Campaign aides for Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said Wednesday that Sen. Hillary Clinton has been "cagey" about when she will release her and her husband's income tax returns and exactly what she will release. The Clinton campaign has said the couple will release their returns by April 15, the federal tax filing deadline.
Almost simultaneously Clinton's deputy press secretary Phil Singer said Obama's claims of openness were "just words" and said Obama could be more forthcoming about data dealing with his early career in the Illinois State Senate.
Singer's criticisms came just as a conservative think-tank, Judicial Watch, charged Obama with side-stepping promises he made about disclosing his records when he was a state senator, 1996-2003.
When questioned on "Meet the Press" Nov. 11, 2007, by host Tim Russert, Obama said, "well, let's be clear; in the state Senate every single piece of information, every document related to state government was kept by the State of Illinois and has been disclosed and is available and has been gone through with a fine-toothed comb by news outlets in Illinois ... every document related to my interactions with government is available right now."
In response to Judicial Watch's open records request, the Illinois Secretary of State said it does not maintain Sen. Obama's papers, or maintain records generated by his office. The secretary said it had not received any request from Obama to receive anything Obama generated.
Obama's successor, Sen. Kwame Raoul, told Judicial Watch that any document he would have inherited from Sen. Obama "would have been constituent work files, and those were reviewed and discarded upon me taking office."
Obama has posted online his tax returns dating to 2000, something that the Clintons have yet to do.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Sen. Clinton has pledged to appoint an attorney general with a solid record of public accountability while Obama has promised to use technology to make the federal government more transparent even broadcasting cabinet meetings over the Internet.
-- Douglas Turner
taggedRace for the White House