US Senator Scott Brown inched closer to releasing his tax returns Friday, telling radio host Jim Braude, “Yeah, actually, we’re taking that under consideration’’
Brown did not fully commit to releasing six years of returns, as the Globe requested Tuesday, but sounded as if he would.
“I’m happy to,’’ he said in response to a question from Braude on 96.9 FM. “You know, I got nothing to hide. It is what it is. Gail and I would certainly love to be transparent. I think, in this position, you need to be. If there are any questions, great.
“So, we’re probably, we’re considering releasing six years, five, six years. I don’t care. You know, whatever.’’
Brown’s campaign did not respond to requests from the Globe to clarify his remarks or to explain if his release would depend on whether Elizabeth Warren, his leading Democratic opponent, agrees to release her returns from the same time frame.
The Globe made the same request to Warren. Her campaign said Tuesday that it will partially grant the request, releasing her returns for 2010 and 2011, but only on the condition that Brown agrees to release his returns for the same period.
Friday, Warren suggested to reporters that she would consider releasing more than two years, if Brown challenges her to do so.
“Obviously, if there is more, we should talk about it,’’ she said in response to a question about Brown’s latest remarks, according to the Associated Press.
Candidates for prominent public offices frequently release their tax returns in the interest of transparency and to reassure voters that their personal financial practices parallel their public rhetoric.
Warren says she did not pay higher state tax rate
Elizabeth Warren acknowledged Friday that she does not pay a voluntary higher tax rate on her state income taxes, a question her campaign had previously refused to answer.
“I paid my taxes, and I did not make a charitable contribution to the state,’’ she told reporters during a campaign event at her Somerville headquarters, according to the Associated Press. The Globe first posed the question on Monday.
Massachusetts allows filers to pay a higher rate if they choose. Warren, a Democrat running for US Senate, criticized incumbent Scott Brown, a Republican, this week for voting against the “Buffett rule,’’ a proposed tax on millionaires named for billionaire financier Warren Buffett, who supports the measure.
The proposal, which would raise the effective tax rate on those earning $1 million a year or more to 30 percent, failed in the Senate Monday night on a procedural vote, which Brown has called an election-year stunt.
Brown’s campaign and state Republicans have criticized Warren, who has earned a six-figure salary and owns assets worth millions, for her previous refusal to answer whether she pays a voluntary higher rate, calling her an “elitist hypocrite’’ who “lectures others about their responsibility to pay higher taxes.’’
Warren has said that questions about her personal practices are not relevant to the public policy debate. The debate, her campaign has said, is “not about funding government through voluntary contributions . . . but about our values.’’
Brown claims responsibility for progress in Washington
Promoting his bipartisan accomplishments, US Senator Scott Brown said on MSNBC Friday that “the only reason we’re getting things done’’ in Washington “is because I’m there.’’
Brown has made the comments in previous public venues, but an appearance on “Morning Joe’’ offered him and his leading Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, a broader format to make their campaign pitches. Each appeared live from Fenway Park, about 30 minutes apart, as part of a special broadcast celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ballpark.
Brown wore a Red Sox jacket. Warren wore a bright red windbreaker, minus the team’s logo. Both were treated warmly, as the cast said frequently how lucky Massachusetts is to have such high-quality candidates for Senate. Warren even got a kiss on the cheek from host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida. Scarborough joked that it would ruin Warren’s career.
The two candidates mostly stuck to their talking points and gushed about how much they love meeting voters on the campaign trail. Warren said the biggest concern she hears is that families fear they can no longer afford to pay for college, a ticket to financial success. She said the election is “about whose side you stand on,’’ contrasting what she calls her fight for the middle class with Brown, who she said stands with Wall Street and oil companies.
Brown talked about his bipartisan record and said voters in Massachusetts want someone who can cross party lines and need someone in the otherwise all-Democratic delegation who can communicate with the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Brown also confided that he practiced throwing a baseball for two weeks before throwing out the first pitch at Fenway for a Red Sox Game, because “if you screw up, it will be on YouTube the rest of your life.’’
Between Warren and Brown’s appearances, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, and former US representative William D. Delahunt discussed politics and Mitt Romney’s reputation among Massachusetts Democrats.
“You couldn’t get to know him’’ Menino said, comparing Romney with other Republican governors.
Brown says he will not drink until Nov. election
US Senator Scott Brown says he has given up drinking throughout his long reelection campaign. Brown said Friday during an interview on WTKK-FM that he will not be drinking alcohol until the night of the election in November. During the interview, Brown called the decision “one of those New Year’s things’’ that he did “on a stupid bet.’’ Brown’s campaign office declined to offer additional details about Brown’s decision to give up drinking during the campaign to retain his Senate seat.
ASSOCIATED PRESSNoah Bierman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.