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*** UPDATED x1 *** Kirk criticizes Giannoulias and Brady - and Plummer - on tax issue

Tuesday, Jul 6, 2010

* Why Alexi Giannoulias didn’t just take a credit for future years’ taxes on his ‘09 tax return is beyond me. As it is, he’s hurt his own campaign by accepting a 100 percent tax refund on his state salary.

On the bright side for the Pat Quinn campaign, Giannoulias has succeeded in driving a wedge between the state’s top two GOP standard-bearers….

[Mark Kirk] said there is a big difference between the financial situation of Mr. Giannoulias and Mr. Brady, even though neither has had any income-tax liability of late due to reversals in their families’ businesses.

The difference is that “the Giannoulias family transferred this incredible $394-million bill” to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. when its Broadway Bank recently collapsed, he said.

But, in the same way that Mr. Giannoulias ought to pay something because he draws a state paycheck as Illinois treasurer, so should Mr. Brady, a state senator, Mr. Kirk said.

“If you are dependent on a salary paid by the taxpayers, you ought to pay tax,” Mr. Kirk said. “You ought to find a way to pay taxes.”

Kirk is exactly right on that second point. If you’re a politician, you need to find a way to pay taxes on your state salary.

And don’t think for a minute that Pat Quinn won’t use that quote against Bill Brady. This is obviously a game of every man for himself. Kirk played it today, Quinn will play it as well.

*** UPDATE *** Jason Plummer wasn’t spared, either

And in another statement that could come back to hit the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Jason Plummer, Kirk said, “All statewide [candidates] should release their tax returns.” Brady initially refused to release his tax returns but relented. Plummer still has not released his and says he won’t.

But Kirk repeatedly dodged a question about himself…

Kirk also refused to say during the news conference whether he stands behind a statement that he was fired on while riding in a dutch armored vehicle in Afghanistan. He repeated several times that reporters should just look at the fitness reports he released about his military service.

I thought he was pledging to be Mr. Honesty these days?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    Honest question
    If I would have owed $1000 on my income taxes if it were my only source of money
    I would have been owed $10,000 on my taxes if my only source of income was my company/bank/outside income;

    Would it matter that I was collected a $9000 refund?

    I understand that our tax code is not so simple, but this is shameful behavior. I also think BB complaining about taxes paid when he has paid noe is also shameful.

  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:02 pm:

    If Alexi can pull it off financially, what do you think the odds are that he’s going to pull a Plummer and promise to give up his salary if elected?

    Now that’d be funny.

  3. - David Ormsby - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:08 pm:

    Just dumb, dumb, dumb. Did I mention dumb?

  4. - Deep South - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:14 pm:

    I just love G NO P in-fighting.

  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:24 pm:

    Feeling a sharp pain in the ribs, Sen. Brady? How about you, Mr. Plummer?

    “I’m not like them, I’m better,” Kirk will say. “In fact, I ….”

    He should probably just leave it at that.

  6. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:27 pm:

    “If you are dependent on a salary paid by the taxpayers, you ought to pay tax,” Mr. Kirk said.”

    I realize this is mainly about politicians who are making a lot more money than the average state employee, but if we take Mr. Kirk’s remark at face value, is he not in effect saying that persons employed by any local, state, or federal government entity have no right to receive a tax refund?

  7. - well - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:30 pm:

    ==I realize this is mainly about politicians who are making a lot more money than the average state employee, but if we take Mr. Kirk’s remark at face value, is he not in effect saying that persons employed by any local, state, or federal government entity have no right to receive a tax refund? ==

    Uh no. The issue here is not that Giannoulias received a refund, it is that he didn’t pay any taxes in 2009.

    If he had paid $30,000 in withholding and got back $2,000, this wouldn’t be an issue. But he paid $30,000 in withholding and got back $30,000.

  8. - Rob_N - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:40 pm:


    If the GOP has an issue with Giannoulias doing this once, in one year only, do the Republicans have twice the problem with Brady since he did it two years in a row? Brady stretched his use of the loophole out to (legally) avoid taxes in 2008 and 2009. (Brady’s tax attorney is one of the leaders in the Champaign County GOP, IIRC.)

  9. - Angry Chicagoan - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 3:57 pm:

    Kirk’s behavior is absolutely risible, utterly pathetic. He’s signed off on irresponsible tax cuts, he’s ignored similar tax returns of people in his own party, and then he tries to gain leverage against Giannoulias for obeying the law and then going farther than he needs to with charitable donations.

    One more reason to add to the armful we already have to reject Kirk as one of the most over-hyped, under-qualified and petty candidates the Illinois Republicans have ever inflicted on us for statewide office.

    I’ll agree with the Tea Party tendency on one thing — the Republicans would have been better off with a consistent conservative than with this joke of a candidate.

  10. - Berkeley Bear - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    Has Kirk even released the Fit Reps for his recent service? Last I checked, the only ones he had posted covered 1999 to about 2001 and only addressed his time in Italy and Turkey.

  11. - A.B. - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    @ Angry

    Kirk clearly stated that all elected officials should share their tax returns and should pay taxes on their government jobs. He didn’t give anyone a pass.

    To your point on a consistent conservative, come on, you are only saying that because then you might have a chance of your candidate winning.

    Not our fault that your party put an under-qualified rich kid on the ballot and he is losing the fund raising game, as well as many of the polls.

  12. - MikeMacD - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    ‘Mr. Kirk said. “You ought to find a way to pay taxes.”’

