Accused of Hypocrisy, Spitzer Releases Tax Returns

NEW YORK (AP/Hamodia) -

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer released some of his tax returns Wednesday, after taking heat for declining to disclose them as he runs for the city’s top financial office.

The tax forms, plus a required financial disclosure form he filed Wednesday, flesh out a picture of the lucrative careers Spitzer has nurtured in media and real estate since he resigned the governorship in 2008.

The Democrat’s campaign had disclosed two years of his multimillion-dollar income and tax totals on Tuesday, showing he and his wife made more than $8 million in the last two years. But the campaign had said the tax forms were off-limits because they had private information about business partnerships. Spitzer works for the real estate business his father founded, and the former governor owns part of family holdings that include Fifth Avenue apartment buildings.

City politicians don’t have to show the public their tax returns, but many do in the name of transparency. Spitzer himself had blasted Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for not releasing his tax returns last year.

His current Democratic rival, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, released his returns Tuesday and urged Spitzer to do so. Two Stringer supporters, City Councilman Brad Lander and State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, convened a conference call with reporters Wednesday to press the issue, noting that Spitzer had trumpeted ethics and accountability while in state government.

Stringer released more detailed tax forms covering five years showing he and his wife made about $218,000 last year, mainly from his government salary. Spokeswoman Audrey Gelman said he would keep pressing Spitzer to do the same, calling Spitzer’s release “a non-disclosure disclosure.”

Republican candidate John Burnett, a former Wall Street executive who got the Conservative Party’s endorsement Wednesday, has decided to release his tax forms, a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that Spitzer didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election even after he wrote a column proclaiming his support for Barack Obama.

Spitzer wrote his column, “Why I Am Voting for Barack Obama,” in support of Obama four days before the election for Slate magazine.

“We’ve heard all the promises, excuses, smart lines and grotesque misrepresentations. Now it’s time to choose,” Spitzer wrote. “And the choice is easy. On one hand is a leader who saved us from sure fiscal disaster, watched over a recuperating economy, preserved our national security and guided our nation’s international relations in rough waters.”

A spokeswoman said he didn’t vote because he had to serve as a paid co-anchor of a media station’s round-table election coverage.

Vote tallies show no record of Stringer voting in 2010, the first gubernatorial election since Spitzer’s resignation, but he said that he had voted but forgot to sign the voter book.