05-28-2024  10:39 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • High Court Upholds South Carolina Redistricting, Displacing Black Voters

    High Court Upholds South Carolina Redistricting, Displacing Black Voters

    The case, Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the N.A.A.C.P., No. 22-807, presented a complex challenge of distinguishing the roles of race and partisanship in drawing voting maps, especially as Black voters predominantly support Democrats. Read More
  • Will Worthey, left, and Lindsey Worthey of Rogers ,help clear debris from a downed tree at the home of Betty Wood on South 24th Street Sunday, May 26, 2024, in Rogers, Ark. Powerful storms left a wide trail of destruction across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. (Charlie Kaijo/The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

    Deadly Storms Leave Behind Destruction Across South

    Storms have killed at least 18 people, injured hundreds and left a wide trail of destruction across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The storms obliterated homes and destroyed a truck stop where drivers took shelter during the latest deadly weather to strike the central U.S. BY Monday the danger will shift to the East Read More
  • Sha'Carri Richardson holds a piece of the tape after winning the women's 100 meters at the Prefontaine Classic track and field meet Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Thomas Boyd)

    Athletes Race In Eugene for Place in Paris Olympics Team

    Sha’Carri Richardson continued her march toward the Paris Olympics on Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, winning the women’s 100 meters in 10.83 seconds. Kenyan Beatrice Chebet set a world record in the 10,000 meters earlier in the day with a time of 28 minutes, 54.14 seconds, while American Christian Coleman won the men’s 100, in a season-best 9.95 seconds Read More
  • GFO Library Open on Memorial Day

    GFO Library Open on Memorial Day

    We are remaining open to give our patrons an opportunity to use the library on a day off from work. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon 2024 Primary Results

Maxine Dexter, Janelle Bynum, Dan Reyfield and Elizabeth Steiner secure nominations; other races too soon to call.

AP Decision Notes: What to Expect in Oregon's Primaries

Oregon has multiple hotly contested primaries upcoming, as well as some that will set the stage for high-profile races in November. Oregon's 5th Congressional District is home to one of the top Democratic primaries in the country.

Iconic Skanner Building Will Become Healing Space as The Skanner Continues Online

New owner strives to keep spirit of business intact during renovations.

No Criminal Charges in Rare Liquor Probe at OLCC, State Report Says

The investigation examined whether employees of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission improperly used their positions to obtain bottles of top-shelf bourbon for personal use.

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free For All Returns for 2024

Parks Local Option Levy brings the city a full slate of free movies, concerts (including pop icon Sheila E), Free Lunch + Play, the...

GFO Library Open on Memorial Day

We are remaining open to give our patrons an opportunity to use the library on a day off from work. ...

Montavilla Jazz Festival Adds Concerts and Venues to Fall Festival

Festival features a three-day village-style celebration of local, world-class artistry with more than 30 concerts and events across 12...

Election Day Information in Multnomah County: Ballots Must Be Returned by 8 p.m. May 21

Today, May 21, 2024, is the last day to vote in the primary election. ...

PCC and Partners Break Ground on Affordable Housing

The new development, set to be a vibrant community hub, will feature 84 income-based apartments ...

Supreme Court leaves in place Avenatti conviction for plotting to extort up to M from Nike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place lawyer Michael Avenatti’s conviction for plotting to extort up to million from Nike. The justices did not comment in rejecting an appeal from Avenatti, who rose to fame representing porn actor Stormy Daniels in...

Bill Walton, Hall of Fame player who became a star broadcaster, dies of cancer at 71

Bill Walton was never afraid to be himself. Larger than life, only in part because of his nearly 7-foot frame, Walton was a two-time NCAA champion at UCLA, a two-time champion in the NBA, a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, an on-court icon in every sense of the word. And off the...

Duke tops Missouri 4-3 in 9 innings to win first super regional, qualify for first WCWS

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — D'Auna Jennings led off the top of the ninth inning with a home run to end a scoreless pitching duel between Cassidy Curd and Missouri's Laurin Krings and 10th-seeded Duke held on for a wild 4-3 victory over the seventh-seeded Tigers on Sunday in the finale of the...

Mizzou uses combined 2-hitter to beat Duke 3-1 to force decisive game in Columbia Super Regional

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Laurin Krings and two relievers combined on a two-hitter and seventh-seeded Missouri forced a deciding game in the Columbia Super Regional with a 3-1 win over Duke on Saturday. The Tigers (48-17) had three-straight singles in the fourth inning, with Abby Hay...

OPINION

The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

Nation’s Growing Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps Need Policy Reform

Never-married Black women have 8 cents in wealth for every dollar held by while males. ...

