Brown, Warren to release tax returns
April 24th, 2012
12:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Brown, Warren to release tax returns

(CNN) – Battling to keep his seat Tuesday, Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts called on his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren to release six years of tax returns. And she responded announcing she would instead release four years' worth.

Brown's campaign manager Jim Barnett sent a letter to Warren's campaign, saying the senator will make public his returns from 2006 to 2011 and urged Warren to do the same.

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"You have offered to release far more limited information, and even then have made that contingent on a demand that Senator Brown go first," Barnett wrote in the letter addressed to Warren. "The people of Massachusetts deserve better from their candidates for Senate than the type of political gamesmanship you are engaging in."

Responding to the letter, Warren's campaign said they plan to release four years of returns on Tuesday, besting Brown's release date of Friday by two days.

"Elizabeth Warren has been clear from the beginning that she would voluntarily release her tax returns, and she is glad to see that Republican Senator Scott Brown has finally agreed to do the same. Elizabeth is not a career politician like Senator Brown, but she will release her tax returns for her entire time in public service and by releasing 4 years of returns, she is providing the people of Massachusetts with a transparent and full accounting of her financial situation," her spokeswoman, Alethea Harney, said in a statement to CNN.

The move came after The Boston Globe requested both candidates release last year's returns, as well as the five prior to that.

According to the Globe, Warren had initially agreed to release two years, which would cover the time she served as an adviser to the president during the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Brown's campaign argues six years of returns from Warren would reveal further details about the candidate's six-figure salary as a Harvard law professor, as well as any additional outside legal work.

"Now, as a candidate for U.S. Senate, you have an opportunity to demonstrate that your rhetoric on transparency is more than sanctimony," Barnett said in the letter.

Warren's campaign did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The recent spat marks another sign of the race shaping into a competition over who can be the candidate with the most middle class appeal.

Last week, Brown knocked his opponent as "elitist" and "hypocritical" for declining to pay the elective higher tax rate in the state of Massachusetts, despite her advocacy for the so-called Buffett Rule–a White House proposal that calls for millionaires to pay a higher tax rate.

Very few taxpayers choose to pay the optional rate in Massachusetts, however. According to Bob Bliss, communications director at the state's revenue department, less than 1% of taxpayers paid the rate of 5.83%, slightly higher than the normal tax rate of 5.3%.

Responding to Brown's criticism on the optional tax rate, the Warren campaign argued the point of the Buffet Rule is for everyone to play by the same rules, not arbitrary or voluntary rules.

"The Buffet Rule is about making sure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share, not about funding government through voluntary contributions. This question misses the key point in the debate, because it's not just about economics but about our values," Harney told CNN on Friday.

Filed under: 2012 • Elizabeth Warren • Massachusetts • Scott Brown
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. king

    i dont care what brown have to say, i know when obama took over the presidentcy and the country left from a 9 percent detraction to a 4 percent growth, when brown went into the senate a year later, he had the one vote that took the dems from a 60 percent fillabuster proof senate to 59 percent, that one vote from brown has been vetoing every bill the dems put forward ever since, we stop growing from 4 percent and been under that number up until now. brown filla busting vote have held this coutry down, i know warren is a main street person and will look out for the well fare of mainstreet over wall street greed.

    April 24, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |

    Politcial stunts are not going to win the election Scottie. The fact of the matter is that you're Wall Street's favorite senator. Just how did you accomplish that? Ms. Warren on the other hand is Wall Street's worst nightmare. I'd take her over you any day.


    April 24, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. mark99er

    Brown=conservative in moderate clothing. As a independent from NJ, I would take her in a minute. NO BS, This women is the real deal!!!

    April 24, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. NameBill

    Sen Brown should have no problem then with those who want his buddy, Mitt Romney, to release 6 years of tax returns.

    April 24, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. rob

    "The Buffet Rule is about making sure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.....because it's not just about economics but about our values," Alethea Harney, the campaign's spokeswoman"

    That is the pitifull talking point the Dems are pushing! They have no positive record, no positive agenda, no plan to truely lower deficits or increase economic growth. All Romney has to do is keep the focus on the TRUTH; the economy stinks, people are hurting and we need to completely change course. He will have a positive message and a concreat plan to turn our country around. The Dems will throw the DIRTY kitchen sink at him and the Media will mostly look the other way at the smears and lies about him but Romney can win if he just stays with the truth and a positive message.

    Nov 6. can't come fast enough.

    April 24, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Dave

    Does anyon else out there notice that the GOP have no strategy of their own and just keep doing whatever the Dem's do? It's like they don't have an original thought between them. What the heck are they going to do if they get in and have to deal with Iran, China, Korea, Russia etc. all by themselves????

    April 24, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    Oh horror of horrors! Could it be she made market wage as a professor at one of the most prestigious universities? Why isn't Brow demanding Rmoney to produce his returns for six years? GOBP hypocrite.

    April 24, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. John

    Scott Brown; forget tax records,
    highlight Obama’s and the Democrats FAILED policies,
    highlight Obama’s and the Democrats FAILED economy,
    highlight Obama’s and the Democrats FAILED housing market,
    highlight Obama’s and the Democrats FAILED education system,
    highlight Obama’s and the Democrats FAILED energy plan;
    highlight Obama’s and the Democrats FAILED budgets
    tie Elizabeth Warren to Obama, Obama now has the lowest job approval of any president ever.

    Funny the only bright spot, firearms sales up 66 percent since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007.

    April 24, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. WiredweirdinSF

    I doubt if she will. Too many weird and corrupt organizations supporting her. She is a lot like Debby Wasserman Schultz who demands Mitt Romney release his tax information but refuses to release her own. You know democrat liberals philosophy, how can we fool them today.

    April 24, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    If I were Warren I would release two years, and then talk about more important issues. Let Brown digress to tax returns while you talk about jobs and the economy.

    April 24, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    John wrote:

    Funny the only bright spot, firearms sales up 66 percent since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007.
    Could it have anything to do with the new "stand your ground" laws added in 28 states since 2006? Nah.
    Could it have anything to do with the 500% increase in numbers of armed militia groups since Obama was sworn in? Nah.

    April 24, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Taylor

    Brown is a FAKE diving around in his pick up like he is one of us. Once he got into office he is WALL STREET. People don't get suck in again.......

    April 24, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |