Sen. Bernie Sanders sold a lot of books and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got an expensive haircut and now Sen. Elizabeth Warren was compensated for her legal services. All of these matters have generated a lot of chatter and media coverage in recent months, because progressive politicians apparently are supposed to eschew … money.
It was Warren who ignited the latest iteration of this progressive impurity news cycle over the weekend when on Sunday she detailed how much she was paid for private legal work she performed over three decades.
The Massachusetts Democrat’s presidential campaign revealed that she made $1.9 million from 1985 to 2009, the bulk of which she made from 1995 on, the same year she accepted a permanent position as a law professor at Harvard. Warren is a bankruptcy expert — an issue she’s talked about often throughout her political career — and much of her private sector work was related to that, as a consultant, an expert witness, and a mediator, amid other roles.
Warren had already released 10 years of tax returns, and in May, she also disclosed a list of her clients and a description of her legal work. But amid an ongoing back-and-forth with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign and his refusal to talk about his work at consulting firm McKinsey or release details about his high-dollar fundraisers, she has now taken her disclosures a step further.
The Warren camp’s thinking appears to be that the more transparency, the better, and that this ups the pressure on Buttigieg to be more forthcoming about his activities — or reinforces a contrast between the pair. But Warren’s disclosure has also opened her up to more scrutiny and refocused the discussion on her, even though the money she made was nice for her bank account, but not a life-changing amount in her prosperous career. Two million dollars across 30 years is about $65,000 a year; across 15 years, it’s a bit more than $130,000. [Continue reading…]