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Quinn once again hits Rauner on taxes

Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014

* As we discussed yesterday, Gov. Pat Quinn held a press conference to slam Bruce Rauner over his tax issues. Sun-Times

In a campaign in which Democrats are playing up income inequality issues, Quinn held a news conference that called on Rauner to further disclose details related to taxes he’s already released as well as future releases. Quinn’s remarks come after a Tribune report detailing loopholes that Rauner had tapped in previous filings, including avoiding paying Medicare and Social Security taxes in 2010 and 2011.

“The schedules tell the tale, all the details needed to determine if there are conflicts of interest and what loopholes are being used by Mr. Rauner to slash his tax burden and shift that burden onto working people,” Quinn said. “We don’t need a loophole governor and that’s what Rauner is all about.”

Quinn responded to the Rauner campaign calling the news conference a stunt, saying “I think the stunt is … [Rauner] not paying into Medicare or Social Security from their private income.”

Margaret Healy, a sixth grade Chicago history teacher at Chicago City Day School, held up her pay stub and talked of living in a basement apartment and sometimes borrowing her parents’ car to make ends meet.

“If you were to look at my pay stub … you would see that I pay Social Security and Medicare, however, it is somewhat mind-boggling that Bruce Rauner has managed to avoid payment to either of these programs,” said Healy.

* The Rauner response via surrogate

Subpoenas issued by a federal grand jury for e-mails related to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative have the Bruce Rauner campaign calling for Gov. Pat Quinn to testify about the program. Those subpoenas asked for e-mails dating to 2010 from several former officials in the Quinn administration. Former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady, who now works for the Rauner campaign, says Quinn should volunteer to testify.

“If he doesn’t come clean now,” Brady said, “I fear for what the grand jury and the U.S. attorney’s office in the Central District of Illinois might do.”

Brady claims the Quinn campaign has tried to draw attention away from the subpoenas by calling for Rauner to release his tax returns.

Brady denies that Rauner is trying to avoid reporters while still attacking Quinn through surrogates. “Mr. Rauner didn’t spend 10, 11 years prosecuting financial crimes like I did,” Brady said, “and he doesn’t have probably the knowledge about this like I do.”

They’re basically just standing there throwing bricks at each other.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    The schedules tell the tale, all the details needed to determine if there are conflicts of interest and what loopholes are being used by Mr. Rauner to slash his tax burden and shift that burden onto working people,”

    So out of curiosity, I paid some captial gains tax last year so is that a loophole? How about that deduction I took for those second highest in the country for cities property taxes I paid in Aurora is that a loophole?

    How about that investment you at least had and may still have with leftover money from one of your races is the fact you claimed income from that a loophole?

    Just curious.

  2. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    Corruption is more damaging than “legally” avoiding taxes.

    Quinn cannot run on his record and the tax thing is the only thing he can talk about to make his supporters feel like he is fighting.

  3. - Been There - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    ===They’re basically just standing there throwing bricks at each other.====
    Tell us when the bricks make a direct hit. It is to the point I hardly read through a whole article. Blah, blah, blah.
    Good thing we have you to cut and paste so we don’t have to read all the dribble.

  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    So in all those years Pat Quinn claims to have been a tax attorney, what exactly did he do besides using these “loopholes” for any of his clients?

  5. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    The last thing we need in a governor is a guy who doesn’t publish taxes he hasn’t yet filed!

    Go get ‘em Governor! Remind voters what a great governor you are!

  6. - cover - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    = They’re basically just standing there throwing bricks at each other. =

    It will only get worse as we get closer to election day. I may have to give up watching TV during October.

  7. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 11:31 am:


    Thank God for the DVR. If you fast forward at least it’s brief intense pain.

  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Rauner should just rip off the bandaid and release the taxes.

    At the same time, to be fair, the whole loophole thing seems like grasping at straws.

    Bruce Rauner didn’t pay into Medicare or social security because those are payroll taxes, and he makes his money through capital gains.

    At the same time, I am guessing he is not eligible for Social Security or Medicare either.

    Finally, his wife would have paid Medicare or Social security, but my understanding is that she refuses to accept a salary for her nonprofit exec job. At the same time some of her colleagues have been ripped for $300K to $400K salaries.

    Seems to me the Quinn attack is not only a bit dubious, but likely to backfire in a really, really bad way.

    Don’t say you weren’t warned, and I won’t say I told you so.

  9. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Next week, maybe we can get the guys in the chicken suits to have a water balloon fight.

    That would be about as beneficial to the state as this back-and-forth is.

  10. - Jay Dee - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    “They’re basically just standing there throwing bricks at each other.”

    I thought that’s what political campaigns were. /snark

  11. - OLK 73 - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Bruce Rauner is worth hundreds of millions. Don’t think that is a shock to anyone at this point. The only chance Quinn has is to see if he’s as dumb as Brady was in falling for these tactics. Don’t see it happening this time.

  12. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    The real issue is the state budget, which can only be addressed with tax increases and/or cuts in popular services. They cannot campaign in depth on that issue, so the default is to find as many kitties as possible to distract to voters.

