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The Boston Globe

Politics

Ahead of tax releases, Democrats hit Brown

State and national Democrats are attempting to spin today’s release of tax returns in the Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren US Senate race, arguing that Brown’s returns will show he, too, is a wealthy individual despite his attacks on his rival and the regular-guy image he cultivates.

“When Scott Brown went to Washington, Massachusetts families barely knew him,” Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh said in a statement announcing a new web video being released by the party“Now, it’s clear there’s a millionaire under that $675 barn jacket, with as much as $100,000 in big oil and big bank stocks, and real estate estimated at more than $1.6 million.”

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The video cites previous media reports about the incumbent Republican, as well as details included in federal financial disclosure forms.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a Washington-based organization aimed at electing Democrats to the Senate, sent a memorandum to reporters Thursday night covering much of the same ground.

It notes reports showing that Brown owned six houses - a blend of personal and investment properties - and that his trademark barn coat is made not of traditional canvas but higher-end suede, while the green pickup he highlights in his lunchbucket appeal was bought not for blue-collar purposes but to tow his daughter’s horse trailer.

“After spending weeks attacking Elizabeth Warren for her own success, Scott Brown’s tax returns will reveal that his ‘everyman’ image doesn’t match reality, just like his record in the Senate,” said DSCC spokesman Matt Canter. “Don’t get us wrong; we applaud success. But Scott Brown has tried to pretend he is something he is not.”

Responding to a Globe request, both Brown and Warren are set today to release recent tax returns.

Candidates for prominent public offices frequently release such returns in the interest of transparency and to reassure voters that their personal financial practices parallel their public rhetoric.

The senator will comply with the Globe’s full request - the most recent returns filed last week, plus returns for the previous five years - while Warren will release returns for the past four years. That covers the span she served in the Obama administration and also has been a political candidate.

Leading up to that disclosure, though, Brown has hammered Warren, in part by accusing her of being a hypocrite for pushing higher tax rates while refusing to voluntarily pay a higher tax rate made available to filers of Massachusetts state income tax returns.

The Brown campaign has also accused Warren of hypocrisy for complaining about skyrocketing education costs and a potential doubling of Stafford Loan interest rates while she had recently been paid $350,000 by Harvard Law School, and received a no-interest loan from the school as part of her compensation package.

“It’s not right that students and their families are paying more so that she can pay nothing,” said Brown campaign manager Jim Barnett.

Glen Johnson can be reached at johnson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.
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