Most Fourth Congressional District Democratic Candidates Say They Will Release Their Tax Returns

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Nine Democrats want to succeed U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III and represent Massachusetts’s Fourth Congressional District, but how many of them are willing to release their tax returns in their quest to win the primary?

One already has, and at least six others say they intend to do so, their campaigns tell New Boston Post.

Last month, Brookline Democrat Jesse Mermell released five years of her tax returns and issued a challenge to other candidates in the race to do the same. 

Mermell, who has served as a senior adviser to former governor Deval Patrick, a selectman in Brookline, and vice president for external affairs for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, touted herself as providing transparency.

The tax returns revealed, as New Boston Post reported, that the the pro-spending liberal did not pay the optional higher state income tax rate of 5.85 percent available to those who want to contribute more than required to the state government.

As of Wednesday, July 15, Mermell was the only candidate in the Democratic primary who has released tax returns. New Boston Post reached out to the campaigns for the other eight Democrats running.

The campaign for Ben Sigel offered a conditional affirmation.

“I believe in transparency for our Members of Congress and elected officials, so I will happily release my tax returns when the other candidates do the same,” Sigel said by email through a campaign spokesman.

Sigel serves as the director of client and community relations and special counsel for Mintz Levin, a Boston law firm. He previously worked as a civil litigator.

A spokesman for Newton city councilor Becky Grossman said voters should expect to see Grossman’s returns.

“Our campaign is committed to transparency and providing voters with all the information they need to make their decision,” Grossman campaign manager Alex Vuskovic told New Boston Post by email. “We will be releasing Becky’s tax returns after it is completed in the coming weeks.”

The returns for Natalia Linos, a Brookline resident and the executive director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard, could be the next ones to be revealed, according to a spokesman. 

Karyn Bruggeman, who serves as Linos’s press secretary, told New Boston Post in an email message,  “Natalia’s planning on releasing returns for the most recent year this week.”

Bruggeman also said she will provide New Boston Post the link to the returns once they’re posted.

Dave Cavell, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and Brookline resident, will also make his tax returns public “in the next few days,” his press secretary Hannah Kahn told New Boston Post by email.

“I’ve been a public servant throughout my career, and am more than happy to be as transparent with my tax returns as I have been with my student loan debt,” Cavell said in a statement sent by Kahn.

Alan Khazei, a Brookline resident, who serves as one of 11 commissioners on the Federal Commission on Military, National and Public Service, plans to do the same. His lead communication strategist Hanganh Vo told New Boston Post in an email message:  “Alan is happy to release his tax returns.”

Additionally, when asked if former Wall Street regulator, democratic socialist, and Brookline resident Ihssane Leckey will release her returns, campaign spokesman Josh Miller-Lewis told New Boston Post in an email message:  “yes.”

Spokesmen for two candidates had not responded to New Boston Post’s inquiry as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 15:  Jake Auchincloss and Chris Zanettos.

Auchincloss serves on the Newton City Council. Zanettos, a Wellesley resident, has created software companies that provide cybersecurity and other services.

The primary is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1.

As for the money race:

As of the end of the first quarter of 2020 (March 31, 2020), Auchincloss led the pack in total campaign donations ($1,095,611.21), followed by Khazei in a close second ($1,074,129.24), according to the Federal Election Commission.

The other candidates, in order, were Grossman ($637,921.05), Mermell ($558,633.42), Cavell ($301,158.09), Sigel ($219,629.12), and Leckey ($203, 816.34).

Those seven candidates had not reported second quarter 2020 receipts (April 1 through June 30) as of Wednesday, July 15.

Two candidates had:  Zannetos during the second quarter raised $650,524.74; Linos in the second quarter raised $202,361.35.

The Fourth Congressional District stretches from Newton, Brookline, and Needham to the north to Somerset and Seekonk in the south.

Massachusetts Fourth Congressional District, courtesy of Wikipedia