Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Charlie Crist releases 10 more years of income tax returns — but not his wife's

TALLAHASSEE — Prodded by a pointedly personal TV ad by Gov. Rick Scott, Charlie Crist released a decade's worth of tax returns Thursday, but it was old news that mainly reinforced Crist's frugal reputation.

The Democratic candidate for governor released tax returns for 2001 through 2010 and promised many more years to come, but the first batch held no revelations.

That's because Crist had released the same tax returns every year during the decade where he held the three statewide elected positions of education commissioner, attorney general and governor. The returns were reported on at the time and have been sitting in the files of the Commission on Ethics.

"Charlie releasing tax returns he has already released instead of making the returns of him and his spouse public is a joke," said a spokeswoman for Scott's campaign, Jackie Schutz.

Crist refuses to release the tax returns of his wife Carole, who files separately, runs a family costume and novelty business, and owned a luxury condominium on Miami's Fisher Island that was offered for sale at $3.7 million three years ago.

Crist took offense at Scott's TV ad that showed Carole Crist and accused him of "hiding."

"She's not the candidate. I am," Crist said.

Scott noted that three previous candidates for governor, Alex Sink, Bill McBride and Jeb Bush, released their spouses' tax information (Sink and McBride were married).

Scott and his wife, Ann, last week released joint tax returns for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Scott's most recent net worth is $132.7 million, and the returns show a vast investment portfolio with holdings in such familiar companies as Bristol Myers Squibb, Wells Fargo and Tandy Brands.

Crist, who as governor created the Office of Open Government, is incensed that Scott claims to be more transparent.

On Thursday, Crist promised to release more tax returns dating to 1991, "before Rick Scott even lived in Florida, and before Scott was forced to plead the fifth 75 times to avoid self-incrimination," Crist's campaign said.

Crist, a bachelor for eight of those 10 tax years released Thursday, lived on his state salary and nurtured a tidy nest egg that included an IRA, a Fidelity brokerage account and state deferred compensation.

By 2006, he had paid off a car note, was debt-free and did not own a home.

His returns show no contributions to charities and, in 2003, he reported taking a hit on a stock purchase of Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant. He reported a capital-gains loss of $14,000.

After Crist left office and lost a 2010 U.S. Senate bid, his income quadrupled in one year from $135,000 in his last year as governor to $590,000 in 2011, his first year as a rainmaker at the Morgan & Morgan law firm, in addition to consulting fees.

Crist released his tax returns for 2011, 2012 and 2013 last week when he filed papers to run for governor.

He released his older tax returns at a time when his candidacy has hit a particularly rough patch. Earlier this week, he scrapped plans to visit Cuba, saying he had to devote his full attention to the campaign.

At the same time, a mysterious third-party group called Progressive Choice Florida is spending $50,000 on radio ads that portray Crist as an enemy of African-Americans because, as a Republican, he supported tougher sentencing laws and chain gangs for prisoners, and opposed stricter handgun regulations.

In response, a group of black elected and appointed officials defended Crist from what they called "despicable race-baiting" and called on Scott to denounce the ads.

"Rick Scott needs to take responsibility for these disgusting ads and put a stop to them —now," said the group , which included Reps. Alan Williams and Shevrin Jones, former Sen. Tony Hill and Quincy Police Chief Walt McNeil, who headed two state agencies when Crist was governor.

Progressive Choice claims it's a left-leaning group that opposes Crist because of his past support for conservative causes.

"This has been a remarkably sad week in this race," Crist campaign manager Omar Khan said in a statement, citing the fact that Scott's TV ad on taxes criticized Crist for not releasing his wife's returns. "Rick Scott made it very clear a year ago he intended to run a nasty personal campaign and, for once, he's been true to his word."

Contact Steve Bousquet at or (850) 224-7263.

Read Crist's tax returns

Charlie Crist releases 10 more years of income tax returns — but not his wife's 06/26/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary


    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]
  2. June 26 marks the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series.
  3. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy


    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  4. Philando Castile family reaches $3 million settlement in death


    MINNEAPOLIS — The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last year, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement in his death, according to an announcement Monday by her attorneys and the Minneapolis suburb that employed the officer.

    A handout dashboard camera image of Officer Jeronimo Yanez firing at Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn., July 6, 2016. [Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension via The New York Times]
  5. From the food editor: Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders


    I decided my almond chicken obsession was becoming a bit much.

    Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.