New White House Plan Could Reduce or Eliminate Accumulated Interest for 30 Million Student Loan Borrowers

Multiple recent announcements from the Biden administration offer new hope for the 43.2 million borrowers hoping to get relief from the onerous burden of a collective

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Richard Dreyfuss' comments about women, LGBTQ+ people and diversity lead venue to apologize

BEVERLY, Mass. (AP) — The actor Richard Dreyfuss showed up in a dress at a “Jaws”-themed event in Massachusetts, where the blockbuster 1975 movie he starred in was shot, and then proceeded to make demeaning remarks about women, LGBTQ+ people and diversity. The venue, The Cabot...

Armenians, Hmong and other groups feel US race and ethnicity categories don't represent them

The federal government recently reclassified race and ethnicity groups in an effort to better capture the diversity of the United States, but some groups feel the changes miss the mark. Hmong, Armenian, Black Arab and Brazilian communities in the U.S. say they are not represented...

South Africa's election could bring the biggest political shift since it became a democracy in 1994

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africans will vote Wednesday to decide whether their country will take its most significant political step since the moment 30 years ago when it brought down apartheid and achieved democracy. This national election will not be as momentous as the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: 'Ascent to Power' studies how Harry Truman overcame lack of preparation in transition

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Harry Truman's ascension to the presidency after Franklin Roosevelt's death was a rocky one, and it came at a pivotal time in the nation's history. Once a senator who complained that the 32nd president treated him like “an office boy,” Truman left the...

Music Review: Twenty One Pilots' concept album 'Clancy' is an energizing end of an era

The end of an era has come for Twenty One Pilots, and what an ending it is. The alternative pop-rock duo, made up of vocalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, have long been candid about anxiety and depression, themes often represented in Joseph's lyrics as he sings, raps and...

Lauryn Hill's classic 'Miseducation' album tops Apple Music's list of best albums of all time

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Let the debate begin. Who has the best music albums ever? Apple Music certainly has an idea. The music streaming giant announced on Wednesday their 10 greatest albums of all time with Lauryn Hill’s 1998 iconic “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” claiming the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OpenAI forms safety committee as it starts training latest artificial intelligence model

OpenAI says it's setting up a safety and security committee and has begun training a new AI model to supplant the...

Georgian parliament overrides presidential veto of the divisive foreign influence bill

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — The Georgian parliament on Tuesday overrode a presidential veto of the “foreign...

What to know about Mexico's historic elections Sunday that will likely put a woman in power

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexicans will vote Sunday in historic elections weighing gender, democracy and populism, as...

First Syrian jet in over a decade transports Muslim worshippers to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — For the first time in over a decade, 270 Syrians traveled on a direct flight early...

North Korean rocket carrying its 2nd spy satellite explodes shortly after launch

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A rocket launched by North Korea to deploy the country’s second spy satellite...

South Africa's election might be a defining moment — with new complications. Here's what to know

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa's election will determine how weary the country has become of the...

Stephen Braun and Jack Gillum the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mitt Romney's newly released tax returns represent an extraordinary accounting of the household finances and far-reaching corporate investments of one of the richest U.S. presidential candidates in generations, with an annual income that tops $20 million.

How the details of Romney's extensive wealth will play among Republican taxpayers, rival campaigns, the media and the American public only started to emerge Tuesday, as more than 500 pages from a 2010 tax return and a 2011 estimate spilled out both significant and minor revelations about Romney's scattered holdings, tax strategies and charitable donations.

The returns outline both the dimensions of Romney's finances and the complexity of the tactics used to reduce his effective tax rate close to the low 15 percent paid by many middle-class Americans. Among the new details contained in the documents are Romney's continuing profits from the private equity firm he founded but no longer runs, a Swiss bank account closed just as Romney launched his White House run and new listings of investment funds that were set up in offshore locations from the Caribbean to Ireland and Luxembourg.

Romney's advisers stressed that he met all his federal tax obligations, provided maximum transparency and did not take advantage of "aggressive" strategies often used by the ultra-rich. Still, for millions of American taxpayers who are just beginning to grapple with their latest returns as tax season looms, Romney's multimillion-dollar returns provide a window into an unfamiliar world.

Tax law experts familiar with the formidable financial portfolios of investment fund managers said Romney's returns would at the very least reinforce the rising public issue of income inequity.

"The average American has a hard time understanding their own two-page tax return let alone Gov. Romney's 200-page return," said Joseph Bankman, a Stanford University professor of business and law who has testified to Congress on tax issues. "What would jump out at anyone is the sheer amount of money and low tax rate he pays, as well as the enormous complexity of his financial transactions."

Romney paid about $3 million in federal income taxes in 2010, having earned more than seven times that from his investments. That income, $21.7 million, put him among the wealthiest of American taxpayers. Romney's campaign said Tuesday he followed all tax laws.

