Since Eliot Spitzer jumped, seemingly on a whim, into the front-runner spot of the comptroller's race, his personal wealth has been a target for onetime favorite Scott Stringer, whose campaign said right away that the disgraced former governor was hoping to "buy personal redemption with his family fortune." The specifics of that fortune, however, remain shrouded: Spitzer released bits and pieces of his tax returns today, after some needling from Stringer, but held back on making the whole thing public. "He will not be releasing the actual tax returns," said Spitzer's campaign, "as they contain income information about partnerships and other entities that is private."
What he did reveal was an extremely high effective tax rate: Spitzer paid $2.1 million in taxes on earnings of $4.2 million in 2012, and $1.5 million in taxes on $3.7 million the year prior. (Stringer's gross income last year was $217,796.)
"This show is basically making clear to people that Eliot represents a different set of rules than the regular public, and that's not going to play well in the city of New York," said Stringer.
The old Spitzer might have agreed, at least when it came to Mitt Romney during last year's election: "Romney has now made paying taxes the litmus test for good moral standing in our community," said Spitzer the Talking Head on Current TV. "So while I had grown tired and lost interest in Mitt's tax returns, I have a sudden, newfound interest in examining them. If payment is the ticket to moral uprightness, I want to see if Mitt has punched his own ticket." Moral uprightness has a way of coming back to haunt this guy.