Independent candidate Woods says he’ll give Senate salary to Maine charities
YARMOUTH — One of the four independents in the race to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe in the U.S. Senate said Wednesday he plans on donating his entire Senate salary to Maine charities if he’s elected in November.
Steve Woods, chairman of the Yarmouth Town Council and CEO of Falmouth-based TideSmart Global marketing firm, made the announcement the same day he publicly released his federally required financial disclosure report. He also challenged independent former Gov. Angus King, whose financial disclosure revealed millions of dollars in assets and hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, to make the same pledge.
“I feel that we have a social responsibility to each other, and I am fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to donate my salary and help those that are struggling,” Woods said in a statement released by his campaign.
Woods said he would appoint an independent committee of business and nonprofit leaders to decide each year on the Maine charities that would receive the $174,000 annual Senate salary.
In addition to serving on the Yarmouth Town Council and running TideSmart, Woods is a part owner of the Maine Red Claws basketball team.
His financial disclosure documents show Woods earned $200,000 in income as TideSmart’s president and CEO during the reporting period, which covers Jan. 1, 2011, through July 23 of this year. Woods holds the bulk of his wealth in the form of his business and real estate holdings and publicly traded stocks, his 10-page disclosure report shows.
Woods, for example, holds between $50,001 and $100,000 each in Sirius XM Radio and Procter & Gamble stock, between $15,001 and $50,000 each in Ford Motor Co. and General Electric stock, and tens of thousands of dollars in additional wealth in mutual funds and individual retirement accounts.
Woods also managed to snag shares of both Facebook and LinkedIn after the firms’ recent, high-profile initial public offerings. He holds between $1,001 and $5,000 in Facebook stock and less than $1,000 in LinkedIn stock. He doesn’t list significant income from stock dividends.
Woods lists the value of TideSmart, his collective of six marketing businesses, at between $5 million and $25 million, and his stake in the Maine Red Claws is worth between $50,001 and $100,000. Woods also lists a stake in a Portland commercial development firm and values it at between $100,001 and $250,000.
A TideSmart division called TideSmart Realty Holdings is valued at $5 million to $25 million, and another company division that counts the business’ warehouse among its assets is valued at $50,001 to $100,000. The company’s other four divisions are valued at $100,001 to $5 million each.
Woods’ financial disclosure is becoming public well after other candidates in the race filed theirs with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics. A campaign spokeswoman said early last month that Woods received an extension that enabled him to file the document after the May 15 deadline.
All candidates who raise or spend at least $5,000 as part of their campaign efforts are required to file financial disclosure documents.
The latest campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Woods is largely self-funding his campaign. His finance report for April 1 through June 30 showed the candidate took in $320 in contributions from others while loaning his campaign nearly $54,000 and donating $15,000.
King’s campaign didn’t take Woods up on his challenge to the former governor to give his Senate salary to charity.
“Mary and Angus have always given generously to Maine nonprofits and charities and will continue to do so,” campaign spokeswoman Crystal Canney said, referring to King’s wife, Mary Herman. “We encourage all U.S. Senate candidates to give in the best way that they feel they can.”