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Exec who said he was leaving Illinois runs as Romney delegate in Illinois

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* Champaign News-Gazette political columnist Tom Kacich (not online, so no link) reported today that James Liautaud, the CEO of the Jimmy John’s chain, is running as a Mitt Romney convention delegate, in Champaign.

Sure enough, he’s listed on the State Board of Elections’ website

* But, wait, I thought Liautaud said he was moving to Florida and had already enrolled his children in school there to avoid Illinois’ higher income taxes? From this past January

Jimmy John Liautaud told The News-Gazette on Tuesday that he is angry about the moves, which boosted the individual income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent and the corporate income tax from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent.

“All they do is stick it to us,” he said, adding that the Legislature and governor showed “a clear lack of understanding.”

“I could absorb this and adapt, but it doesn’t feel good in my soul to make it happen,” Liautaud said. […]

As for himself, “my family and I are out of here,” he said.

Liautaud said he has rented a house in south Florida and his children started school there last week. He said he has applied for Florida residency and plans to commute to Champaign.

So, he doesn’t want to live and pay taxes here, but he wants to run as a convention delegate here? Bizarre.

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 11:53 am


  1. I am shocked, SHOCKED! to find out that JJ is full of hot air.


    I haven’t bought one of his sandwiches in a year. Regardless of political leanings, the dude dissed my state and I take that very personally. This is the place that I grew up, the place that made me who I am, the place I am raising my children. You can feel how you feel, but don’t think because you have money you get to tell the rest of us how to run the place.

    Comment by Colossus Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:01 pm

  2. He “applied” for residency. He is not moving to Europe. We think he meant to say he was establishing his tax dodge so he could avoid IL taxes and stick his kids in free schools.

    Maybe those ever vigiliant watchdogs in the Champaign County Clerks office (2011 Golden Horseshoe Recipients) can obtain his “application” and see if he is still eligible to VOTE in IL. Perhaps DandyDan — chief RomneyZombie — could see if his “papers” are in order. Maybe FL officials who love to catch snowbird tax cheats can read the Blog and score another scalp.
    Honest taxpayers across American salute Capt Fax.

    Comment by CircularFiringSquad Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:02 pm

  3. Hypocrisy in politics, surely you jest

    Comment by Jimbo Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:03 pm

  4. The same goes to the Civic Club, btw. When the weather gets cold again tomorrow, I know who to turn to for enough hot air to heat the whole state.

    Comment by Colossus Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:03 pm

  5. As Doc Holliday says in Tombstone, ” It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.”

    Comment by Tombstone Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:03 pm

  6. he probably figured out that florida’s overall taxes aren’t lower than illinois’…

    Comment by bored now Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:03 pm

  7. Brodsky and Liautaud just make you feel warm amd fuzzy don’t they?

    Comment by Irish Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:07 pm

  8. Another big shot businessman who takes pot shots at the state but still wants to be part of it (delegate). This is the second story of this type of person I have seen today. It must be nice to have the money and power to just up and move to south Florida and then still be able to be the Republican front runners delegate in bad old Illinois. Im really sick of the whining these guys do. Shut up and go away and leave all of us poor overtaxed Illini alone.

    Comment by vandalia Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:08 pm

  9. ===“I could absorb this and adapt, but it doesn’t feel good in my soul to make it happen,” Liautaud said. […]

    It doesn’t make his soul feel good? So it’s not an economic calculus he is making, it’s about his soul? So much for economic rationality.

    Comment by ArchPundit Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:11 pm

  10. That’s just wrong, can’t have both ways.

    Comment by Dan Shields, Springfield, IL Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:12 pm

  11. Hey, I’m sure Rutherford expects more campaign contributions from the guy. Gotta keep him happy.

    Comment by just sayin' Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:17 pm

  12. He’s pretty much the poster child for Romney supporters IMO.

    Comment by Cheryl44 Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:35 pm

  13. Colossus, I had a #16 last weekend and it was the first since this carpetbagger announced his Florida plans. I am embarrassed to admit that the sandwiches are good.

    Now though, this is too much. The embargo is back in place. I too love my state and he can take Florida and keep it.

    Comment by Mongo Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:35 pm

  14. “Have you no shame”…
    Nope, it’s all been lost at the tea party.

    Comment by D.P. Gumby Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:38 pm

  15. Heartened to know I was not the only one waging a personal boycott against him. thanks for the reminder to keep it up!

    Comment by jojo1423 Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:40 pm

  16. Flip flops so fast you’ll freak.

    Comment by Ron Burgundy Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:45 pm

  17. Not enought meat on the sandwiches, which makes my boycott easier, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

    Comment by Mr. Sub Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:50 pm

  18. I’m convinced that as the HQ for the incumbent Dem Prez campaign, the Illinois bashing from members of the right from within and from outside of the state, as well as from the uncommitted, will not cease throughout 2012, perhaps longer if BO wins again.

    Comment by Kasich Walker, Jr. Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:52 pm

  19. When Obama won in 2008, Illinois became to many on the right what Texas is to way too many on the left — a stereotypical source of fermentation for the opposition.

    Comment by Kasich Walker, Jr. Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:55 pm

  20. I’m still wondering how many taxpayer dollars were spent ensuring his establishments were serving serving food that was safe to eat. Perhaps someone could ask IDPH to tally up the costs.

    Comment by Michelle Flaherty Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:56 pm

  21. Is this reverse carpetbagging then? My head’s on a swivel.

    By the way, did JJ move his headquarters out of Champaign to one of those states that was whispering sweet-nothings in his ear? I must have missed that.

    I hope the current crew of GOPers all hang in there and make it to Illinois. To hear The Gingrich and Pistol Perry rip on Mitt with rhetoric straight out of Occupy Wall Street is enormously entertaining.

    So is Ron Paul dissing the “military industrial complex” and “corporate welfare.”

    Next thing you know these guys will be wearing Guy Fawkes masks and banging on drums. And you know Ron Paul has no problem with the weed….

    Comment by wordslinger Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 12:58 pm

  22. Rahm Emanual had his kids enrolled in schools and DC and ran for Mayor.

    Comment by Anon Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:09 pm

  23. - Rahm Emanual had his kids enrolled in schools and DC and ran for Mayor. -

    You’re right, exactly the same scenario, thanks for the insight…

    Comment by Small Town Liberal Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:14 pm

  24. Per the following — Liautaud has a homestead exemption on his Champaign property (i.e, he claims it as his domicile). His assessed value has gone down in recent years; however, I can’t tell right off if that was because of market conditions or because he appealed it.


    Champaign County Assessor Information
    Taxpayer and Parcel Information
    Pin: 43-20-14-282-018
    Mailing Address 1002 W ARMORY ST Sect Twp Prop code Range Acres
    CHAMPAIGN IL 61821-4536 14 19 1150 8 .00

    Property Location 1002 W ARMORY CHAMPAIGN 61821

    ***** Values not final. May be subject to change.

    Assessment Records
    Land Building Farm Land Farm Building Total
    2011 Pay 2012 ***** To be determined
    2010 Pay 2011 FINAL $109,290. $355,370. $0. $0. $464,660.
    2009 Pay 2010 FINAL $109,290. $355,370. $0. $0. $464,660.
    2008 Pay 2009 FINAL $109,290. $469,350. $0. $0. $578,640.
    2007 Pay 2008 FINAL $106,200. $362,780. $0. $0. $468,980.
    2006 Pay 2007 FINAL $98,660. $337,030. $0. $0. $435,690.

    Market Value $327,903. $1,066,217. Not part of formula $1,394,120.

    Owner Occupied Home Improvements All Others Total Amount Paid in Amount
    2011 Pay 2012 ***** Exemptions being updated
    2010 Pay 2011 FINAL $6,000. $0. $0. $6,000. $0.00 2011 $0.00
    2009 Pay 2010 FINAL $6,000. $25,000. $0. $31,000. $0.00 2010 $0.00
    2008 Pay 2009 FINAL $5,500. $25,000. $0. $30,500. $0.00 2009 $0.00
    2007 Pay 2008 FINAL $5,000. $25,000. $0. $30,000. $0.00 2008 $0.00
    2006 Pay 2007 FINAL $5,000. $25,000. $0. $30,000. $0.00 2007 $0.00

    Also see:

    Comment by Dooley Dudright Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:17 pm

  25. –Rahm Emanual had his kids enrolled in schools and DC and ran for Mayor–

    Rahm Emanuel was chief of staff to the president of the United States, a historically short term position (except for Andy Card).

