BOSTON Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren are wrangling over each other’s work histories as lawyers as the two candidates in Massachusetts’ hard-fought U.S. Senate race gear up for their third debate.
Part of the sparring has been over how much information each campaign will release about their candidate’s former clients.
After saying they were compiling a full list of Brown’s clients in response to media inquiries, Brown campaign officials on Tuesday refused to make the list public, demanding Warren release a full client list first.
The decision came despite Brown saying last week he would release the list.
The campaign said Warren “has failed to match Scott Brown’s level of transparency at every turn.”
“When Elizabeth Warren matches Scott Brown’s disclosures on tax returns and personnel files, and releases a truly complete list of her legal work, then Scott Brown will be happy to do the same,” said Brown spokeswoman Alleigh Marre, referring to Brown’s demand that Warren release her personnel files since taking a job as a professor at Harvard Law School.
Warren’s campaign said she’s already released far more information about her clients than Brown has ever released during more than two decades as a public official.
It said Brown’s refusal to release his client information means voters can’t know whether there have been any conflicts of interest between the Republican incumbent’s legal work and his work as a public official.
“(Brown) has never disclosed the services he provided for specific clients or if that work posed a conflict of interest with his work in the state Legislature,” Warren spokeswoman Julie Edwards said Tuesday.
Warren’s campaign has released details of Warren’s past legal work but not a complete list of all the cases she’s worked on.
The list includes more than a dozen cases the Harvard Law professor helped argue in federal courts going as far back as 1995. They include six cases Warren worked on before the U.S. Supreme Court, four that went to the U.S. Court of Appeals and three that went to U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The campaign said those cases could all be found on public databases. The list didn’t include all the cases the Democrat worked on as a consultant.
Warren’s legal work since 2008, when she was tapped to head the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, has also been made public.
Brown has said he worked as a title agent for Fidelity National and First American and worked with smaller mortgage companies and banks including Middlesex Savings Bank, Wrentham Cooperative Bank and Hyde Park Cooperative Bank. He said he worked on real estate closings, but he’s never done any foreclosures or any subprime mortgages.
Brown also serves as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, or JAG Corps.
One reason both campaigns are cautious about releasing more details is the fear of giving the other side political ammunition.
Brown has criticized Warren for working for Dow Chemical in the 1990s when its subsidiary Dow Corning filed for bankruptcy after being sued for manufacturing breast implants that women said made them sick.
Brown’s campaign accused Warren of advising Dow about how to limit its liability but offered little documentation to back up the claim, which a Warren spokeswoman called “flat-out wrong.”
Warren’s campaign said she worked on the case but noted that she is an expert in the creation of trusts to make sure victims are compensated. One result of the bankruptcy was the creation of a $2.35 billion settlement fund for thousands of women who received the implants.
Brown has also pointed to another case Warren worked on for Travelers Insurance in which she helped defend the company against asbestos poisoning settlements.
An ad released by Brown’s campaign last week said Warren helped Travelers limit the amount of money victims of asbestos poisoning would get.
Warren released a pair of response ads from the families of asbestos victims defending her work.
In one, Kingston resident Virginia Jackson says her husband died in 1990 of mesothelioma – a cancer linked to asbestos – after he was exposed while working at a Quincy shipyard.
Jackson credits Warren for going “all the way to the Supreme Court to try to get more money for asbestos victims.”
Warren has also faulted Brown for refusing to release the names of lobbyists he’s met with since winning the 2010 special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of longtime Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy.
The two square off Wednesday in Springfield for their third televised debate.