Martin O'Malley finances: Solid pensions, modest assets

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley's time in public office in Baltimore and Maryland has left him with limited assets but valuable public pensions, according to new financial and tax records O'Malley released Wednesday.

O'Malley and his wife, Catherine Curran O'Malley, a district court judge in Baltimore, have earned solid salaries in recent years as public officials, together bringing in nearly $270,000 in wages last year, supplemented by an additional $61,000 in pension payments stemming from O'Malley's sixteen years as a Baltimore mayor and councilman.

O'Malley will begin collecting in 2018 an additional pension from his time as governor — which will be $90,000 a year based on the current governor's salary. As a state judge, his wife is also in line to eventually receive a pension as well. O'Malley's pensions alone, converted into the form of an annuity, would be worth well over a million dollars.

But the O'Malleys have little savings aside from their pensions, a circumstance that his campaign said reflects the cost of Catholic school for the couple's four children and college tuition for two of them so far. O'Malley's financial disclosure lists at least $300,000 in student loan from the children's education.

"They made sacrifices and took on debt to invest in something they really believe in - the best education possible for their daughters," spokeswoman Haley Morris wrote in an e-mail.

In addition to the educational debt, the O'Malleys list a personal line of credit between $100,000 and $250,000, and a mortgage of undisclosed size. Other public records indicate O'Malley took out a 30-year mortgage for $494,100 in December 2014 for the family's Baltimore home, which they purchased for $549,000.

By law, presidential candidates must file a statement of their finances with the Federal Election Commission — but O'Malley additionally released the last five years of tax returns. Both the relatively straightforward nature of the O'Malley's finances and the release of the tax returns contrast with the disclosures by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the heavily favored contender for the Democratic nomination.

Since leaving office, O'Malley has more than replaced his salary as governor with fees from speaking engagements, a salary for a visiting professorship at John Hopkins and a seat on the board of directors of Barcoding Inc., a Baltimore-based technology company. Speaking fees account for the majority of that income, with fees ranging from $5,000 for an event hosted by JetBlue to $147,000 for a series of speeches delivered to Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc., a California-based geo-location and data company. During his time as Baltimore's mayor, O'Malley championed the increasing use of such data to guide government services and policy decisions.

O'Malley's speaking-fee income — while lavish by most Americans' standards — pales next to that of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton's financial disclosure form, released in May, showed that the Clintons earned more than $25 million in speaking fees since the beginning of 2014.

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