On Wednesday Republican Senate nominee Rep. Todd Akin's campaign demanded opponent Sen. Claire McCaskill release her and her husband Joe Shepard's tax returns for the years since her election in 2006.
But in a conference call with reporters, an Akin spokesman said the Republican would release his own tax returns only if his opponents -- and Shepard -- release theirs first.
The Akin demand came the same day McCaskill began airing three tough ads directly criticizing Akin's stand on emergency birth control for victims of rape and incest. In August, the GOP nominee said the female body can avoid pregnancy after "legitimate rape," a statement he has since retracted.
McCaskill's income has become an issue following reports that Shepard-owned businesses have received federal subsidies, some of which has come from bills the senator has supported. McCaskill has claimed, in part, that the revenue from those payments did not mean significant income to her.
In a press release, Akin said release of the tax returns would help prove or disprove that claim.
"If she claims that she didn't benefit from it, she needs to prove it," Akin said in the release.
McCaskill released her latest federal income tax return this year following a request from The Star's McClatchy bureau. It showed an adjusted gross income of $193,384. McCaskill's campaign said she also released her return in response to similar requests in 2004 and 2006, years she ran for office. Those returns were not immediately available.
Shepard's return, which is filed separately, was not released. Shepard's holdings are included in McCaskill's annual personal financial disclosure statement, which provides a range of income earned from those holdings as well as a range of values.
"Todd Akin's repeated attacks against Claire's family are a desperate, baseless attempt to distract from his extreme record," said McCaskill spokesman Caitlin Legacki.
In the ads McCaskill released Wednesday, three women, all victims of sexual assault, say they oppose Akin because of his August remarks.
"In the hospital I was offered emergency contraception," says one of the women, Diana, who says she's a pro-life Republican. "Because of my personal beliefs, I declined. Here's what else I believe: no woman should be denied that choice."