At the same time, Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity - about half of that amount to the Mormon Church - which helped lower his effective tax rate to a modest 14 percent, according to records his campaign released Tuesday.

Romney's income puts him in the top 0.006 percent of Americans, based on the most recent Internal Revenue Service data, from 2009. That year, only 8,274 filers reported income above $10 million.

He could be worth up to $250 million, based on previously released financial information.

The documents were released as President Barack Obama prepared to deliver his State of the Union message, in which he is expected to talk about economic fairness.

Asked during a round of TV interviews Tuesday about Romney's tax rate, given that he's a multimillionaire, White House adviser David Plouffe said: "We need to change our tax system. We need to change our tax code so that everybody is doing their fair share."

Other Democratic Party voices were less restrained. "He used every loophole in the book available to the wealthy and corporations to avoid paying his fair share," said Democratic National Committee Executive Director Patrick Gaspard.

Romney's GOP rivals had no immediate comment. But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, defended the Romney's tax rate as being close to what most Americans pay on long-term capital gains from the sale of investments.

"We all know that there's a reason we have low rates on capital gains," Boehner told reporters "That is because it spurs new investment in our economy and allows capital to move more quickly."

Romney had long refused to disclose any federal tax returns, then hinted he would only offer a single year's return in April. But mounting criticism from his rivals and a hard loss in last week's South Carolina primary forced his hand.

For 2011, Romney will pay about $3.2 million with an effective tax rate of about 15.4 percent, the campaign said. Those returns haven't yet been filed yet.

In total, he would pay more than $6.2 million in taxes on $45 million in income in the past two years, his campaign said.

"Gov. Romney has paid 100 percent of what he owes," said Benjamin Ginsberg, the Romney campaign's legal counsel. Ginsberg and other advisers insisted Romney did not use any aggressive tax strategies to help reduce or defer his tax income.

The advisers acknowledged that Romney continues to earn money from investments from Bain Capital, the Boston-based private equity firm the candidate founded and managed between 1984 and early 1999. Under an agreement with the firm when he left, Romney continued to earn "carried interest" on new Bain investments as a former partner in the firm even though he no longer ran the operation.

Romney earned $7.5 million in Bain earnings in 2010 and expects to make $5.5 million in 2011, Ginsberg said.

The former Massachusetts governor had been cast by his GOP opponents as a wealthy businessman who earned lucrative payouts from his investments while Bain slashed jobs in the private sector. Rival Newt Gingrich released his 2010 returns last Thursday showing he paid almost $1 million in income taxes, a tax rate of about 31 percent.

Romney's advisers acknowledged Tuesday that Romney and his wife, Ann, had a bank account in Switzerland as part of her trust. The account was worth $3 million and was held in the United Bank of Switzerland, said R. Bradford Malt, a Boston lawyer who makes investments for the Romneys and oversees their blind trust, which was set up to avoid any conflicts of interest in investments during his run for the presidency.

In 2009, UBS admitted assisting U.S. citizens in evading taxes, and agreed to pay a $780 million penalty as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.

Malt said he closed the account in early 2010 for "diversification" and because it "just wasn't worth it." He sidestepped a question about whether he did so because the account could have been a political liability, saying it "might or might not be inconsistent with Gov. Romney's political views." Malt has sold off other accounts in recent years - including investments in firms that did business with Iran and China - because of possible political inconsistency or embarrassment with Romney's political positions.

Malt also confirmed that some of Romney's investments are routed through affiliate funds set up in the Cayman Islands. He insisted there were no actual offshore accounts, and added that Romney paid the same amount of U.S. taxes using the Cayman affiliates as he would have if the investment funds were set up in the U.S.

Romney's 2010 tax return also shows a number of foreign investments, including funds based in Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg. The documents also detailed another investment fund routed through a Bain Capital affiliate set up in Bermuda.

The returns showed about $4.5 million in itemized deductions, including $1.5 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Romney's charitable giving is above average, even for someone at his income level. In 2009, more than 37 million filers claimed charitable deductions averaging more than $4,000. Among those making more than $10 million, the average charitable deduction was about $1.7 million, according to the IRS.

Before the tax records were released, Romney's old investments in two government-backed housing lenders stirred up new questions at the same time his campaign targeted Gingrich for his work for Freddie Mac.

Gingrich earned $1.6 million in consulting fees from Freddie Mac. Romney has as much as $500,000 invested in the U.S.-backed lender and its sister entity, Fannie Mae.

The fight over releasing the tax information highlighted an argument that Democrats are already starting to use against Romney - that he is out-of-touch with normal Americans. And it probably hurt him in the South Carolina primary, where he lost by 12 percentage points to Gingrich after spending several days resisting calls to release the returns.

---

Associated Press writers Kasie Hunt reported from Tampa and Stephen Ohlemacher from Washington.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast