Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski has released three years of federal tax returns showing he and his wife earned a total of $36.8 million during that time period, but he stopped short of providing details about who he earned much of that money from while working as a business consultant.
Stefanowski, who is running in a rematch against Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, emailed the 2019, 2020 and 2021 summary pages of the three joint tax returns for him and his wife Amy to reporters Thursday night. In a written statement, his campaign called it the “most comprehensive personal tax return release” by a candidate for governor in recent memory.
The campaign’s statement, which took issue with Lamont not releasing his wife’s tax information earlier this year, said “neither the campaign nor the Stefanowskis will be providing any further comment beyond this release.”
Lamont’s campaign on Friday accused Stefanowski in a written statement of breaking his “promise of transparency” and “hiding his client list from Connecticut voters,” making it unclear who he has worked for since his last campaign in 2018.
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Democrats, who criticized Stefanowski that year for waiting until the final days of the campaign to release a summary of his taxes, have made an issue in 2022 out of his reluctance to release names of his clients.
“There is no telling whose interests he truly represents,” said Lamont’s campaign in a written statement, noting how the certified public accountant and financial analyst who has written two books on mergers and acquisitions, once worked as the CEO of a payday loan company. Stefanowski, 60, who has never held elected office, has also worked for General Electric and investment bank UBS, among other entities.
Stefanowski has said previously that he would release what he could “ethically and legally” provide to the public.
“In a consulting firm, there’s always confidential information,” he told reporters earlier this year.
The tax documents released Thursday night account for income earned by three LLCs, two real estate-related entities owned by Amy Stefanowski, a Realtor, and Lolo Consulting, Bob Stefanowski’s LLC created in April 2017. The campaign said in a statement that Lolo Consulting provides services including “merger & acquisition and due diligence support, corporate strategy and other general consulting services.” Also, Lolo has advised on “acquisitions and joint ventures in the financial services, health care and energy sectors,” according to the statement.
The couple paid $1.78 million in federal taxes on adjusted gross income of $7.3 million in 2019; $5.49 million on $15.25 million in 2020; and $5.23 million on $13.12 million in 2021. The couple also disclosed their personal investments, which included a list of mostly mutual funds, some common stock and private equity investments.
The documents also show a roughly $526,152 charitable tax deduction in 2020, which the campaign said accounted for the purchase and distribution of about 1.6 million face masks the couple gave away during the height of the COVID-9 pandemic when it was difficult to procure personal protective equipment.
The couple’s state tax returns were not released.
Stefanowski has criticized Lamont, the founder of a cable TV company, for not providing voters with more information about his wife’s finances, especially given the ties that Oak HC/FT, the Greenwich venture capital firm cofounded by Annie Lamont, has had with various companies working with the state of Connecticut, including a former vendor contracted by the state to provide COVID-19 testing services. Lamont has said the company, Sema4, has not made a profit. If it did, he said, the money would be donated.
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the taxpayers of Connecticut to ask for the governor’s family to release those numbers,” Stefanowski said earlier this year.
The Lamonts filed a special 16-page plan with state ethics officials that attempts to eliminate the possibility of a substantial conflict of interest or potential conflict involving Annie Lamont. The office concluded in 2019 that the steps taken by the couple to adhere to state ethics rules were “adequate to better ensure compliance.” They include the couple proactively recusing themselves from taking any action that involves Oak HC/FT portfolio companies.