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Plummer again refuses to release tax returns - J3 with 54-32 lead over Halvorson

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012

* Republican congressional candidate Rodger Cook released his tax returns yesterday and challenged others in the race to follow suit. Jason Plummer, who adamantly refused to release his tax returns when he ran for lt. governor two years ago, is taking the refusenik line this time as well

Plummer issued a statement in which he stated that voters “want to know where you get your money, where your money is invested, and what kind of financial relationships you have. They should want to know these things, it is tremendously important information.”

But this information is obtained ” through a legally required Federal Personal Financial Disclosure, not a tax return,” Plummer wrote. ” A tax return does not have all the details a PFD has, which is why I released my PFD before any other candidate.”

In 2010, when he ran for lieutenant governor as the Republican nominee, Plummer resisted call to turn his tax returns. In a disclosure report filed late last year, Plummer listed personal assets of between nearly $3 million and $41 million.

Plummer’s full press release is here. A press release supporting Cook is here

“In Illinois, politicians work the system for power and gain. If you’re going to run for office, you need to prove to the people of Illinois that you’re clean. Show us that you haven’t profited from the Illinois political class,” stated Rodger Cook.

“The people of Illinois deserve the truth. If you don’t have gold-standard ethics, you’re part of business-as-usual. Rodger Cook is the latest and most prominent candidate in this election cycle to lead on this transformational ethics policy,” said Adam Andrzejewski, former 2010 gubernatorial candidate

* In other news, We Ask America has Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. with a big lead over Democratic rival Debbie Halvorson. Click the pic for a larger image…

From the pollster

Clearly, the voters of Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District aren’t buying into conventional wisdom. We’ve included the Ethnic Origin breakdowns to show there is a definite Minority/White split of opinion. Of course there’s still time for Halvorson to reduce the gap, and if the 50+ percent of voters who are African American stay home on Primary Day (March 20), we may be in for a surprise.

But for now, Congressman Jackson appears ready to prove the naysayers wrong.


* Related…

* Cunningham is back on ballot in 11th district race: Jack Cunningham’s name will appear on the ballot in the race for the Republican nomination in the 11th Congressional District. Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Susan Fox Gillis on Tuesday ordered that Cunningham’s name appear on the March 20 election ballot, reversing the Illinois State Board of Elections, which had upheld objections to the nominating petitions of Cunningham and Diane Harris.

* I think Jason is the future’: Shimkus endorses Plummer for 12th U.S. House seat

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    At this point, 54% for an incumbent in a primary isn’t a slam-dunk. If a couple of shoes drop, it would be a race.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:32 am:

    If it were me, and its not, and I were running against Plummer, I would make a huge deal about the personal money Plummer is spending, in the prism of…

    “We have no clue how much money Jason made. This could be a scam that the money is in Jason’s name, but not Jason’s money. How do we know anything that Jason says about his background, and his work history. The only jobs Jason had that were not interships were given to him from his Dad. Now we are to take Jason Plummer’s word on the monies he donates as his own?

    I ask the SEC and I ask the FEC to look into all personal contributions made by Jason Plummer to his campaign.

    Jason Plummer must be able to show he personally can contribute the monies on his own merit.

    If not, we hope the SEC and the FEC can get to the bottom of this possible scam of the system.”

    Now, … if that were me …

  3. - Shock & Awww(e) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    Never familiar with Cook, so I just googled him. One of the first results that pops up is a perjury case that apparently turned into a big story.

    Still reading up on the specifics, but seriously? Ummm… no thank you. As a general life rule, one should try to stay away from lying under oath methinks.

    That said, I can’t resist: Rodger Cook? Who is this guy? ;)

  4. - The Captain - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    I’m really dumbfounded that it’s taken this long for the tax return issue to surface. His opponents missed a big opportunity to get into this debate when it was national news for Romney.

    Plummer’s personal wealth is the major wild card in this democratic leaning district. In a federal race only the candidate himself can contribute unlimited funds, not family members (remember how John Kerry couldn’t use his wealthy wife’s money) and given his past controversy on this issue this a free chance to play offense for his opponents. Why wait so long?

    If I was them I’d release 10 years of tax returns as quickly as possible for two reasons 1) it’s the precedent set by Mitt Romney’s father and since this is a national issue that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon you’ll get multiple bites at this apple and 2) it’s an indirect way to bring up the experience issue, a 29 year old doesn’t have 10 years of experience to offer.

    And then I’d write about a million fundraising appeal emails on the issue. But that’s jut me.

  5. - Doc - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:39 am:

    I always had the impression that Congressman Shimkus was the future, being as he chose to ignore a self imposed term limit commitment. I am happy for Mr. Plummer, he appears to be rich in worldly possessions as well as career politician endorsements.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    Halverson is in trouble, and this is NO revelation.

    If you break it out by precinct, even then, Halverson would have to run numermous 70-30 precincts in such a clip to offset the strong African-American precincts JJJ will run at that clip or better (more like 80-20) and then go nearly 60-40 in the rest of her precincts.

