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Today’s quotable

Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014

* From a press release…

Oberweis: Durbin deserves scorn, not praise for Walgreen’s

Jim Oberweis, candidate for U.S. Senate, issued the following statement today re: Walgreen’s

“The Walgreen’s saga symbolizes Dick Durbin’s 32-year career in Washington. His bullying of Walgreen’s was a political stunt designed to help only one person: Dick Durbin. It didn’t create any jobs. It didn’t reform our job-killing tax code. Like in the IRS scandal, Dick Durbin was using government power to achieve partisan political gain. Instead of praise, Dick Durbin deserves our scorn.”

…Adding… For context, here’s Sen. Durbin’s statement…

“Earlier this morning, I spoke with the CEO of Walgreen’s, and am thrilled to say that the corner of happy and healthy is still right here in Illinois. As Walgreens themselves noted, Illinois has been their home for more than 110 years, and locating their global business here in the U.S. was the right decision for their customers, employees and shareholders. I’d add to that that it’s the right decision for every taxpayer in Illinois and across America.”

Late last month, Durbin sent a letter to Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson, expressing his strong opposition to the speculation that the company would buy Alliance Boots and use a strategy called “inversion,” to move the company’s headquarters overseas, but only on paper, in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Durbin has been the leading voice in Congress against these schemes, raising the issue in the face of a growing trend in U.S. corporate tax avoidance.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


33 Comments
  1. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    There’s the Obie we know and don’t love.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    So…

    United States Senator Richard Durbin, while trying to keep a corporation from not only leaving the US, but leaving Illinois, used to power of his pulpit, and his position, to SUCCESSFULLY, according to Oberweis, successfully sbd personally keep Walgreens here in Deerfield???

    What would a US Senator Oberweis do, circle the Deerfield HQ in a black helicopter and with a bull horn yell every 30 seconds, “Stay, Walgreens, stay!”…”Stay, Walgreens, stay!”

    Oberweis Crew, you put into focus a victory for your opponent, that most are applauding…why?


  3. - Yep - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Oberweis: As tone deaf a statewide Illinois politician as can be.


  4. - The Captain - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    They repeatedly misspelled corn, somehow adding a superfluous ’s’. I will be giving Dick Durbin corn, Illinois corn, he’s earned it.


  5. - Spliff - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Is this his way of supporting Rauner? Walgreens staying is bad. America would flourish if more companies were based overseas?


  6. - LizPhairTax - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    It’s funnier if you imagine him touching down for a second in the McCormick Place lot, wearing his headset and screaming this at reporters over the rotor wash and then closing the door and taking the chopper straight back up over Soldier Field to the place in the sky that he lives between statewide drubbings.


  7. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Can we get Oberweis Dairy to do a corporate inversion and send him to Switzerland?


  8. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    NOoooo!

    But considering how he is polling, he has to try something, right?

    What Oberweis needed to do is point out how Durbin had the clout to abuse administrative law instead of legislative law to beat Walgreens into staying - for now.

    Then finished off by telling us that we don’t need a legislator in Congress more comfortable with abusing administrative law, than crafting a legislative solution.

    This is one of the bad things about the whole Walgreens situation - we have political people skirting the very laws they write in order to score political points to keep themselves in power.

    Durbin couldn’t find a legislative way of handling this - you know, like a real Senator, instead he handled this through administrative channels.

    What we are seeing is abusive administrative law being shoved down our throats by political operators.

    Walgreens is so outta here in 2016.


  9. - Anon. - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    ==“Earlier this morning, I spoke with the CEO of Walgreen’s, and am thrilled to say that the corner of happy and healthy is still right here in Illinois. . . Durbin sent a letter to Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson [regarding the plan] to move the company’s headquarters overseas, but only on paper.”

    So the company was never moving from Illinois, and Durbin is announcing success in convincing them to stay here? Hate to say it, but Oberweis is right on this one.


  10. - Not Rich - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    A lifelong D..I am with Oberweiss, Dick Durbin is the poster boy for what is wrong with DC politics.. I saved the video of him telling me that I could keep my health insurance if I liked it when he voted for ObamaCare..


  11. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    Walgreens stock has plunged following this decision. Good for the shareholders? Doesn’t this make the company weaker financially?

    Oh, sorry. I’m injecting a little common sense here! My bad!


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    ===Can we get Oberweis Dairy to do a corporate inversion and send him to Switzerland?===

    Can I, - 47th Ward -?

    Keep Oberweis Dairy here…

    Trade his Florida-Residing Wife, with Jim, sending Jim to Florida, and he can be a Florida state Senator, and we in Illinois get his wife BACK…

    I like the ice cream, I can’t lie.


  13. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Durbin is doing a victory lap.
    Oberweis needs to do something to make that lap look silly or fake.

    (sigh) politics


  14. - Eugene - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Oberweis is a rich fool. End of story. A fool and his money may soon be parted, but not soon enough, apparently.


  15. - Willie Stark - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    Obie’s gotta be Obie! Why the Quinn folks don’t tie him and Rauner together in a neater package, I don’t get.

    Louis G. Atsaves: way to encapsulate so succinctly the problem of short-term thinking when it comes to stocks, investing and what is in a business’ best interests. Walgreens still trading at a P/E of 20+. Market retains optimism about the company’s longer term prospects and opportunities, even if you don’t.


  16. - Meanderthal - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Me and a lot of other frugal people I know cross over into Lake County to fill up the tank in order to avoid Cook County fuel taxes. Then I turn right around and drive home on roads maintained (vry poorly) by Cook County. Guess that make me a deserter.