    Emanuel was cleared to run all the way up to the Supreme Court.

    Emanuel never had a public temper tantrum ripping Chicago and declaring “my family and I are out of here.”

    Comment by wordslinger Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:17 pm

  26. “Emanuel never had a public temper tantrum”
    Right. His were always in private.

    Comment by Anon Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:22 pm

  27. ===Rahm Emanual had his kids enrolled in schools and DC and ran for Mayor.===

    And this means what? Emanuel never said he was disgusted with Illinois and announced his intent to establish permanent residency elsewhere to avoid taxation.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:25 pm

  28. People say alot of stuff. Just ask Canadian citizen Alec Baldwin
    Has anyone checked the law to see if Jimmy John does not meet the residency requirement?

    Comment by Anon Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:29 pm

  29. And Jimmy John never said he wanted to avoid taxation, just wanted lower taxes

    Comment by Anon Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:31 pm

  30. It’s this guy:

    Comment by Elo Kiddies Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:36 pm

  31. I just purchased my last Italian Night Club sandwich.

    Comment by tominchicago Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:37 pm

  32. As Cheryl noted, this makes him the perfect Romney supporter. Say one thing when it is convenient, do the opposite when the mood strikes.

    Comment by Skeeter Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:51 pm

  33. Doesn’t stuff like this always happen in threes? 1 = CBOE CEO
    2 = Jimmy John CEO
    Who will be next? Exelon, Sears???

    Comment by SportShoz Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 1:59 pm

  34. Bizarre? It’s Illinois politics. I thought that what you expected. This behavior keePs you in business. Bizarre politics in Illinois? C’mon Rich, you’re making a mint off of “Bizarre”

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 2:23 pm

  35. ===C’mon Rich, you’re making a mint off of “Bizarre” ===

    I wish.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 2:31 pm

  36. He should focus on just making better food.

    Comment by Son of a Centrist Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 2:45 pm

  37. Thanks Elo Kiddies. Here’s the most telling quote from the NY Times article:

    “Indeed, Mr. Liautaud was blunt about his motivation for bidding to meet the Edge and bids to meet more than a half-dozen other celebrities. “The cause wasn’t the reason so much as was the opportunity to meet some folks I thought were cool,” he said.”

    I think that sums him up pretty nicely. “Charity, schmarity, what’s in it for me?”

    Comment by Taylor Thomas Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 3:08 pm

  38. I see a new state statute here - barring persons from seeking to represent Illinois primary voters in Illinois based elections unless their primary residence is in Illinois.

    Accomplishes next to nothing but looks like an election process reform…

    Comment by Capital View Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 3:26 pm

  39. Too funny.

    Too bad Mister Jimmy John cannot find time to do something more important like learning how to bake better bread for his sandwiches.

    @wordslinger: The longest term for a COS was six years (Andy Card tied for second place). Rahm Emanuel was COS for about nineteen months.

    Comment by Esquire Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 3:40 pm

  40. He changes his mind faster than Jimmy John’s can deliver its sandwiches!

    Comment by Kerfuffle Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 3:51 pm

  41. =I thought that what you expected.=

    No that not vat ve expect.

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 5:04 pm

  42. No Jimmy John’s in Gary yet, but Gary Mayor Freeman-Wilson is bringing back the dollar home program.

    Urban pioneers, go east! Don’t get trapped in any kind of mortgage.

    Comment by Kasich Walker, Jr. Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 5:52 pm

  43. He’s probably got big money, for the biggest money candidate of them all. If he really comes through, they’ll make him a “key policy advisor” to the campaign.

    Comment by mark walker Wednesday, Jan 11, 12 @ 10:10 pm

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