SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day

Monday, Nov 30, 2009

* Treasurer and Democratic US Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias released his tax returns last week

The first-term treasurer has been criticized by Democratic Senate opponent David Hoffman for large Broadway Bank payouts to him and his family.

In all, there were $70 million in payouts in 2007 and 2008. Giannoulias’ campaign said the payouts were was triggered by the 2006 death of Giannoulias’ father, Alexis, who founded Broadway Bank. His will called for estate and income taxes to be paid for with dividend payments from the sale of Broadway shares, the campaign said.

Alexi Giannoulias’ portion of those payouts totaled $2.5 million — $1 million of which he has said went to pay income taxes. The campaign has noted that Alexi Giannoulias didn’t have a say in whether to sell the shares because he divested himself of his voting shares when he was elected treasurer.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Schillerstrom says he won’t release his returns

“I feel strongly about full disclosure in government, but I do not believe posting my personal tax returns, or the tax returns of the other candidates for governor, would further the public interest in any tangible way. I have yet to hear anyone make a compelling argument how this would benefit voters,” he replied to an Associated Press questionnaire.

Bill Brady released his returns the last time he ran for governor, but won’t this time. Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney also refuses…

“It’s time to stop looking at trendy gimmicks as a pathway to clean government, and time to look at the real public policies needed to establish it,” Whitney said.

* The Question: Do you think it’s important for candidates to release their tax returns? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


26 Comments
  1. - Skeptical Cynic - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:51 am:

    You asked this same question a month ago or so.


  2. - Just Observing - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:53 am:

    No… Rich Whitney said it best. I think all that is important is that candidates (or maybe upon being elected) disclose potential conflicts of interest. So, if a public official maintains ownership interest in, let’s say a construction firm, then steps can be taken to help ensure that the public official cannot direct contracts toward the firm.


  3. - David Ormsby - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:54 am:

    Yes.

    The release is a confidence-building between a candidate and the voters. Voters routinely harbor suspicions regarding the potential clash between politicians’ official duties and their personal financial interests.

    Refusing to release the returns, in light of its established practice, fuels suspicions in voters’ minds–legitimate or not–they have something to hide.

    It’s boneheaded, politically, to dodge the disclosure and wrap the refusal in weasel words.


  4. - John Bambenek - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:01 am:

    David-

    I find it amusing you’re agreeing with Adam Andrzejewski on a matter of policy ;)


  5. - Little Egypt - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:03 am:

    Yes. What are they afraid of? Perhaps that we, the voters, are not quite as naive as they hope. If they don’t want to fully disclose their finances, then don’t run for office. This isn’t the 1800’s and they better get used to a nagging press and the questions that will follow. Be able to run with the big dogs or stay on the porch and out of the campaign.


  6. - OneMan - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:12 am:

    It’s not a bad idea, I was rather entertained when I went to the Thompson center to look at Quinn’s and an aid watched me and took notes the entire time I was looking at the returns.

    He spelled my name really wrong btw on his notes.

    So if you are going to do it don’t be a tool about it, otherwise don’t bother.


  7. - ahoy - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:15 am:

    No, I think this flies in the face of privacy and has no public good. AS a voter I don’t need to know how much people make.


  8. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:19 am:

    ===You asked this same question a month ago or so.===

    Nope. I asked whether it should be required a month or so ago.


  9. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:26 am:

    I think it is important, but not compulsory. It is a campaign tactic that could end some personal issues, but in many cases, does not.

    Overall, I don’t recommend it unless the move fits the candidate’s image, or compliments it. If a candidate wishes to sell themselves as a regular fellow - releasing personal tax information is OK. If a candidate wishes to trump the importance of transparency - same thing.

    But in Giannoulais’ case, these things really don’t end the negative consequences of political opposition abusing his Broadway Bank ties. He is damned if he does - or does not. By releasing them, he runs the risk of pandering to the questions surrounding his financial past, and if he does not, he risks questions surrounding his Broadway Bank ties, anyway.

    Conclusion: it is a political tactic.


  10. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:28 am:

    No. There are other documents that can be filed disclosing potential conflicts of interest, including those current office holders and certain state employees need to file.


  11. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:36 am:

    Mildly important, but not a necessarily a deal-breaker. A candidate who does gets more points for openness.

    I think, for the most part, you don’t need to see someone’s tax returns to get a sense if they’re susceptible to corruption. It’s not like anyone’s been going out of their way to hide that recently.


  12. - zatoichi - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:47 am:

    I fall on both sides of this while leaning to release the info. Releasing tax info has become a basic assumption of somehow showing honesty and a clean financial/conflict of interest. The privacy issue drifts into a ‘why do I need to know that’ area. A basic assumption is you have to have personal money because if you don’t, you probably do not have the contacts to run a major campaign. While I cannot think of a significant candidate who got dinged by something on their tax forms, I am also assuming if you got a trouble area, you need some new tax reps. The issue will come out anyhow. However people have come to expect it so if you do not want to do it, why you running? Refusing to release the tax forms strikes a Helmsley attitude of ‘taxes are for the little people’. If you want to be a public servant, you need to think real hard on how public you want to be.


  13. - DuPage Dan - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:01 pm:

    I think it is more important to know where a candidate is getting money - disclosure of campaign donations in real time.


  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    I think interviews with the wait staff in restaurants they frequent would be much more telling.

    Character is how you act when no one is looking.


  15. - MrJM - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:44 pm:

    Yes. Bob Schillerstrom is not just a GOP gubernatorial candidate he’s also Chairman of the DuPage County Board.

    Voters deserve to see if his returns show that he’s enriched himself at the taxpayer’s expense.

    (Ain’t it funny how the law ‘n’ order Republicans say, “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide” right up until it’s them doing the hiding.)

    – MrJM
    http://twitter.com/misterjayem


  16. - The Prophet - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:56 pm:

    Unless I missed something, this morning’s AP article in the Chicago Sun-Times managed to comment on all of the GOP gubernatorial candidates and their campaign stance regarding publicly revealing their income tax returns except for the GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft? I may be a bit cynical and suspicious but I wonder if this was a deliberate slight on the Sun-Times part toward Proft or if his name was just inadvertantly overlooked? Incidentally, based on the AP article in other newspapers, Proft said that he was more than willing to show his income tax returns.
    I like Proft as a GOP candidate so maybe I am being a bit too thin-skinned on what seems to be an example of “ignore somebody and they will eventually go away”. If I am wrong or if I am overlooking something, I will apologize in advance for my error and my suspicious nature when it comes to politics. And yes, I feel that if an individual has nothing to hide and wants to run for public office, than the candidate’s belief in “transparency” for the voter and it’s practice is extremely important.


  17. - Thomas Westgard - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:44 pm:

    I think it’s important for candidates to release their tax forms. We have an extensive problem with corruption in this state, and we need to guard against misuse of public office for private gain. One piece of that puzzle is knowing where the officeholder stands to gain. And a tax form is the gold standard for the consequences of fraudulently misstating one’s assets.

    I also note what’s missing here - not only are they refusing to release a total disclosure, but they are refusing ANY disclosure. They could extensively redact the document as a middle ground. Another alternative would be to withhold the tax forms but provide an extensive and detailed written plan on transparency in government, accompanied by an affidavit regarding what they do and don’t own.

    There are many options to act as a proactive leader on the issue, rather than the lazy and cowardly course of simply saying no. So since they are not doing that, it leaves me thinking that these candidates are lying now and planning to steal later.


  18. - Downstate Commissioner - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:50 pm:

    Nah, not necessary. First of all, only the election junkies or scandal-monger press bother to go through them; second of all, everybody knows that all politicians are crooks anyway with accountants, so what’s the difference?
    (Before some thin-skinned idiot jumps to defend his candidate, I am a local elected official, which makes me a politician, which makes me a crook- simple logic. If you’re in politics, you live with the brand…true or not)


  19. - Downstate Commissioner - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

    Mr. Westgard, ALL candidates have to fill out and sign a financial disclosure statement and file with the election board; a copy of the receipt HAS to be filed with nominating papers: they can’t “refuse ANY disclosure.”


  20. - Hoffman hammering - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 3:12 pm:

    Here’s the Hoffman campaign hammering Alexi for saying that the $2.5 million he received from Broadway Bank was “minimal”: http://www.hoffmanforillinois.com/blog/details/minimal_amount


  21. - Nihilate - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:11 pm:

    I agree that thee tax returns dont need to be released. however, there should be something that lets voters know the candidate has paid theeir taxes correctly prior to running.


  22. - Ghost - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:16 pm:

    I pretty much follow Words sentiments….

    But I would add they should have to disclose who cuts/styles their hair; and all sermons from any religious services conducted at any church/temple they have attended for the last 5 years.

    Oh and whether they support the Sox or the Cubs should be disclosed as part of the petition filing process.


  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:21 pm:

    ===Oh and whether they support the Sox or the Cubs should be disclosed as part of the petition filing process. ===

    Now, that’s an important disclosure.


  24. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 4:55 pm:

    ===
    …disclosure of campaign donations in real time.
    ===

    I think Gidwitz did that fairly effectively during his Gov race. Did anyone else? I kind of liked that.


  25. - Louis Howe - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 8:20 pm:

    Yes….disclosing the last 3 years tax returns would give voters insight into the source of the candidate income and the extent used to avoid paying taxes. It’s really a no brainer. Public office requires public discloser of income.


  26. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 1, 09 @ 9:09 am:

    Oh, good. You saw that last post that someone had made and deleted it. Odd.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner response *** This just in... Illinois Supreme Court denies Rauner appeal
* They need a rich "white knight"
* Johnson finally backs Davis... So does Joan
* Schneider throws Quinn under the bus
* Wincing before the hit
* Inspector general's IDOT probe places no direct blame on Quinn
* Today's number: 57 percent
* *** UPDATED x2 - Not totally clean - Some questions answered *** Stories raise unanswered questions about IDOC policy
* *** UPDATED x1 - Schneider campaign responds *** US, Illinois Chambers launch TV hit on Schneider
* Reaching into the past for today's gotcha moment
* New DGA YouTube video ties Rauner to Romney via outsourcing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* This just in... Unions file motion to "gut" the state's pension case
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * HTC One M8 for Windows, edge-free AQUOS Crystal, Moto “Quark” & more | Pocketnow Weekly 110
        * Samsung reminds us why we love handwriting in Note 4 teaser
        * Moto X+1 new material options pick up retailer support
        * Stop the presses! Top 5 news readers for Android
        * Clear solar panels foreshadow self-charging mobile devices
        * Deepak Chopra Backs Art Marketplace GlobeIn
        * Lumia Instagramer of the Week: Mihai Andrei

        * Break In a Baseball Cap by Wearing It in the Shower
        * iPhone 5 Battery Letting You Down? Apple Might Replace It—For Free
        * Reddit just got Chromecast support, thanks to a new Android app called Viddit
        * Tech Chief Behind Healthcare.gov Leaving White House
        * Plan Your Kid's Outfits Ahead of Time with Printable Daily Dividers
        * Rules to Snoop By (Comic)
        * Download the New Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Core Rule Set for Free

        * Will Carlos Sanchez be better than Gordon Beckham?
        * White Sox recall infield prospect Sanchez
        * Ruminations on the end of the Gordon Beckham era
        * White Sox deal Beckham to Angels
        * White Sox deal Beckham to Angels
        * Danks leads White Sox into Bronx for weekend visit
        * White Sox trade Gordon Beckham to Angels


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Gov. Quinn to announce park grants in Forest Pa.....
        * Illinois November ballot set without term limits..
        * Nov. ballot certified without term limits question..
        * Illinois to double funding for IUDs, sterilizat.....
        * Rauner says Board of Election action a Quinn win..
        * State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins Fulfills t.....
        * Report: State agency broke hiring rules for years..
        * Gov. Quinn announces more money for Washington .....


        * Rauner dealt double blows over Illinois ballot
        * 8 gang members indicted on racketeering charges
        * Church cautions schools on ice bucket challenge
        * Rauner says Board of Election action a Quinn win
        * 2 parolees charged in suburban Chicago standoff
        * Supreme Court won't take up term limits appeal
        * Cardinal George to get experimental cancer drug
        * Report: State agency broke hiring rules for years
        * Sen. Warren disavows PAC urging run for president
        * United flight to Chicago makes emergency landing

        * November ballot certified without term limits question
        * Supreme Court won't take up term limits appeal
        * State employee unions want expedited ruling in pensions suit
        * IDOT broke hiring rules for years, report finds
        * State Rep. Poe faces 3-week stem cell procedure in Texas
        * IDOT cuts positions following questions on hiring
        * Authorities investigating powdery substance at Illinois State Library
        * Powdery substance mailed to Illinois State Library deemed non-hazardous
        * Term-limit backers seek Supreme Court intervention
        * Illinois' share of Bank of America settlement: $300M

        * McDonald's testing mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce
        * Watch where Michael Madigan tries to boost turnout
        * Supreme Court spikes term limits appeal
        * IDOT broke hiring rules for years, state report says
        * Cardinal George to get experimental cancer drug


        * Prosecutor: Harvey hostages threatened, one woman sexually assaulted
        * Plan Commission approves year-round sports complex in Pullman
        * Second site added; fans also can gather in Loop to watch Little League World Series game
        * Bond set for men charged in Harvey standoff
        * Jackie Robinson fans erupt in cheers: ‘These boys have rejuvenated us all’
        * Rauner wants swift action by Illinois Supreme Court on term limit initiative
        * Drug dealer’s testimony: ‘It was kill or be killed’
        * Storm dumped “too much rain in too little time,” official says
        * Eight accused of racketeering, drug-running in Indiana
        * Three accused of scamming organ donor network


