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Schneider still under fire over tax returns

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* News-Sun

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


12 Comments
  1. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    If Mr. Schneider has recently harped on any of the “class warfare” themes against Mr. Dold, then it is fair game.

    That also applies if he actually has “sold” himself to the public based on his success in business or if he has suddenly changed his filing habits by filing as an individual rather than jointly. Those all raise valid questions that deserve to be answered.

    Otherwise, leave it alone.


  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    ==but they’d probably better tread lightly on the wife issue.==

    Couldn’t agree more. Families should be absolutely off limits. The public already demands to know every minute detail of candidate’s and public officials lives. That should not extend to their family members. None of your business.


  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Out of sheer decency, personal information about spouses, children, and extended family should really be off limits in political campaigns, but I know that is a lot to ask in this great state. #candidatesonlyplease


  4. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Of course, be careful with family issues unless you are Channel 7 and Dick Durbin. As long as he does not go Clubber Lang from Rocky 3 and insult Mrs. Schneider, this is not offensive to me.


  5. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    ==Out of sheer decency, personal information about spouses, children, and extended family should really be off limits in political campaigns, but I know that is a lot to ask in this great state. #candidatesonlyplease ==

    Great, Anonymous….putting your comment in context, are you saying all candidates should be immune for the now common demand that tax returns be released? Frankly, I would agree with that.


  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    I love how Dold, who was raised in Kenilworth and works for his Daddy’s company, has the gall to question (1) Schneider’s success in business, and (2) the fact that Schneider may benefit from a family member’s financial success. Priceless.


  7. - South of Sherman - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    ==”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.==

    So Dold’s campaign manager is now writing Quinn press releases about Rauner?


  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    Tax returns are certainly fair game now, but I don’t get the politics in this one.

    North Shore women will probably decide the race. Many of them make good coin. Does Dold really want to make an issue of the fact that Schneider’s wife is successful and makes good money?

    What does that get him, with whom? I don’t see any upside, and I could envision a backlash if he keeps it up.


  9. - Watchdog - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Of course it’s fair game. Schneider said he was a businessman. People want to see his credentials for that since that was his line for why he should fit the bill.By reporting no clients or personal revenue, people should reserve a degree a skepticism. Shifting the way you file reminds me of a Romney or Rauner move because there are ugly things there, but in his case, it might what’s in Julie’s closet a la Koch brother investments. Schneider makes it worse on himself. The more he delays the more he presents himself as the anti-transparency candidate in IL10 and that might leave him reporting no income in 2015!


  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 6:20 pm:

    Yes, by all means, argue a woman’s
    Place is in her home, and if she insists on working she should at least have the decency to earn less than her husband.

    Insecure much, Dold?


  11. - walker - Wednesday, Aug 20, 14 @ 8:33 pm:

    Goose and gander.


  12. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 21, 14 @ 8:15 am:

    Enough with the taxes.
    Move onto better issues.


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