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Billionaire Bloomberg is granted financial disclosure delay

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to supporters Wednesday in New York.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to supporters Wednesday in New York.

WASHINGTON >> Billionaire Michael Bloomberg won’t have to publicly disclose his finances until late March, well after voters in more than a dozen states take to the polls on Super Tuesday.

Presidential candidates are required to reveal their investments, businesses and streams of income. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, is the only Democrat seeking the White House who has yet to file paperwork to publicly disclose his.

And under an extension granted to him today by the Federal Election Commission — the second such one Bloomberg has received — he can postpone their release until March 20.

The timing is significant because Bloomberg has skipped campaigning in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire and is instead staking his bid on a big showing in contests that come later, like Super Tuesday on March 3. By getting approval to delay the release of his finances until after those pivotal contests, he is denying voters information about how much he is worth — and how he invests his money.

“Mr. Bloomberg … has made diligent efforts to prepare his report. Nevertheless, due to the complexity of his holdings and the need to obtain certain information from third parties, Mr. Bloomberg needs additional time to gather and review his financial information and complete and file his report,” his attorney Lawrence H. Norton wrote in a letter to the FEC.

Bloomberg spokeswoman Galia Slayen declined to comment. Bloomberg has pledged to release his tax returns — a decadeslong tradition for presidential candidates until Republican Donald Trump declined to do so during the 2016 campaign — but hasn’t said when.

Bloomberg, who has long considered a White House bid, sits atop a sprawling business empire and is worth more than $50 billion, easily making him the wealthiest candidate in the contest.

He has been laying the groundwork for a campaign for months and has flooded primary states with over $200 million worth of radio and TV advertising since entering the race in November.

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