When Fox Chicago reported exclusively on Rep. Judy Biggert’s income tax returns two weeks ago, we noted that she is believed to be the wealthiest member of Illinois’s Congressional delegation. Her Democratic challenger, though, is even wealthier, a point underscored in her new attack ad.
A Foster spokesman said the 11th District congressional candidate is, indeed, a multi-millionaire. But he called just about everything else in his opponent’s new ad misleading. He said a theatrical stage lighting company Foster co-founded in 1975 did layoff 61 people during a downturn a decade ago, but it now employs more than ever: 650 in the U.S.
The new ad debuted as Foster released his income tax returns for the first time ever. One surprise in a review by Fox Chicago News: while preparing his campaign to return to Congress, Foster earned so little last year that he owed no income tax. His wife, Aesook Byon, also a physicist like Foster, filed her taxes separately. She made more than $200,000 in 2011. So, the couple paid about $55,000 in taxes — 24.7% of their income.
While Foster sold his interest in the lighting company to his partners in 2007, the payout will take 16 years and be taxed at the lower, capital gains rate. In 2010, for example, Foster and his wife received a combined $1.5 million, with 18.6% their effective joint tax rate.
* Biggert’s campaign pounced on the fact that Foster paid no income taxes last year. From a press release…
The Judy Biggert for Congress campaign today released the following statement from Naperville small businessman Jimmy Bergeron, owner of Jimmy’s Grill:
“I’m a hardworking small business owner and taxpayer, and the things Bill Foster voted for while he was in Washington makes it harder for me to keep my doors open. He’s running again, and he’s always talking about how he wants to raise taxes on people like me. So I was pretty angry when I saw on the news that he paid no federal incomes taxes last year. It’s incredibly hypocritical of Bill Foster to pay no taxes when he’s running around campaigning for higher taxes on hardworking small business owners.”
* The Biggert campaign also wants Foster to release more returns…
Over the weekend we learned that millionaire former Congressman Bill Foster paid no taxes last year. In keeping with a promise she made on Fox Chicago during a televised debate, Representative Biggert previously provided the last five years of her returns to the station. In the interest of transparency, the campaign will offer other members of the media the same opportunity. But it comes with a challenge - will Congressman Foster release the last five years of his and his wife’s returns to the media as well?
* Biggert has been running an ad claiming that the “millionaire former congressman” Foster outsourced jobs to Wisconsin and backed legislation that allegedly “sent jobs to China”…
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale) has been endorsed by the Illinois Education Association. The announcement was made at Hinsdale South High School in Darien Monday.
Biggert is the incumbent running for the 11th Congressional District. Her opponent is Democrat Bill Foster.
Although some members of the Republican Party have actively said they don’t agree with teacher unions, Vice President Kathi Griffin of the Illinois Education Association said it’s important to look past Biggert’s political party.
“I think it’s important that we focus on what the candidate stands for,” Griffin said. “It’s not whether you are a Democrat or Republican. It’s whether you’re a friend to education, and that’s what we see in Judy Biggert and why we are endorsing her.”
Even better than the recommendation — IEA does not use the word “endorse” — the group’s national parent, the National Education Association, several days ago quietly disclosed a $546,000 “independent expenditure” on her behalf.
A vote for Biggert would be a vote for fiscal restraint. And her re-election would be a constant, nagging reminder to House Speaker Michael Madigan and the rest of his crafty mapmakers that the voters don’t like being used as pawns.
Always with the Madigan.
* And I can’t remember if I posted this last week, so here’s the US Chamber’s latest ad against Foster…
I think those ads pretty much sum up Democrats failure at the congressional level for the cycle. They’re just not that great and a missed opportunity. Democrats spent the last 18 months bragging about how they’d use Ryan and now they’re using a freshman congressman no one had heard of until 24 months ago? Maybe it’s because their varsity is working on the obama campaign ads, but this isn’t the quality of stuff that’s made Illinois Democrats a power here for so long.
Madigan maybe an institution to some, but the Tribune is right, to the rest of the state, he’s a symbol of what’s wrong and these congressional candidates have used his redistricting as a key selling point to donors and the media as to why they can win/should be taken seriously as candidates.
The Biggert “white out” ad is kind of clever but does it make any practical sense for Dems to run it? Is there anyone voting in that district who doesn’t already know she is a proud Repub and has won past congressional races as a Repub and has therefore associated with Repub leadership? Is there any reason to suspect she is running from that now or is trying to hide it or to separate herself from traditional Repub economic and foreign relations policies? I guess I find the ad’s focus strange and off the mark in that respect.