        * 2nd charge in Antioch inappropriate touching case
        * Heavy rain shuts down Eisenhower for third time this summer
        * U. of I. defends pulling job offer over tweets critical of Israel
        * Rauner term limits question won't appear on November ballot
        * Mosquitoes with West Nile found in Orland Park
        * Cardinal George testing new cancer drug
        * Jackie Robinson West: 'We want revenge'
        * Chicago gang members charged with racketeering, conspiracy
        * Man extradited from Poland in '04 crash that killed 2
        * CTA: Delays reported on Green Line after worker was injured


        * IL Supreme Court Won't Hear Term Limit Question Before Ballot Deadline
        * Gone Fishing: Harsh winter brings lake temps down, but not for long
        * Race, Cops & Traffic Stops
        * Listen to State Week - August 22, 2014
        * In Wake Of Ferguson, Rally Planned In Springfield
        * WUIS Education Desk: Springfield Mayoral Candidates Talk District 186
        * Unions Ask For Quick Ruling On Pensions
        * Report Says IDOT Broke Hiring Rules For Years
        * CPS students scramble for new school after Concept charter opening delayed
        * Illinois Takes First Step Toward Drafting Greenhouse Gas Plan


        * November ballot certified without term limits question
        * State employee unions want expedited ruling in pensions suit
        * IDOT broke hiring rules for years, report finds
        * Our Opinion: Another life saved by CPR
        * Esther Cepeda: Misreading our demographics
        * E.J. Dionne: Ferguson divides us less than we imagine
        * Richard Kaplan: Additional Rauner tax-return disclosures probably won’t reveal much
        * State Rep. Poe faces 3-week stem cell procedure in Texas
        * IDOT cuts positions following questions on hiring
        * Authorities investigating powdery substance at Illinois State Library


        * Protesters rally for law enforcement outside St. Clair County Building
        * New fear: What happens in Ferguson if no charges?
        * Updated: UI cancels new student convocation due to weather; world record attempt successful
        * 4 hurt in McLean County crash remain hospitalized
        * The Fit List
        * Jesse White says 'there's a lot more to be done' as Illinois secretary of state
        * Metro-east hirings among those examined in IDOT investigation
        * DeWitt Co. judge remembered for humor, fairness
        * East St. Louis woman charged with attempted first-degree murder
        * Illinois 1 vs Notre Dame 3 Soccer


        * Clarification
        * CLC job events:
        * Lawyer says power in numbers will help the cause
        * Email exchanges show little tension between forest commission, director
        * Man freed after arson-murder rap tossed

        * Shimkus not taking anything for granted de...
        * Shimkus Supports Strikes, Criticizes Presi...
        * #DirtyDenier$ Day 5: Congressman John M. S...
        * Politics Notebook: Shimkus to meet with ve...
        * GOP congressmen from Illinois, Kentucky to...
        * Facebook, Local Chambers of Commerce Host ...
        * Shimkus seeks investigation of federal dis...
        * Congressman recognizes Thomasboro's 150th ...
        * Communicators with Representatives Lofgren...
        * ADEQ: Modernization, private-sector practi...

        * Villa Park receives FEMA grant for new fir......
        * Villa Park receives FEMA grant for new fir......
        * Villa Park receives FEMA grant for new fir......
        * Villa Park receives FEMA grant for new fir......
        * Villa Park receives FEMA grant for new fir......

        * Senator Kirk Applauds New Life-Saving Stro......
        * U.S. National Parks Director Visits Chicag......

        * Possible Karen Lewis Super PAC Being Discussed
        * Report: State Agency Broke Hiring Rules For Years
        * We Are One Coalition Urges Circuit Court To Expedite Pension Suit
        * Supreme Court Won't Take Up Term Limits Appeal
        * CTU boss Karen Lewis officially files to run for Chicago mayor
        * Study: TSA Full-Body Scanners Photograph Genitals, But Miss Guns, Explosives, Knives
        * Appellate Court rules against term limits, effort heads for IL Supreme Court
        * Illinois Supreme Court refuses to take up term limits appeal. Rauner responds.
        * Chicago Archdiocese cool to ALS ice bucket challenge
        * Latest Poll: Rauner 46%, Quinn 43%


        * Quinn Said He Was Stopping Patronage Hiring In 2010; He Was Actually Expanding It
        * Rauner: Quinn patronage scandal reminds us why we need term limits
        * Governor Quinn Announces New Class of Illinois State Police Cadets - More Cadets to Protect and Serve Communities Across Illinois
        * ICYMI: Term limits amendment — and citizens — lose
        * IDOT Teams Up with “Walking Dead” Star to Drive Down Fatalities in Illinois - Innovative New Labor Day Ad Campaign to Target Young Males; Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Drunk, Unbelted Drivers




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller