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Scott Brown details finances since leaving Senate

In shift, he releases records; earned $126,000 from Fox News

Scott Brown, now running for Senate in New Hampshire, agreed Friday to let reporters review eight years of tax returns filed by him and his wife Gail Huff.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/File

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars since leaving office by collecting speech fees, a six-figure paycheck from Fox News, and a variety of other income, according to documents made public Friday.

Brown, who lost his 2012 bid for reelection and is now seeking a US Senate seat in New Hampshire, made 20 paid speeches for $186,000 between January 2013 and May 2014. They included a London address to the Royal Bank of Scotland for $20,000 last year, a $900 speech at the Billerica Community Alliance in October, and a $20,000 paycheck for speaking at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas last month.


Brown also earned $126,000 from Fox News since February 2013, working as a commentator until he quit this year. The law firm Nixon Peabody, which Brown joined in March 2013, paid him $225,000 until he left recently to run for Senate.

Brown filed his current financial disclosure statement with the US Senate Ethics Committee and let reporters review his federal tax returns for 2006 through 2013 after he had been criticized by Democrats for some of his post-Senate ventures, including his role as an adviser to an obscure Florida penny stock company, and for his ties to Wall Street.

His release of the information Friday marked a reversal for Brown, who had last month obtained a delay in filing his personal financial disclosure form until August, a month before the Republican primary.

Upon releasing the information, the Brown campaign promptly challenged the Democratic incumbent, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, to follow through on a promise she made to release her tax returns if Brown made his public.

"The Browns are proving they are committed to transparency and accountability," campaign manager Colin Reed said in a statement. "We expect that Senator Shaheen will also release eight years of joint returns, as she promised if Scott Brown did the same."


Shaheen's campaign said it would release six years of returns, but would not say when.

"The senator said she would release her tax returns and she will," Shaheen campaign spokesman Harrell Kirstein said on Friday. "We are readying the returns now and hope to have them available for review soon."

Brown's financial disclosure shows he received no income from Global Digital Solutions Inc., an obscure Florida company that initially gave the former senator stock valued at $1.3 million. Brown resigned from the company's advisory board earlier this month and relinquished his stock, after the Globe reported in detail on its scant assets and business practices that raised questions among accountants.

Brown's taxable income for 2013 was $474,000, down from a recent high of $840,000 he earned in 2010, when his surprise Senate victory turned him into a national phenomenon, enabling him to sign a deal worth at least $1 million for his memoir, "Against All Odds."

But even with that decline, the income earned by Brown and his wife, television reporter Gail Huff, is well above what they earned in the immediate years before Brown entered national politics. Their taxable income in that period was $276,000 in 2007 and $357,000 in 2006.

Brown and Huff reported assets on Friday worth between $1 million and $3.1 million and liabilities between $325,000 and $1 million.

As he did in Massachusetts, Brown has sought to present an image of himself as a regular guy with a pickup truck for his New Hampshire Senate bid. New Hampshire's median household income, among the nation's highest, is about $65,000.


Like Brown, Shaheen and most members of Congress would also be considered wealthy compared with average Americans. More than half of all members of Congress are millionaires.

Shaheen previously reported on her financial disclosure that she and her husband have assets worth between $3.7 million and $7.9 million and liabilities of between $2 million and $4.2 million.

Brown had previously made six years of his tax returns public, during his 2012 Senate campaign.

This month, the Globe and WMUR had both requested the six most recent tax returns from all the New Hampshire Senate candidates. For Brown, that meant releasing two additional tax years, 2012 and 2013.

"It's a way of taking the initiative," said Wayne Lesperance, a political scientist at New England College, said about Brown's release. "And every day that something doesn't come out from the Shaheen campaign, he can point out that she's breaking a promise."

Brown's Republican primary opponents have both said they do not plan to release their returns. Bob Smith, former US senator, said Friday that he would reconsider over the next few days.

"He just voluntarily did it," Smith said. "He didn't have to do it as far as I'm concerned."

Jim Rubens, former New Hampshire state senator, said he would not release his returns because he feels the financial disclosure form that he submitted to the senate Ethics Committee gives voters a fuller picture.


Reporters were allowed access to the Browns' tax returns in a sparsely furnished back room in Brown's campaign headquarters in downtown Manchester. Campaign officials did not allow any photographs or recordings of the documents.

Brown's tax returns show that he paid an effective tax rate of 24 percent in 2013, in line with what he and his wife paid in other years.

Though Brown reported taxable income of $474,000, the financial disclosure form he submitted to the Senate Ethics Committee includes more income because of losses and business expenses that he is allowed to include in his taxes. The Browns also reported a $200,000 gain on the sale of their Massachusetts home for $544,000 last year.

In addition to giving several paid speeches to members of the financial community, Brown was also paid $32,000 this year to serve as an adviser to 1st Alliance Lending, a Hartford-based mortgage company. Brown has also been paid to serve on numerous boards, including Kadant Inc., a Westford supplier to the paper industry.

More coverage:

N.H. Senate candidates rebuffing tax return requests

Jeanne Shaheen leads Scott Brown in new poll

Joan Vennochi: Brown's special political magic disappears in N.H.

New doubt about firm Scott Brown advised

Scott Brown got big stake in obscure Florida firm

Staff writer Todd Wallack contributed. Bierman can be reached at noah.bierman@globe.com. O'Sullivan can be reached at jim.osullivan@globe.com.