Brown's income jumped when he became Sen. Brown
April 27th, 2012
11:10 AM ET
6 years ago

Brown's income jumped when he became Sen. Brown

(CNN) – Republican Sen. Scott Brown's income more than doubled when he entered the Senate due in large part to a book advance he received after winning the Massachusetts special election, according to tax returns released Friday by his campaign.

Brown reported earning more than $294,000 in 2009, before he entered the Senate and $840,000 in 2010, his first year in the upper chamber of Congress. In the most recent tax year Brown and his wife, television reporter Gail Huff, reported bringing in $510,856.

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The Browns paid $123,642 in taxes in 2011, or an effective tax rate of 24.2% and contributed $16,487, or 3.2% of their total income to charity.

The first term senator, who won a special election after Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy passed away in 2009, has received a congressional salary of $174,000 per year. His income was aided by a $700,000 advance of his memoir "Against All Odds" that was released in 2011.

The release of Brown's tax returns is the latest seemingly political ploy in the bitter Senate election between the former Massachusetts state senator and challenger, Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

On Tuesday Brown called on consumer protection advocate Warren to release six years of tax returns, a step he said he would take. Warren responded saying she would release four years of returns.

Team Brown criticized the four year decision, questioning what the Harvard professor is "hiding."

"What is in her tax returns during these years that Warren is so afraid voters might learn?" Brown Campaign Manager Jim Barnett said in a statement Friday.

But a spokeswoman for Warren said she intended to release four years of returns, which covers her "entire time in public service."

"She is providing the people of Massachusetts with a transparent and full accounting of her financial situation," spokeswoman Althea Harney said in a statement to CNN earlier in the week.

The Warren campaign did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday about a timeline for the release.

Talk of tax returns came after The Boston Globe requested both candidates release the last five years of figures earlier in the year.

Now both sides are playing politics with issue, attempting to use the returns to help craft a negative image of their opponent and contribute to their personal narratives.

Brown has pointed to Warren's personal wealth while trying to protect his image as an everyman. He memorably traveled around the state in 2009 and 2010 in his pick-up truck talking to voters. Warren is marketing herself as a champion of the middle class, pushing back against GOP criticism that her wealth makes her an unsuitable voice for the average Massachusetts voter.

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Elizabeth Warren • Massachusetts • Scott Brown • Senate
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. roscoe

    So, this race will go to whoever can hide their wealth the best?

    April 27, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. The Real Truth and Nothing But Real Truth

    This country doesn't need anymore radical leftwing socialist/communist Democrats in Congress. The damage done by Reid and Pelosi is huge and will take years to fix. Obamacare is already a fiscal disaster before it even gets fully implemented. Warren would bring similar disasters to the country.

    April 27, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Holla

    I am still wondering! Ask Mitt to release his five years tax return also. And let the game begins!

    April 27, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Brown did exactly what I suggested Warren should do. Get out there first, and release as many years as you intend to release. Forget about what some newspaper is asking for.

    April 27, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Name Jeremy@Dallas

    Brown is the true image of our fraudulent political culture in Washington. Say anything and do anything to win. After elections, screw the poor.

    April 27, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    The quote below is from an interesting Washington Post article concerning the freshman TeaParty supporters:

    "It's going to be a new day in Washington. ... Corporate contributions have surged for new Republican leaders in House ... New Republican lawmakers are hiring lobbyists, despite campaign rhetoric ... Newly elected House members have raised at least $2 million since the 2010 election."

    It's not surprising that Brown has racked in the dollars. When all is said and done, the time when those running for office actually wanted to work for a BETTER America is long past. Now we're left with choosing who will cause the least damage TO America. Brown made his money through book sales. Seems to be a recurring GOPer story. I can't even begin to count how many 'books" GOPers have published these past two years. Fact is, I'm having a hard time understanding why folks buy these books to begin with.

    New Republican motto ought to be: We'll get back to you after we finish lining our pockets.

    April 27, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Four and The Door

    It is absurd that a candidate's personal financial worth is ever even considered as a factor about whether to vote for them or not. Really? Think about it. If someone is that unfamiliar with the real issues ( and there are plenty of them), maybe that person isn't taking their privilege to vote serious enough.

    April 27, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Holla wrote:

    I am still wondering! Ask Mitt to release his five years tax return also. And let the game begins!
    The Romney team has completely dropped the ball on tax returns. He has only released one year, which came after 10 days of waffling, wavering, and posturing about how it was "not required." For this year they filed for an extension, instead of putting the issue to bed and releasing a return. They claimed they are waiting for other tax information from other sources that must file. They also knew for a few months that taxes were due, like they are every year, and that his tax return would be an issue.

    April 27, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. PoBoy

    Everyone knows that politicians get paid well, despite the non-sense they tell you about the honor of being a public servant, patriot blah blah blah. I say again, why would any reasonable person spend millions of dollars to get elected to an office that only pays around $180K/year? They've down their cost-benefit analysis and know that they'll get that investment back in spades. Nothing new here!

    April 27, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Vincent

    So what. We have the master book writer and royalty receiver in the White House. In the case of our anti-propserity President he is an outstanding orator, good writer and a horrendous leader. He will be out campaigning today and doing what he usually does and that is trashing every day Americans who are successful.

    April 27, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Wes B.

    Nothing against Scott Brown, but Elizabeth Warren is one of the most impressive individuals I've ever come across.

    April 27, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Independant Texan

    REALLY ???? DUH !!!!! Politics indeed is the road to riches, payola, special treatment, book deals, etc.,etc.........

    April 27, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Mark

    I'd rather Brown release his entire voting record since he's been
    in the Senate.

    April 27, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans tell us how bad Government is but there is always a fight go to Washington for Government perks of wealth. Republicans talk about how terrible Obama is for the economy but what you don't know is that Republicans have all profited so now they want more control for profit, we've all been had people. Wake up and smell the coffee.

    April 27, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. GI Joe

    And there you have him -- wall street's favorite senator.

    April 27, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Mo

    Back in the day writing and profiting from books while in the job in Congress or Senate was thought to be ethically challenged. If you remember Gingrich got hammered when he was Speaker of the House and wrote a book. But since BO did it all that has been glazed over. Obama can write books, target GOP campaign donors, take over the top family vacations on the government dime, trash the SCOTUS and all manner of other things and its OKAY. Its a new low.

    April 27, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Taxed to Death in Chicago

    If you want to really look at a growth in income. Look back to when Obama became a US Senator. Not only did his income go up dramatically, but Michelle's did too. Most of Scott Brown's income grew due to a book advance.

    April 27, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Republicans tell us how bad Government is but there is always a fight go to Washington for Government perks of wealth. "

    Indeed. Not to mention that you have to be in the gov't if you truly want to break it.

    April 27, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Obamacare is already a fiscal disaster before it even gets fully implemented. "

    Is that why insurers will be sending over $1.3B in premium rebates out this year? It's something like over $500M to large employers, over $400M to small employers and over $300M to indivudals who are self-insured. CNN and the rest of the MSM don't want anything to do with the story because they're protecting the crooks your support.

    April 27, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |