Ford Campaign Senior Advisor Michael Powell today issued the following statement about Bob Corker's failure to release his full tax returns:
"Having already given his campaign $2.1 million, Bob Corker has demonstrated that he has every intention of attempting to buy a U.S. Senate seat. He has every right to spend as much of his fortune as he chooses. Tennesseans also have every right to know how he made his money.
"Unfortunately Bob Corker has yet to come clean. Does he hold the Tennessee voters in such low regard that he doesn't trust them with the truth?
"Harold Ford Jr. trusts Tennessee voters. He believes when you run for public office, you have an obligation to fully disclose and be as transparent as possible about your personal finances. Public servants must be beyond reproach.
"In the interest of full disclosure and being open and honest with Tennesseans, I strongly urge Mr. Corker to do as Harold Ford and Senators Thompson, Frist and Sasser have done and release his taxes with all schedules.
"It's called public service, not private profit. Tennesseans have a right to know how Bob Corker made $12 million while he was mayor - more money than he made in the previous 25 years - even as he froze police and firefighter pay and raised his own pay three times.
"We are all too familiar with what has happened in corporate America with companies like Enron, Tyco and WorldCom failing to be honest with the public and engaging in accounting gimmickry. Until he releases his full returns, Mr. Corker will continue to face a cloud of questions and suspicion about who he is and how he made his millions. Tennesseans deserve full disclosure and the truth."
Ford's tax returns and full schedules are available to the press. Media outlets can request these from the Ford campaign by contacting Carol Andrews at email@example.com.
- Corker's income septupled after he became mayor. In the 25 years before he became Mayor, Corker made just under $8.4 million dollars, or $336,000 per year. In the five years after he became Mayor, Corker made $11.7 million, or $2.34 million a year. Thus Corker's average annual income nearly septupled after he became mayor. (Corker Release, 4/14/06)
- Corker calls his releases 'complicated' and subject to misinterpretation: "Corker, who reported income of almost $5 million to the IRS last year, said that is not the case, and he has 'provided all the information any voter or citizen would want to know.'. Corker refused to provide other forms, saying his returns are complicated, each typically "a stack of paper 3-inches thick" and contain financial information irrelevant to his candidacy or subject to misinterpretation.Corker said most of his business operations are conducted in the form of "subchapter S" corporations. For tax purposes, that means the company earnings are treated as his own earnings. He said that is one reason his returns are far more complex than those of Bryant and Hilleary, who often had only one or two extra forms accompanying their basic 1040. Corker also said he has 'gone above and beyond' requirements of the law in voluntarily providing information." (06/30/2006 Knoxville News-Sentinel)
- Corker says his full returns contain information which is irrelevant or subject to misinterpretation: "Corker, who reported nearly $5 million in income to the Internal Revenue Service last year, said he has provided all the information any voter would want to know. Corker said his full returns are each typically "a stack of paper three inches thick" and contain financial information irrelevant to his candidacy or subject to misinterpretation, though he did answer questions about some entries." (07/04/2006 Knoxville News-Sentinel)
- Corker campaign says he has provided all legally required information and all, criticizes Bryant's comments: "In an e-mailed response, Corker campaign spokesman Ben Mitchell wrote: 'In addition to providing to the Secretary of Senate all financial information that is legally required, Bob Corker has gone above and beyond by making available the first two pages of his income
tax returns all the way back to 1976. Mr. Bryant's comments again reflect a willingness on his part to say anything about Bob Corker in his desperate attempt to return to Washington, where he last served as a registered lobbyist.' (6/27/2006 Kingsport Times News)
- Corker claims he released his returns, then corrects that they are summaries: "I'm guessing I paid in the 8 to 9 hundred thousand dollar range. As a matter of fact I released my returns, I think, all the way back to 1976 and the average throughout that entire time was about 23 percent of what I earned. This last year had been a big year for me and I think I paid somewhere between 8 and 9 hundred thousand dollars in taxes." I released the summaries which say what I made and what I paid and what my charitable givings are and certainly." (6/21/2006 WTN Steve Gill debate)
- Corker says he may release full returns, 'we'll see': [Gill: If he releases his full returns will you release yours?] "I might. I might make them available for people to peruse. I hadn't thought about it. They're about three inches thick.I've released my tax records and we may make our tax records in full available for the press, I will see but the fact of the matter is we'll see." (6/21/2006 WTN Steve Gill debate)
- Corker campaign says Corker has always paid every dollar of tax he has owed, agrees to release first two pages of Corker's returns: "The Corker campaign's spokesman said Mr. Corker 'has always paid every dollar of tax he's owed, and their statements are, at a minimum, misleading.' Mr. Mitchell defended the campaign's use of adjusted gross income but later said it would make the first two pages of Mr. Corker's tax returns 'available for review' to reporters." (4/15/2006 Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Seriously, what does Corker have to hide? Once again, this goes to the character of the man. He just can't be honest on anything.
It is time we had a U.S. Senator that was honest, transparent and had some character about them. Bob Corker, just like his hero, Bill Frist, just doesn't cut it.
Demand to know the truth!
Come clean, Bob! Come clean!