The campaign of Scott Stringer, Eliot Spitzer’s Democratic opponent in the race for comptroller of New York City, released a brutal campaign ad Wednesday hitting Spitzer for a fresh controversy involving the non-release of his tax returns.
It’s giving a bit of a 2012 presidential feel to a local race that has taken on a more expansive national role in the wake of Spitzer’s decision to run.
The Stringer campaign’s ad accuses Spitzer of hypocrisy in the wake of his criticism last year of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Spitzer blasted Romney for not releasing his full returns at a time when he was embroiled in a controversy over his comments about the “47 per cent” of people who pay no federal income taxes.
“Romney has now made paying taxes the litmus test for good moral standing in our community,” Spitzer said on Current TV at the time. “So while I had grown tired and lost interest in Mitt’s tax returns, I have a sudden, newfound interest in examining them. If payment is the ticket to moral uprightness, I want to see if Mitt has punched his own ticket.”
On Tuesday, Spitzer disclosed his income and taxes paid for the past two years — but he stopped short of releasing the full returns. Spitzer reported an adjusted gross income of $4.27 million in 2012 while paying paid $2.09 million in federal, state and city taxes, a rate of 49%.
Stringer’s campaign is calling on him to release the last five years of full tax returns. As a side note, Spitzer resigned as New York’s governor five years ago.
“The old Eliot Spitzer supported stringent financial disclosure,” Stringer campaign spokeswoman Audrey Gelman said. “Just as we’ve seen on his decision to abandon campaign spending limits he once supported, it’s increasingly clear that Eliot Spitzer believes there are two standards in public life—one for him, and one for everyone else.”
Here’s the ad:
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