For a guy who wants the job of handling the city’s finances, and who criticized Mitt Romney for not releasing his tax returns in 2012, Eliot Spitzer has held his own returns close to the vest. But on Wednesday, New York Times reporter Michael Grynbaum reported he had dropped by Spitzer’s office to look at his last two years of returns. Much of what those returns revealed basically fleshed out stuff we knew thanks to his financial disclosure report: That CNN gig was pretty darned lucrative (it’s paid him $1 million since it was canceled); Spitzer and his wife Silda, who filed jointly, still made most of their money from his family’s real estate holdings ($2.5 million last year); and the family is paying him a $180,00 salary to run its business. One new detail was the Spitzers’ charitable giving, which totaled $154,925 last year, “about 3.6 percent of their total income.”
Spitzer appears to be making a point that he’s got nothing to hide (unless you count his wealth itself), and based what’s been reported so far that seems true. But the fact that he’s made it so difficult to see inside his financial life still makes him seem awkward and cagey about the whole thing. Inviting one reporter to go look at the documents doesn’t really convey a sense of openness and transparency.
Update: The Spitzer campaign took issue with the suggestion that only one reporter had been invited to look at the documents, pointing out that the candidate had said in interviews with NY1 Noticias and Pix 11 that he would be willing to make them available. The Times was first to report on the new information.