Disclosure of income tax information continues to be a campaign issue for Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) even after he made his 2013 return public.
Schneider submitted his 2013 federal and state tax returns Aug. 12 after taking a permitted extension from the April 15 filing date and made them available for viewing by the media Aug. 14.
Submitting his return as a married person filing separately drew criticism from the campaign of former Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth). Dold and his wife, Danielle Dold, filed a joint return for 2013, as they did in previous years.
“After stalling for months and ignoring demands (to release) his tax returns from the years immediately before he took office, Congressman Schneider (masks) his 2013 returns to conceal his household income from the public,” Dold Campaign Manager James Slepian said.
Schneider is not disclosing information about the career of his wife, Julie Dann. She is a senior managing director for Mesirow Financial, according to the company’s website.
* Some context from Greg Hinz…
The income tax issue first surfaced in 2012, when Mr. Dold was still in office. Mr. Dold released his returns and challenged Mr. Schneider to do the same, with his aides suggesting that the returns would show Mr. Schneider really wasn’t the successful businessman he claimed to be but pretty much lived off of the income from his wife, Julie Schneider, a senior managing director at Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. here.
Mr. Dold since has renewed his challenge and Mr. Schneider eventually agreed to release his 2013 return — something that has become fairly standard in American politics. But he filed for an extension, and it wasn’t until just before the weekend that the Schneider campaign actually released anything.
What it released was not the return but a one-page summary, indicating that Mr. Schneider had federal adjusted gross income of $220,216 last year, tax liability of $60,678 after $28,000 in federal deductions, and received a $13,491 refund.
* From the Bob Dold campaign…
“The great lengths that Congressman Schneider and his staff have gone to keep his background under wraps are astonishing to say the least – nearly two years of defiance, a four month delay in sharing already publically known information and now mocking the public’s demands by filing separately from his wife. His deceptive actions have gone from troubling to disgraceful,” said James Slepian, Dold for Congress Campaign Manager.
“While his own party has called the releasing of back years of returns as the ‘low bar of disclosure’ and ‘an easy test of whether he is worthy of the public’s trust,’ it would be wise for the Congressman to remember that his seat in Congress doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to the people of the 10th District. If he can’t be trusted to answer their questions about his past, he can’t be trusted to represent them in the future,” Slepian concluded.
Since Congressman Schneider knew that the media and the very people he represents have called for this transparency since the 2012 campaign, then:
Why did he still file his returns as an individual instead of with his wife as he has always done?
Why did he delay the viewing of his returns for over four months?
Why is he still refusing the release his 2011 and 2012 returns, and did he pay all of the taxes he was legally required to pay in those years?
I can certainly see the reasoning behind the attacks, but they’d probably better tread lightly on the wife issue.