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Scott and Crist trade tax barbs along A1A

Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic opponent Charlie Crist were within about 20 miles of each other Wednesday on Florida's Gold Coast, lobbing bombs at each other over transparency and tax returns.

As Scott headed into the Eden Roc Hotel on Miami Beach to address a Florida broadcasters' convention, he feigned alarm: "Charlie Crist cloearly doesn't believe in transparency. I'm shocked that he doesn't believe in transparency ... What's he hiding?"

Scott was amplifying the theme of his campaign's latest TV ad that criticizes Crist for refusing to release his or his wife's tax returns. (Past candidates Alex Sink and Bill McBride, who were married, released each others' returns, and Jeb Bush released his wife's returns).

Crist released his returns for the past three years Wednesday, but not his wife Carole's.

At a fundraiser at the W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale beach, The Miami Herald's Amy Sherman asked Crist why he won't release his wife's tax returns to end the controversy. "There is no controversy. She's not the candidate," Crist said.

He said he will release every annual tax return going back to 1991, and will challenge Scott to do the same.

At Crist's event were Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher, Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis and former Sen. Steve Geller.