    This is without an existing field organization with a history to turn areas, especially and specifically for Halverson.

    Not looking the “best” for Halverson.

  7. - phocion - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    Don’t see Debbie winning. Then again, not sure what kind of turnout the majority AA areas will have on March 20, either.

  8. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    I guess my question is thus: with deficits that don’t seem to go down and will remain steady for years, two wars that are winding down and a possible paradigm shift in our global military strategy, a serious threat in Iran and underemployment that has been tagged at 16-17%, is a candidate not releasing his or her tax return that big of a deal? I don’t think it’s a secret that the Plummer family has money and likes to play the development and real estate games. Do we really need to see just how much he claimed as income from both his employment and his capital gains?

  9. - Dirt Digger - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    The takeaway from this is that JJJ is even a failure at losing. He’s certainly done his best to tank the primary so far.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Do we really need to see just how much he claimed as income from both his employment and his capital gains?===

    I agree, you should be able to you any family money to spend on any aspect of you campaign.


    John Kerry (D-MA)

    Yeah, it’s “kind of a big deal”, since there are rules stopping monies being funneled.

    Someone needs to ask the question, and the Dems might make it a huge deal in the General Election, like the GOP and Presidential hopeful John Kerry …

    Just sayin’

  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 11:00 am:

    –Do we really need to see just how much he claimed as income from both his employment and his capital gains?—

    I think his GOP opponent is hoping for a Brady scenario in which his returns show that he didn’t pay taxes.

  12. - Shore - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    the ethics and affair charges don’t seem to be working for halvorson. democratic primary voters just don’t seem to care. Same thing with republican voters and plummers wealth and this all time classic

  13. - Just Sayin' - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 11:20 am:

    This story will be the gift that keeps on giving for Plummer’s primary and general election opponents. This story hurts Plummer, possibly very badly, no matter if he releases the returns or refuses. The fact that he is personally wealthy as a 29-year old who got the money from his dad and he’s running against people who are definitely not wealthy fits in perfectly with the national political message of the 99% vs. 1% is perfect for his Democratic opponent. Add in that Plummer never lived a day of his life in the district until he and his dad decided he would become that district’s new congressman almost makes the story too good to be true for his opponents. The ads almost write themselves especially this year.

  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 11:42 am:

    Success is supposed to be the American ideal. Embrace it, don’t run from it and be proud of it.

    Regardless, I’m more concerned about each candidate’s ability to address the serious issues facing America right now.

    As for JJJ, can’t wait to see those poll numbers after he and his team stop sabotaging themselves. Halvorson’s not done yet though.

  15. - Downstate - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    What is Jason Plummer hiding? Extremely wealthy or just riding on dad’s coattails? Don’t think his statement will wash in this race. A potential GOP pickup is now questionable.

  16. - Colossus - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    Plummer is everything I loathe about Aaron Shock with none of the formidable skills of the latter. I’ve already put this race in my “poporn” column, right where I’ll put Schock’s run for governor in 2014. Heck, I might even add in Junior Mints for that one.

  17. - Really - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    Jason Plummer has not work a day in his life - period ! If he has millions he has it because dad handed it to him on a silver platter. He has not led anything - including a boy scout troop but yet he intends, using millions from dad, to be a Congressman. You have got to be kidding me. The voters in his district, a district that he has lived in for two months, MUST demand that he release his tax return and if not send him packing to apply and look for a real job. This clown being a congressman is a joke. His endorsements have come from people like Shimkus who will now be funded for life by daddy Plummer.

  18. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 2:09 pm:

    People see Plummer in one of two ways…

    Republican operatives see a cash cow who can be wound up like one of the toys he still plays with while satiating his obviously enormous ego.

    Voters, (hopefully) see a spoiled kid with virtually no accomplishments in life (other than joining the Navy) who has no experience that will make him an effective legislator.

    The guy running against him was raised by a single mom, was a cop, a mayor and a banker. Too bad his single mom wasn’t a millionaire.

  19. - East Sider - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 3:00 pm:

    Rodger Cook has nothing to hang his hat on. He was a failed mayor in Belleville and was crushed in his re-election bid. Since then (1997) he went into hiding, after leaving his ill wife (ala Newt Gingrich) for a wealthy woman whose family owns several southern Illinois banks (which is also how he got his job). Cook knows that he will be lucky to garner 15% of the vote in this race, so he’s grasping at straws by making baseless allegations against a family that has a spotless reputation in business across the state.

    All of us in St. Clair County know who Rodger was in bed with when he was elected mayor of Belleville in 1993. Some of the most corrupt individuals known to man. Several of them ended up in prison on corruption charges. He won’t be able to hide from this for long. I wonder when he plans on releasing that donor list from back in the day?

  20. - railrat - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 3:37 pm:

    Glad Cunningham is back on the ballot in the 11th this will allow him to pass up Oberweis on the most runs-most loses list !!

  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 3:39 pm:

    - East Sider -

    I’m sorry, did I miss your take on the taxes, or are you just doing a hack job on Cook to IGNORE the taxes.