  13. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    Its not Rauner’s fault that Pat Quinn and his party of Democrats have no problem with their federal tax policies that take the income of poor working people for Medicare and Social Security while providing loopholes for the rich to get out of paying an equal share of their wealth.

    Margaret Healy is barking up the wrong tree, its mostly the Democrats who believe in taking income taxes from the working poor, especially in Illinois where the tax burden on poor people is among the highest in the country.

  14. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    One Man: How about we start with the “loopholes” as defined by Rauner in his 3-Step Plan? Would that work?

    What? A stunt without live animals?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 12:39 pm:


    Rauner has filed extensions in the past, and is doing so again.

    I would focus on what is known; Winnetka addresses again and the Clouted Denied Daughter in Chicago.

    Who lived in Chicago? What Driver’s License, what documents besides a voting record made any Rauner a Chicagoan?

  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    Trigg -

    Oh yes, Democrats have singlehandedly perpetuated income disparity in the US.

    Or was it Democrats who are pushing to raise the minimum wage and increase taxes on millionaires?

    I can never remember which side of the looking glass I am on.

  17. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 1:32 pm:


    Using that logic ‘let’s start with what you suggest’ as it were, I would then fully expect that Quinn is committed to paying additional income tax to the state of Illinois going forward regardless of what the tax rate is since he is in favor of keeping the income tax rate up…

  18. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    YDD - Name one policy promoted by federal or state Democrats in the last decade that has sought to reduce taxation levels on poor people.

    Minimum wage? That’s more about helping increase government’s tax revenues than it is about helping poor people, otherwise they would just increase the standard deductions to let poor people keep more of their income. Same with higher taxes on the middle class and rich people promoted by Democrats, its more about growing government revenues than it is helping poor people. The feds spend $16,500 per

    Democrats aren’t to blame for the growing income disparity in the US, the shrinking personal and household income in the US, the higher poverty levels in the US, and the increasing tax levels on poor people in the US? Perhaps not single-handed on the national level, but the Democrats in Illinois haven’t needed a single Republican vote to pass anything in this state for the past decade. The growing income disparity and poverty levels in Illinois and the shrinking household income of Illinois residents is not the fault of Republicans. The Democrats just increased the state income tax on everyone, including the poor, without even considering raising the standard deduction so the income tax hike wouldn’t hit the poor. Ya, Democrats can be guilt free and blame it all on Republicans, sure thing.

  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 1:55 pm:


    Expansion of the Illinois Earned Income tax, sponsored by Senator Obama and signed by Governor Blagojevich.

    In march, 2014, President Obama called for expanding the federal EITC.

    Give my regards to the Jabberwocky.

  20. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    The EITC (a libertarian policy idea) does not reduce taxation levels of the poor, its a handout for select poor people with children. The expansion of the EITC at the state level didn’t even keep up with the rate of inflation or the rate of household income decline in the state. Same with the proposed federal EITC expansion.

    You think the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with the times? Well, guess what, same thing with the EITC. The two examples you provided didn’t come anywhere close to keeping up with the times, and they still don’t. They also don’t effect Medicare and Social Security taxes.

  21. - Anon. - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==Its not Rauner’s fault that Pat Quinn and his party of Democrats have no problem with their federal tax policies that take the income of poor working people for Medicare and Social Security while providing loopholes for the rich to get out of paying an equal share of their wealth.==

    Actually, they have enacted a law (part of the Obamacare act, so it was the Dems who did it) to impose medicare tax on investment income of people with large enough incomes. I suspect that Rauner’s 2013 return will show a pretty good liability for that amount when it gets filed, which may make some of the Governor’s mudslinging rebound and stick to him.

  22. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    No, Rich, they aren’t throwing bricks. Bricks are things of substance, with mass and matter.

  23. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    And Rich, the quality of discussion on here is going dramatically downhill. I know, it’s your blog, but most of us don’t come on here to hear what appear to partisan hacks (maybe even paid hacks) exchange campaign generated talking points back and forth at each other. They add nothing to the discussion, take up time and space, don’t appear to have had an original thought in their lives, frequently don’t have any institutional knowledge, and appear to come here only to spout their crap, not to participate thoughtfully, much less constructively. Don’t know what should or can be done, but it’s a shame. Did it get this bad 4 years ago? Maybe my memory is just foggy, but it didn’t seem so.

  24. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 3:43 pm:


    The president’s proposal, in part, was to expand the EITC for low income workers without children.

    Ahah, you say…Democrats may have indeed championed tax reform that broadly benefits low income workers, but what you meant was they have never done so on a Monday.

    You got me there.

    Oops. Scratch that. Wrong again, Jeff.

    I find your perspectives on election law interesting. Tax policy, not so much.

  25. - Linus - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    To the EITC improvements that YDD mentions, let’s add the relatively recent improvements in the federal Child Tax Credit that have expressly targeted more CTC help to the lowest-income, working families with kids.

  26. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jul 9, 14 @ 8:23 pm:

    Pat Quinn’s been (rightfully so) pounding away on Rauner so much on this issue he’s startin’ to look like Muhammad Ali layin’ into Joe Frazier back in the day–and the hits are landin’…!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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