  17. - A guy... - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    I think you guys are missing it here. This is a good statement. For reasons pounded last week, Walgreens is a folksy neighbor to a lot of people. Durbin picked on the neighbor thinking he was beating up big business. The Oberweis team is locked in on public opinion here, playing on Durbin’s somewhat rocky history of saying stupid things emotionally himself.
    Obie looks like the guy who’s supporting the hometown hero here.
    Don’t let your blind dislike for this guy fool you. This is a shrewd statement. If I were Durbin, I’d be busting my hump calling for hearings to investigate the tax code that made this inversion thing so attractive to Walgreens and all Illinois and US business.
    Right now, he beat up a home town hero.
    Good move by Oberweis strategists. You guys are wet on this one.


  18. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    Any pressure put on Walgreens to stay put is good in my book.

    And I couldn’t disagree with you more @A guy.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    - A Guy… -,

    Isn’t Bruce Rauner’s plan as governor to keep all the corporate partners he can and poach as many as he can, from anywhere.

    That said, keeping the corporate Walgreen’s here makes sense….unless you possibly…personally… gained by inversion…than you might not want to stop that…

    So now if a Gov. Rauner tries to keep CAT or somebody, you will “boo” that.

    Ok.


  20. - A guy... - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    Hey Demo, we respectfully disagree. With Willie, we just plain disagree. We’ll see how this plays out. I could easily paint Durbin as an enemy of Illinois business in the mail and demonstrate he showed up to scream about the problem but went into hiding when it came to a solution. “Durbin handicaps Illinois business” is a theme I could create a way to pound. You mess with my pharmacist, I’ll mess with your Senate seat. We’ll see how it plays.


  21. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    @A guy:

    If you can focus on the pharmacist angle then I think you have something. But if you can get the public thinking in terms of Walgreens as a corporation then mentioning tax avoidance with their name is going to generate a visceral reaction from the public at large. People are fed up with a lot of things and the constant trickle of information on corporate tax avoidance is one of them. They don’t understand that all corporations are doing is what the law allows. They don’t care. They care that a corporation is getting away with paying less taxes while they aren’t.


  22. - Klondike Clapton - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    I’m sorry, but I prefer to live in an America where powerful politicians don’t tell businesses how to act within the law by calling them unpatriotic.


  23. - Sunshine - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    Didn’t much ;like do-nothing Durbin before….still don’t like him.

    Good to see Walgreen’s hanging around in poor, broke Illinois.


  24. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Oberweis is saying something similar to Greg Hinz, albeit a bit less clearly.

    == Sen. Dick Durbin, Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, I’ve heard from all of them, and to the extent that their jawboning indeed helped keep the big drug retailer in the Chicago area, good for them.

    But not one has mentioned today North Chicago-based AbbVie Inc., another big Illinois company that not only is talking about inverting its headquarters overseas but is actually doing so. And waiting in the wings potentially are Lake Forest-based Hospira Inc. and other local companies.

    Hold the Champagne, guys. Your work has really just started.

    The core problem is the screwed-up American tax code. The tax rate is too high to be competitive, largely because the base has been whittled down with too many loopholes. Everyone in Washington knows it, even if they’re too busy pointing the finger at someone else for not fixing it. ==


  25. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    –Oh, sorry. I’m injecting a little common sense here! My bad!–

    Louis, if you think finding deep meaning in a half-day’s movement in a stock price is indicative of anything, no, you’re not injecting any common sense at all.

    Best to stick to knocking Libertarians off the ballot. You know, championing democracy.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    ===Hey Demo, we respectfully disagree. With Willie, we just plain disagree.===

    You stay classy, - A Guy… -.

    Did I miss Rauner’s statement, on the Oberweis quote, or is Rauner too busy on his 23,000 acres to be bothered?


  27. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    Why is Walgreens the poster child for hundreds of other companies who have utilized the same loophole? Because it’s an Illinois company, right? Only in Illinois.


  28. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    That’s it. I’m voting for Rich Miller. I do not like either of these people. God may save the Queen but not Illinois.


  29. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    ===I’m voting for Rich Miller===

    Don’t even consider that option. lol

    If you’re gonna write in a fictional candidate, write in Oscar the Puppy.


  30. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 5:03 pm:

    Interestingly enough, Fortune Magazine had a couple of opinion pieces by Senior Editor at Large Allan Sloan on inversion recently. One essay was entitled “Positively Un-American”, the other “How to stop companies from deserting America before it’s too late”. In the second essay he notes that inversion made him angry and “Judging from the reaction I’ve gotten from readers, it makes a lot of other people angry too.” We are talking about readers of Fortune, not Rolling Stone or Mother Jones. Fortune is hardly a left-wing bastion of anti-capitalism. It looks like Mr. Oberweis is clealy on the wrong side in this one trying to heap scorn (or corn) on Sen Durbin.


  31. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 5:12 pm:

    I can see “clearly” now.


  32. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 6:36 pm:

    Billionaire investor Mark Cuban said companies moving offshore to pursue tax inversions were “bad for America” noting that the rest of us are forced to make up the shortfall.

    Oberweis and Rauner are finding themselves in increasingly shrinking company.


  33. - Harry - Thursday, Aug 7, 14 @ 12:03 am:

    Oberweis and VanillaMan at 11:54 are correct on the economics and abuse of power issues, but of course it’s great electoral politics for Durbin–the fact that Durbin will be rewarded by the electorate is just another instance of the thinking that got Illinois into its current mess, and keeps it there.

    Oh, well.


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