.
Her income increased by only $20,000.00 in three years, tell us a lot about her ability to handle and invest her money. She lives off of our taxes and hardly pays anything in living expenses.
As you may remember she screwed us out of Millions when she was A.G.
Not to mention our current state of deficit for the next five years or so.
Her only hope is staying in Government she would never survive in the real world.
That is why Dino, will be a great Governor even the liberals will learn to like him. :)
Posted by evergreen_representative
9:48 PM, Jul 10, 2008
(Post-script to evergreen_representative post)
Even politicians have a right to some privacy; they're human beings like anybody else. Although, I have to admit that Mr. Postman has a point when he suggests that there should be more specificity for incomes above $75,000 as it relates to PDC rules, not that anybody needs to know exactly how much a politician makes.
Posted by evergreen_representative
10:24 PM, Jul 10, 2008
P.P.S. (to above evergreen_representative post):
"... not that anybody needs to know exactly how much a politician makes."
That statement only applies to income outside of an incumbent's (if the politician in question is an incumbent) salary or other government income.
Posted by JimD
11:07 PM, Jul 10, 2008
No no no... not so fast.
Rossi doesn't HAVE to volunteer anything beyond the required disclosure, nor should any politician.
But many voluntarily lay it out on the table anyway to PROVE their integrity and lack of financial conflicts that might cloud their judgement once in office.
An employer doesn't wait till they give the newbie the keys to till before checking their references.
This is done before they're hired, or in this case - elected.
It's Rossi's job to convince us he's fit for the job.
He doesn't HAVE to provide his job-related financial history to us - his prospective employer.
But failure to do so (especially when the applicant has a shady past and routinely violates the rules pertaining to the money going into his campaign) will likely result in the employer choosing a more forthright candidate.
And so too shall the voters this fall.
Jul 10, 08 - 10:44 AM
Pro-Rossi signs say Seattle stole '04 election
Jul 10, 08 - 10:23 AM
Soprano's band says Demo ad offensive
Jul 10, 08 - 08:46 AM
New ads from Gregoire and Rossi
Jul 9, 08 - 01:28 PM
Gregoire releases tax returns, but nothing from Rossi
Jul 9, 08 - 10:48 AM
Another political scribe leaves the biz
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