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Baumgartner releases tax returns for past two years
U.S. Senate hopeful Michael Baumgartner released two years worth of federal income-tax records on Friday, and challenged incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell to do the same.
Seattle Times staff reporter
U.S. Senate hopeful Michael Baumgartner on Friday became the latest local politician to release tax records, providing copies of his two most recent federal income-tax returns and calling on incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell to do the same.
Baumgartner's returns showed that he and his wife, Eleanor, earned about $83,000 last year, mostly from his salary as a Republican state senator and income from a consulting business.
In 2010, while he was running for his Spokane-area state Senate seat, Baumgartner pulled in just $13,000, mostly from the consulting business, according to that year's tax return.
The income for each year included some $5,000 in dividends from stocks and mutual funds.
In each year, the Baumgartners claimed the standard deduction.
The couple's 2011 return also showed they rented out a residential property they own in London at a $655 loss.
According to separate financial-disclosure documents filed as part of Baumgartner's U.S. Senate run, the consulting income came primarily from two clients — Hecla Mining in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Camber Corporation, a defense contractor in Monterey, Calif.
The documents put the estimated total worth of the couple's financial assets at between $253,000 and $770,000, in addition to the London property.
In response to Baumgartner, a Cantwell spokesman pointed to the senator's financial-disclosure forms, which she is required to file.
"Through these disclosures, Senator Cantwell's assets and her personal financial interests are entirely transparent to the voters of Washington state," spokesman Kelly Steele wrote in an email.
The most recent document, filed this year, showed that last year Cantwell earned between $50,000 and $100,000 from stock in RealNetworks, where she worked in the 1990s, in addition to her $174,000 Senate salary.
Her total financial assets were worth between about $2 million and $10 million, according to the Center on Responsive Politics.
While the release of tax returns has become an issue in this year's presidential election, it has historically gotten less attention in state races. In 2010, neither U.S. Sen. Patty Murray nor challenger Dino Rossi released returns.
Earlier this week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee released five years of returns and called on Republican Rob McKenna to do the same.
Baumgartner had said he would release three years of returns; a campaign spokesman declined to explain why only two were released.
Brian M. Rosenthal: 206-464-3195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @brianmrosenthal.