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*** UPDATED x1 *** Durbin vs. Oberweis react

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

* The AP focused on guns

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and GOP challenger Jim Oberweis disagreed Monday on whether to require universal background checks for firearms purchases, with Durbin saying it would reduce violence in a country “awash in guns” and Oberweis saying he’s not convinced the checks would have the intended impact.

Oberweis, an Illinois state senator and entrepreneur from Sugar Grove, is trying to unseat Durbin — the U.S. Senate’s No. 2 Democrat — in November. They met Monday before the Chicago Tribune editorial board for their first joint, televised appearance of the 2014 campaign.

If you missed the debate yesterday, you can watch it here.

* ABC 7 went with these two issues

Tax returns and residency take center stage in a face-to-face meeting in the race for the U.S. Senate race in Illinois. Both Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin and Republican challenger Jim Oberweis appeared before the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune.

Durbin demanded proof that the Republican is an Illinois income tax payer. Oberweis’ wife lives in, and takes a homestead exemption in, the couple’s Florida house, making her a permanent resident there. The candidate says he still lives in Kane County.

Later, Oberweis would not guarantee he’d make his state return public, but insisted he does pay Illinois income taxes.

* Oberweis made good on releasing his returns

Oberweis accused Durbin of lying and insisted he pays Illinois taxes. “If it’s an important issue, I will provide you the state income tax (forms),” Oberweis said.

Hours later, he landed a counterpunch by releasing his 2012 and 2013 Illinois state income tax returns. In 2013, Oberweis reported $1.726 million in total income and paid $61,739 in state taxes. He overpaid by $4,485, money that will reduce his 2014 obligation.

His 2012 state tax return reported almost $1.43 million in income and a tax bill of $60,871.

* After the debate, Oberweis pointed to another tax issue

According to the Oberweis campaign, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin was caught lying today at the Chicago Tribune editorial board session when asked about his role in the IRS scandal.

In a press release, Oberweis said Durbin was asked unequivocally whether he or his U.S. Senate staff had ANY contact with the IRS during the IRS scandal other than the well-publicized letter he wrote asking the IRS to target Crossroads GPS on Oct. 10, 2010.

Durbin responded that there was no other correspondence.

Oberweis then produced an email from a Durbin staffer to an IRS staffer two days after the Crossroads letter. The email was first revealed by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in its June 16, 2014 report titled, “How Politics Led the IRS to Target Conservative Tax-Exempt Applicants for the Political Beliefs.”

“Dick Durbin flat-out lied to the Tribune editorial board. This is important because we don’t know how deep Dick Durbin’s role was in the IRS scandal that he himself characterized as reminiscent of the worst abuses of the Richard Nixon era,” Oberweis said.

The brief e-mail, which is here, is from a Durbin aide. The Durbin campaign later responded to the Oberweis claim

Durbin campaign spokesman Ron Holmes later dismissed the email’s significance, saying it was sent by Durbin’s staff to alert an IRS employee to Durbin’s already-disclosed letter a day after it was sent.

*** UPDATE *** Sheesh…


He thinks Evergreen Park is a black neighborhood?

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


Durbin sides with Holland against Quinn

Monday, Sep 22, 2014

* Sen. Dick Durbin’s response to questions about the governor’s NRI program, which is now under federal investigation, is impossible to argue with..

“I don’t know where the chips are going to fall. I don’t know who’s responsible for wrongdoing here,” said Durbin, D-Ill., Friday in an interview with Early & Often. “I’m not for a whitewash or walking away from it. Let’s find out.” […]

Durbin lauded William Holland, the state’s auditor general, who in February released a blistering review of the program, describing it as “hastily implemented” and said it didn’t target some of the most crime-prone neighborhoods in Chicago. Holland found that Quinn’s administration didn’t “adequately monitor” how state grant dollars were spent or on whom; community organizations that hired people with those funds weren’t maintaining time sheets; and city aldermen dictated where funding was to be steered.

“I’ve known him for years. Years. We worked together on the Senate staff, back many years ago. And he’s been auditor general two decades or more,” Durbin said. “I have the highest respect for his integrity. When he looks at it and says, ‘This needs to be investigated,’ I agree with Bill Holland.”

* Meanwhile, this was a pretty darned good pivot when asked about Jim Oberweis’ charge that he had “bullied” companies like Walgreens to keep them from moving their headquarters overseas

“I think that’s a senator’s responsibility. To work to keep businesses in this state and to keep them in this country,” Durbin said. “Now, here comes my opponent and he’s saying: “oh, you shouldn’t do this. There’s a reason why he’s saying that. Jim Oberweis is a walking inversion.”

Durbin cited Oberweis’ wife claiming permanent residence in Florida and the husband and wife filing separate taxes to take advantage of tax breaks in Florida.

“Jim Oberweis has refused to disclose his state income tax return. The obvious question is out of the million-dollar-plus salary … how much did he pay Illinois income tax on?” Durbin said. “I think it’s a question he ought to answer. I disclose all my income tax … schedules included.”

* And he called the support of Oberweis by two black ministers a “novelty”

“I’ll tell you this: If Mr. Oberweis wants this battle fought among African-Americans in Chicago or in Cook County — be my guest,” Durbin said. “I think [with] my voting record, my support of the president and my support of programs that will make a positive difference in their lives, I’ll do quite well.”

* But the Oberweis campaign got in a solid zinger of its own after Durbin called on his opponent to raise wages at his ice cream stores

“Dick Durbin’s policies have resulted in the worst economic recovery in U.S. history and devastation for the poor and middle class in Illinois,” said Oberweis spokesman Dan Curry. “He’s possibly the last person on Earth Jim Oberweis would go to for advice on how to run his successful businesses.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Schilling endorses LaHood
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Duckworth to announce on Monday
* Rauner mulls selling Thompson Center
* Question of the day
* It's just a bill...
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Brown: Exploring an exploratory committee is "under review"
* Rauner administration denies union report of progress on fair share suit
* *** UPDATED x2 - Durbin out of the running? *** Illinois Republicans react to potential Durbin elevation
* Is a new era finally dawning in Illinois?
* Meanwhile, in Opposite Land...
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

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