Warren releases financial report
Earned $700,000 in 2-year period
Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate challenging Republican Senator Scott Brown, took home more than $700,000 in compensation from teaching and consulting fees over a two-year period from 2010 to 2011, according to her most recent financial disclosure form.
Over that same period, she was collecting a six-figure salary for two consecutive federal government appointments.
She earned about $165,300 from September 2010 through August 2011 as a special adviser to President Obama, setting up the consumer protection agency she helped establish.
Before that, she collected a total of $192,722 for leading the congressional panel that oversaw the US bank bailout. That government salary covered a period that began before her latest disclosure report, spanning from November 2008 through September 2010.
Those numbers were not required to be in her financial disclosure report but were provided by her campaign.
Warren’s compensation puts her in the top echelon of American earners.
A Democrat, Warren has pitched her campaign as a fight for the middle class, which she says has been left behind in the recession while the financial industry has been protected. Her salary and net worth have been a constant theme in Republican attacks against her.
Brown’s campaign argued yesterday that her high salary makes her “an elitist hypocrite.’’
Within Warren’s $700,000 in teaching and consulting fees is a $43,938 payment she earned in 2010 as a consultant for Travelers Insurance company for cases involving asbestos victims.
“She is firmly entrenched in the same ‘1 percent’ she rails against, and she is more than happy to make tens of thousands of dollars defending powerful insurance companies against middle-class victims,’’ said Jim Barnett, a spokesman for Brown.
“Despite her claims, you don’t need to be a Harvard professor to know that insurance companies don’t hire bigtime lawyers because of their interest in protecting the little guy.’’ But Warren’s campaign said her work for Travelers was intended to make sure victims got a “fair shake’’ in compensation claims.
Democrats argue that Warren’s high salary does not detract from her conviction that the system needs change to protect the middle class.
“Elizabeth went from a maintenance man’s daughter to a Harvard law professor through hard work and determination,’’ said Kyle Sullivan, a Warren spokesman. “She’s made her life’s work understanding the pressures facing families like hers, standing up to the big banks and credit card companies.’’
Warren has also railed at inequities in the tax laws that favor multinational corporations over average wage-earners.
“A big company like GE pays nothing in taxes and we’re asking college students to take on even more debt to get an education,’’ she has said.
Warren’s financial disclosure form shows she owns stock and other investments worth more than $3 million, including between $100,000 and $250,000 in IBM stock. IBM is listed along with GE and 10 other major US companies that relied on loopholes to pay significantly less than the standard corporate rate between 2008 and 2010, according to a report from Citizens for Tax Justice, a politically liberal group.
The report said IBM effectively paid an estimated 3.8 percent in taxes over that period, legally avoiding the full 35 percent rate. The group contended that GE’s effective rate was negative 61.3 percent over that period.
“Elizabeth has been clear and unequivocal that large corporations should pay their fair share of taxes - IBM included,’’ Sullivan said in an e-mail.
Warren’s newest financial disclosure form was filed late last month, a requirement of seeking office. In a previous disclosure, she reported earning $349,375 at Harvard in 2009, in addition to about $182,000 in royalties and consulting fees.
The newest disclosure data from Warren were first reported by the Associated Press.
Brown was most recently required to file in the spring. It showed he earned a $700,000 advance for his memoir, “Against All Odds.’’ He earns $174,000 annually as a US senator.
He will not be required to file again until May 15.
Warren’s form also showed that her house in Cambridge, owned with her husband, Harvard professor Bruce Mann, is worth between $1 million and $5 million. She did not have to disclose Mann’s salary. He is also a tenured professor at Harvard.
Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, have assets worth between about $1 million and $2.3 million - including their home in Wrentham and three Boston rental condos - according to the Associated Press, citing an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics.