Elizabeth Warren's Demand That Scott Brown Release More Tax Returns Backfires
Yesterday Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren indignantly demanded that her opponent, incumbent Senator Scott Brown, release more of his tax returns. Today, the Boston Globe reports that Ms. Warren backed off that demand when it was revealed that Brown has already released the past six years of his tax returns, while she has refused to release more than her past four years:
Asked to reconcile that apparent conflict, Warren backed off her demand, saying today that six years was enough. She did not, however, offer to release any more of her IRS filings.
Both candidates were asked by the Globe in April to release six years of tax returns, a common request to check for conflicts of interest, and contradictions between a candidate’s policy pronouncements and personal financial practices.
Brown agreed to allow reporters into his campaign office to inspect all six years of documents. Warren would only agree to allow reporters to inspect four years worth of returns, releasing some documents outright and allowing reporters into her office to review the supporting documents covering the same period.
It was yet another embarrassing gaffe for Ms. Warren, whose political tone deafness has become a recurring theme of the campaign. As a recent article in the New Republic tells it, long time Democratic operatives in Massachusetts are tiring of Ms. Warren's never ending stream of common sense errors:
It was a packed house on a Friday night last January at the Elks Lodge in the solidly Democratic Boston neighborhood of West Roxbury. Several hundred locals had turned out to welcome home Mike Rush, a Democratic state senator who’d just completed an eight-month tour in Iraq with the Naval Reserves. Warren did not attend—but Brown did. “I’m guessing that, in this crowd of people, that on paper are heavily Democratic registration, he will do very, very well,” Larry DiCara, a former Democratic president of the Boston City Council, told me recently. DiCara’s law firm has held a fund-raiser for Warren, but he didn’t hide his admiration for Brown. “Scott Brown walks into a room without an entourage, drinks beer out of a bottle, attends events, enjoys himself, and stays. And he’s a really easy guy to like.” ...
In particular, veteran politicos were dismayed by the Cherokee controversy—the revelation that Warren’s Ivy League employers had counted her as a Native American, despite scant genealogical evidence. “You look at it and say, ‘Shouldn’t that be a one- or two-day deal?’” says [Jim] Shannon. “It turned into a month.” (The conservative Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr nicknamed Warren “Fauxchohontas,” and it stuck.) So far, polls suggest the Cherokee story has had little impact. But Birmingham was convinced it had drawn blood, by identifying Warren with a diversity-obsessed ivory tower, and he feared many voters wouldn’t give her the benefit of the doubt. “If she weren’t using it for her academic advantage, she hasn’t come up with a plausible explanation for why she was claiming it,” Birmingham says. He went on: “The only fear about Warren has been borne out. Although on paper she seemed great, she’s very articulate, people think she’ll kill Brown in the debates, she’s very, very smart. But as a candidate she’s completely untested.”
With even liberal mainstream media publications like the Boston Globe and the New Republic reporting on Ms. Warren's political blunders, her electoral prospects continue to fade, even in Massachusetts, the bluest of blue states. It's unclear if she'll be able to regain her footing in time for the election in November, despite the vast amount of out-of-state financial support she continues to receive.
Michael Patrick Leahy is a Breitbart News contributor, Editor of Broadside Books’ Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, and author of Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.