    Thanks, and have a nice day!

  22. - Just Sayin' - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 4:11 pm:

    And now I hear that the leading Democratic candidate in the 12th Congressional, Brad Harriman, may have released his tax returns today. Jason? Where are your returns?

  23. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 4:23 pm:

    East sider can’t attack Jason becasue he hasn’t done anything…

    Oh, wait, he was one of the main reasons Pat Quinn is still governor since he was an embarassment on the campaign trail and couldn’t be allowed out in public after he became a laughing stock on Chicago TV.

    One thing Roger Cook can say that Jason can’t…He won an election. (BTW, primaries don’t count)

  24. - Shock & Awww(e) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 5:03 pm:

    Unless something has been grossly misrepresented by the press or there’s some unpublicized explanation, that Cook perjury stuff I found earlier is some bizarre stuff. I keep reading up on it and it keeps getting juicier.

    Sexual assault allegations, lying to reporters, lying to judges, firing the police chief and then falsely leaking the his name to the press as the assailant, Supreme Court verdicts on protections of the press… the story just keeps on giving.

    I don’t want to distract from the topic at hand, but take a look if you have 5 minutes for some entertaining reading. Definitely entertaining. And crazy.

  25. - Peggy R/Southern - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 5:05 pm:

    Oh, I didn’t realize Plummer was in the same race as Cook. I knew Cook was making a big deal of releasing his taxes. This race is to replace retiring Jerry Costello. Yeah! He’s done!

  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 5:18 pm:

    S & A…

    Glad you said you wanted to stay on topic, then still went off topic.

    Jason has issues, Cook’s issues are not here, but keep hiding & trying to make exuses for Jason. This will haunt Jason, his Daddy, & Jason’s family. Jason & family better beware of the FEC & SEC.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 6:05 pm:

    Just so I am clear with East Sider ….

    === wealthy woman whose family owns several southern Illinois banks (which is also how he got his job).===

    Jason’s ONLY jobs came from the HR department of his Dad…Pot, Kettle?

    ===grasping at straws by making baseless allegations against a family that has a spotless reputation in business across the state.===

    It doesn’t seem to ‘baseless’, Jason is not releasing his taxes … further … by not releasing the taxes, who is to say how Jason is funding a FEDERAL race, with very SPECIFIC rules on personal money and family money…and Jason’s family is not running, Jason is running, so is he is self-funding, and not “family-funding”, does Jason have the income to drop a million dollars over a few weeks? Are those solde Securities?

    ===He won’t be able to hide from this for long. I wonder when he plans on releasing that donor list from back in the day?===

    “He won’t be able to hide long”? Isn’t that Jason’s strategy? It was for Brady two years ago, and Jason is, indeed, hiding his taxes.

    You can look at D-2’s, if you wish on the donor’s thing. You want to make hay, go for it. As for Jason’s donor list of … himself … hope the income matches the contributions, just saying.

  28. - East Sider - Wednesday, Feb 22, 12 @ 10:38 pm:

    Oswego Willy’s Plummer obsession is reaching new levels. You’re making baseless accusations against a respected businessman who has never been accused of any wrongdoing. If federal authorities are led to believe that he’s illegally funding his campaign, then they’ll investigate. If you really think that Plummer ist stupid enough to violate federal law, then you’re even less intelligent than I thought.

    If you’re jealous that he came from a successful family and has carried on this success in some of his own business ventures, then just say so.

    Plummer will win this primary in a cake walk. I’m sure that Cook will soon be exposed for the fraud that he is, and he’ll put his tail between his legs and go back into hiding like he did 15 years ago.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 23, 12 @ 6:53 am:

    Is it me, or is it always Jason’s FAMILY that has done “so much”, but Jason has done nothing on his own?

    Jason is always the “most transparent”, yet will not disclose anything.

    Jason is the most qualified, yet has always has no qualifications.

    Why is it I am always jealous of Jason’s FAMILY and not of Jason? Why not say I am jealous of Jason’s accomplishments? Because Jason hasn’t done anything?

    You can not defend Jason on any merits, because Jason is lacking too many.

    I just hope the income matches the contributions, because unlike the Illinois laws, the Feds don’t play games, and since we have no way of knowing Jason’s income we don’t know how he can self-fund, in a federal race.

    Is Jason, and his family, stupid enough … I will leave that up to the SEC and the FEC, but I remember Peter Fitzgerald self-funding and every SEC transaction had to account for every major money drop and it all had to be Peter’s …You can’t drop $100K and say, “yeah, I got it.” … “really, where?”

    I stayed on point of the post, I defended myself, yet you have brought up other candidates, not made one refutable fact of what I have brought into the conversation, and time after time made it only about me, and not about the facts.

    Blind faith, outside of facts … scary thing.

  30. - East Sider - Thursday, Feb 23, 12 @ 1:11 pm:

    Plummer owns several of his own companies in the metro east. Do a quick search of the SOS website and check for yourself. Of course, you’ll just say, “daddy gave him those”, so why bother?

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