Good news for Senator Harry Reid: If he’s a little bored while waiting for Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, there are plenty of other elected officials — in his own party, to boot! — who merit the same eyebrow-raising he’s directed at the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. The Senate majority leader has expressed consternation about the fact that Romney has some money in offshore accounts, which probably reduces his tax burden. According to the Huffington Post, Reid quipped, “Most Americans don’t have the benefit of Swiss bank accounts or tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.” And Gawker just published more than 950 pages of Bain documents related to Romney’s offshore holdings, saying they detail his use of “exotic tax-avoidance schemes available only to the preposterously wealthy.”
Some of the “preposterously wealthy” Americans who do use such “schemes” include Senators Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), and John Kerry (D., Mass.). That should be music to Reid’s ears, since his transparency crusade might be a little easier to pull off within his own party.
He could start with Feinstein. OpenSecrets.org lists her as the seventh-wealthiest senator, with a net worth between $44 million and $94 million, according to her latest disclosure forms. And, just like Romney, she keeps a portion of it in offshore accounts. Her most recent reports say she has an unspecified amount (at least $1 million) “held independently by the spouse or independent child” in Coral Growth Investments, Ltd., in St. Peter Port, Guernsey. Guernsey, a tax haven, is a small island in the English Channel that early this year drew the ire of a British Labour-party leader for helping wealthy Brits dodge taxes. The California senator also has between $500,000 and $1 million in a fund called Cevian Capital II L.L.C. in Jersey, another of the Channel Islands. According to her latest forms, that holding generated between $15,000 and $50,000 in capital gains, interest, and dividends. Feinstein has another $1,000 to $15,000 in Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean off Madagascar that is an up-and-coming tax haven.
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