California voters get an unprecedented glimpse into the personal finances of the candidates who will replace Governor Gavin Newsom on recall in September after hundreds of pages of documents posted online listing salaries, investments and taxes over the past five years .
The far-reaching disclosure was tacitly made on Sunday by state election officials under a 2019 state law originally intended to enforce tax disclosure by then-President Trump – a provision that has been struck down in both federal and state courts the mandate for gubernatorial elections retained in California.
Forty-one candidates qualified for the September 14 recall election last week, though the final number remained in doubt on Monday after conservative talk radio host Larry Elder insisted his name was mistakenly removed from the list. Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s staff posted a letter to Elder stating that his tax return was “incomplete.”
Newsom, who could be removed from office before his four-year term expires, has already disclosed several years of personal income, including $ 1.7 million in 2019, and supports similar transparency from its dismissal opponents. Even so, the law he signed two years ago says it applies to candidates who want to be included in “a direct primary vote” and leaves the question of whether dismissal should be treated the same way.
Some candidates’ forms include simple statements of salary earned and taxes owed. Others – including several prominent Republicans who wanted to replace Newsom – provided personal income tax returns that outline a complex infrastructure of payments received and debt owed.
Of the top GOP nominees, reality TV star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner reported the highest total earnings, primarily from television appearances and her entertainment and publishing businesses, with an income of more than $ 5.5 million from 2016 to 2019.
Jenner’s publisher CJ Memories Inc. brought in $ 1.5 million in 2017, presumably from her book “The Secrets of My Life” published that year. The memoirs reveal her struggles with gender identity and the impact on her three marriages, and provide a glimpse into her life as a member of the Kardashian family when the reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” brought her world fame.
The candidate, who left the state for a reality TV appearance in Australia last week, failed to file a 2020 tax return. A Jenner spokesperson did not respond to questions about this or any other information in the tax returns.
In 2019, Jenner reported gross adjusted income of $ 546,602 and paid $ 142,000 in federal income taxes after the deduction of her refund.
The television star did not donate to charity in 2019, instead donating a total of $ 446,000 over the previous three years. Most of the donations went to the Caitlyn Jenner Foundation, which has provided funds to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the University of Texas in Support of Social Justice and Gender Discrimination Prevention, and Trans Chorus LA. In 2016, Jenner donated her Porsche 911 GT3 to her foundation, valued at $ 169,400 – the sports car had only driven 15,334 miles.
With the income from her investments and a Screen Actors Guild pension, Jenner received a steady income from her entertainment company, Cait’s World Inc. – the owner of the official Caitlyn Jenner brand, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. Jenner received a salary from Team Tours in 2016; State records show that there is a Burbank company by the same name that does payroll for entertainers and musicians.
Detailed finances were also reported by San Diego area businessman John Cox, whose filings show he made $ 2.7 million from 2016 to 2019, with the bulk of it coming from investments in rental real estate.
Cox reported adjusted gross income of $ 910,100 in 2018, of which $ 539,746 came from rental properties and business partnerships. In 2019, he reported $ 543,900 in real estate rental income and $ 393,000 in capital gains from stock investments – reduced after deductions and losses to an adjusted gross income of $ 278,900.
In both years, the political activist and former GOP gubernatorial candidate received large tax refunds, citing his losses and deductions: in 2018, all but $ 11,600 of his $ 350,000 in tax payments were refunded. In 2019, Cox’s tax return stated that he paid $ 56,700 in federal taxes and returned up to about $ 1,000.
Cox also reported making $ 170,000 in charitable donations in 2019 in the form of stocks and property use to groups, with $ 150,000 going to the Rescue California Education Foundation – often cited along with the failed efforts of the candidate in recent years to qualify an electoral measure that have expanded the size of the state parliament. The previous year, he said he was donating $ 491,000 to charity, despite not listing the groups that benefited from the donations.
Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has not provided the 2020 returns as his campaign said the candidate had not yet submitted them. In joint filings for 2019, Faulconer and his wife Katherine Stuart reported adjusted gross income of $ 358,119 – a significant increase compared to the filings published for the previous three years. Most of that 2019 revenue came from Stuart’s restaurant event planning business, while Faulconer’s salary as mayor was $ 71,221.
The couple donated $ 6,652 to charity and paid $ 53,660 in federal taxes. They reported adjusted gross income of $ 186,429 in 2018 and paid $ 23,394 in federal taxes. Last year, Faulconer and Stuart reported their combined adjusted gross income at $ 199,640, up from $ 142,609 in 2016.
Two Sacramento Republicans participating in the recall provide an example of the wide range of personal finances and wealth. Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) reported an income of $ 113,311 in 2020, almost entirely from his lawmaker salary. Former MP Doug Ose, meanwhile, filed a 100-page tax return for 2019 that included complicated transactions involving multiple companies, a trust, and foreign income. The GOP real estate investor reported adjusted gross income of $ 710,910 that year. He owed $ 193,086 in federal taxes but received a refund of $ 67,073 based on previous payments and credits from the previous tax year.
Other candidates who are known from their pop culture personalities also provide information about their earnings.
Kevin Paffrath, a private financial entrepreneur and real estate agent, also said he hadn’t filed his 2020 tax returns. In joint filings for 2019, he and wife Lauren Paffrath reported adjusted gross income of $ 468,458 that year and paid $ 83,463 in federal taxes. About half of her revenue came from her company, the Paffrath Organization, and the candidate told the Times that real estate commissions and YouTube revenue made up the bulk of the company’s income. According to their submission for 2019, the couple also own eight rental properties.
Voters are unlikely to learn much about the finances of Angelyne, the model with the unique name known for their billboards in Los Angeles, from their tax returns. Angelyne, which also ran in the 2003 recall, paid no federal taxes in 2020 or 2019 and reported negative adjusted gross income in both years. She reported that she received $ 28,200 in unemployment benefits in 2020, of which she repaid $ 1,800. She reported that she had $ 777,574 in gross income or sales and $ 284,352 in gross profit that year.
The entertainer, who often drove around LA in a pink Corvette, reported on her tax return that she owned three of the vehicles, all primarily for business purposes.
Two of the candidates stated that they had not filed a tax return in the past five years. Others only disclosed tax returns for a year or two. A foreign minister’s spokesman said Monday that all of the candidates listed online have met the requirements of the 2019 law.
Nickolas Wildstar, a Fresno Republican candidate who said he was a “self-employed digital marketer,” said the Internal Revenue Service had contacted him in the past about his tax return status and that he would abolish income taxes if he became governor would be chosen.
“I support voluntary taxation,” said Wildstar. “I don’t feel that the government should be collecting this money without our consent.”
Income taxes were disclosed in the run-up to the recall elections in late summer. Candidates had a deadline on Friday to secure a spot on the ballot and the final lineups are expected by the end of this week. From there, Newsom and the replacement candidates have to compete in the sprint with only eight weeks to go until election day.
In reality, the campaign will be even shorter – ballot papers will be sent to every registered voter from mid-August, a special regulation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This, and the growing popularity of postal voting, will be in stark contrast to the 2003 recall, when voters removed the government of the time. Gray Davis out of office. In this competition, more than 70% of all voting papers were cast in person.