    IRS form 1040 line Sign Here:
    “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return and the accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete.”

    Rep. Kirk seems to be advocating that Treasurer Giannoulias commit perjury. Well, if that’s all he’s got.

  13. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 4:25 pm:

    =One more reason to add to the armful we already have to reject Kirk as one of the most over-hyped, under-qualified and petty candidates the Illinois Republicans have ever inflicted on us for statewide office.=

    He’s probably over-hyped and has been coming off as “petty”–thanks in great part to his Campaign lately–but I wouldn’t say YET that he is not qualified.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised though if in the end, someone who’s as qualified as he is winds up losing because he and his Campaign “shot both of his feet off”–and without the “nutty” (Ha!) Conservatives’ help.

  14. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 4:49 pm:

    How will Gags Brady handle this year’s GOP Day at the Fair? No talked last year perhaps this year they will be asked to walk behind a black curtain in darkened tent with Michael Steele talking about the good old days with Alan Keys

  15. - Verdicto - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 4:50 pm:

    No one should have to pay any more in taxes than the law requires. This whole thing is silly.

  16. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 5:14 pm:

    =…talking about the good old days with Alan Keys=

    And for those of us standing outside in the rain, entertainment will be provided by Alan Keyes himself–and GOP spokespeople reciting their “best lines” of the campaign season thus far AND reminding us “that the best is yet to come”!

    Should be good for a few laughs and cries. Nothing like comedy and drama when you’re expecting a real election!

  17. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 5:38 pm:

    Just saw the update. Chicago Public Radio’s article is entitled “Kirk’s Tax Jab At Giannoulias Also Hits Brady, Plummer”.

    I sure hope the Campaigns discussed all of this beforehand. If not, someone probably needs to stop and think about what he’s up to. I mean, stuff like this might actually upset some Republicans. Hoping shore or someone who’s obviously more into the “Independent” thing will chime in to explain it to those of us who are obviously confused.

  18. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 6:03 pm:

    Perhaps Quinn should stop giving raises to his staff in these tough economic times.

  19. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 6:43 pm:

    Some of the comments on that Breitbart post are pretty funny.

  20. - Heartless Libertarian - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 6:52 pm:

    “You ought to find a way to pay taxes.”

    Mark Kirk just lost my vote.

  21. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 7:28 pm:

    Yeah. Even something like “It’s–without a doubt–extremely generous of my opponent to donate his refund to charity. However,….” would sound more “Republican”, wouldn’t it?

    He must be having a “down” day after all the parades this weekend.

  22. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 7:43 pm:

    Bad move on Kirk’s part here. He’s got some serious character flaws (e.g, running away through a kitchen to escape reporters questions about the veracity of his resume) but wants to badmouth his tickemates?

    Brady and Plummer would be wise to not respond. There will be plenty of other opportunities for payback between now and November (and quite possibly beyond).

  23. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 8:29 pm:

    Wow, look at who decided to drop in–and is even using caps at the beginning of sentences now!

    Hello, WCW. Where have you been “hiding” all this time?

  24. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 8:33 pm:

    Hey, WCW, you’re not “consulting” for your favorite Republican Kirk are you? lol

    Your being a Democrat could “explain away” some of the unusual, extremely independent views and other “odd” things that have been coming out of his campaign over the past few months.

  25. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 8:40 pm:

    Oh, and WCW, true to your old form, the “payback” comment probably belongs on the OTHER thread.

  26. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 9:31 pm:

    Kirk on Brady & Plummer proves once again that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  27. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 9:49 pm:

    @ The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 8:40 pm:

    as a result of recent events, and he mishandled them, i’m no longer supporting mark kirk. he’s shown himself to be too much of a politican’s politician unfortunately. it’s ashame because he really is qualified to be a u.s. senator, far more so than anyone running against him.

    but, he needed to man up and handle the press scrutiny a lot more forthrightly than he did.

    it wasn’t so much the lying on his resume, it was how he handled himself, or mishandled himself, when caught; that was all i needed to see.

  28. - jack - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 11:29 pm:

    Mark Kirk is an idiot. As much as I would like to see Republicans take Obama’s old seat, I won’t vote for an idiot.

  29. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 11:50 pm:

    Hmmm…”those were the days my friends”.

    “jack”–an actual candidate upon which ALOT of Voters within IL could agree upon–from both sides of the aisle.

    Too bad he’s selling off his Wilmette property–looking as if he’s high-tailing it outta here for good now.

    As WCW would say: “whatever”.

  30. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 6, 10 @ 11:52 pm:


    (Sorry. Didn’t mean to shout.)

  31. - dose of realism - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 8:36 am:

    I will agree that the tax code is terribly broken, but the fact is that neither Brady nor Giannoulias did anything wrong here. They followed the law. Taxes are paid on income, and in those years, they both lost money overall. Quite simple really. Would anyone here do any differently? Of course not. This is manufactured drama.

  32. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 8:44 am:

    Thank goodness….our GOP leaders will keep this mope in play….Another break for the Ds.
    Despite GOP Grumbling, Steele Expected To Survive As RNC Chief The AP reports that RNC Chairman Michael Steele “is staying put as” RNC chairman, despite his “widely condemned” comments on Afghanistan, as even his GOP critics “want to avoid a drawn-out fight over the party’s most prominent African-American just four months before midterm elections.” Instead, “GOP elders are working around Steele, illustrating their lack of confidence in his leadership of the” RNC “and the challenge he would face should he seek a second term in January.”

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