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Question of the day

Friday, Apr 23, 2010

* As you know by now, Sen. Bill Brady will release his tax returns today. But there are some conditions

(R)eporters in Illinois will have only three hours to review the documents — and only if they’re at his Springfield campaign office. That’s the only way Brady has said he will make them available.

“We’ve made our decision,” Brady told reporters about the conditions for reviewing the tax returns. Asked whether he was doing enough to ensure adequate public scrutiny and transparency, he repeatedly replied, “You’ll have access to it.”

No copies. Just a lookie-look. And only in Springfield. Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign responded…

“The lack of access to Sen. Brady’s tax returns does not meet Gov. Quinn’s standard for transparency and openess,” campaign spokeswoman Mica Matsoff wrote to the Current.

Quinn did the same thing last year, however. Reporters had to make a reservation to review the guv’s tax returns and couldn’t make copies. He did make copies available this year, however.

* The Question: Should Brady allow reporters to make copies of his tax returns? Explain fully, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - WOW - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:07 pm:

    First off I don’t think it is news. But if he is going to “release” them like he is saying then that is what he should do.

  2. - Robert - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:09 pm:

    No he shouldn’t, because he obviously has something to hide. I’m hoping a member of the media will be gutsy enough to just take some good pics of the filing with their camera

  3. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:14 pm:

    Robert beat me to it:

    Can you have Dan or Barton take photos of each page then post them here? They said “no copies” they didn’t say no photos…

  4. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    “Hey, who let Kirk Dillard in here? He’s not a reporter!”

    Absolutely Brady should make FULL copies available. But obviously there is some clue in there somewhere that he’s very worried about. I hope the media raises a big stink about this. Brady’s excuses don’t wash and the GOP needs the dirt out now, not right before the election.

  5. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:16 pm:

    === Should Brady allow reporters to make copies of his tax returns? Explain fully, please. ===

    Yes, but only if he’s got nothing to hide.

  6. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:22 pm:

    No, he shouldn’t. If good government types want tax records released as part of the requirements of running for office, change the law. Right now, the media can report the method of release (if any) of a particular candidate and the voters can make up their own minds what they make of it.

    Furthermore, I believe any candidate should be able to take any amount of money in campaign contributions from anyone as long as the donation is INSTANTLY reported on-line. The media watchdogs and other concerned groups or citizens can arrive at their own conclusions about the reported donations. In addition to the added benefit of transparency, perhaps our legislators could spend less time trolling for nickel and dime donations and a bit more time doing the jobs for which they are elected.

  7. - steve schnorf - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:22 pm:

    Much ado about nothing.

  8. - Former Card Carrying Repub - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:23 pm:

    IF he has something to hide, then why even release them? His tax returns are not a campaign issue. So he makes money. Ok. I wish I made more. If Brady didn’t show them, then ok, we have a problem, but what’s the big deal?

  9. - Cutiemomma46 - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:32 pm:

    No. What I am more worried about is what are the candidates going to do with MY MONEY when they get elected. I agree with Steve much ado about nothing. Besides, when he allows people to look at the taxes, the Alexi deal will probably be going down any way and this will be pushed to the background in lieu of that story.

  10. - The Shadow - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==== His tax returns are not a campaign issue ===
    Of course it’s a campaign issue. He’s running for Governor and the people have a right to know what Brady is being shady about. Where’s the transparency when you need it?

  11. - Levois - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:35 pm:

    It doesn’make a difference to me. Not sure the media would allow me to look at his tax returns. Not sure what I would be looking for as a reporter. I know he has something to hide, but how would tax returns prove that.

  12. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:36 pm:

    I agree with Steve. Disclosure of tax returns has no bearing on fitness for office. Dissect what the candidates’ platforms and plans are, but how much anyone made last year…come on, there are far more critical matters facing the state.

  13. - girllawyer - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:36 pm:

    Either release them or don’t. Offering a quick but inconvenient peek at them just makes it look like you are wanting to appear “transparent” while really trying to hide something.

  14. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:38 pm:

    What’s that campaign office address?

  15. - OneMan - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    A lot of talk from Quinn who last year had someone who I suspect was a government employee watch (and take notes) as you reviewed his tax return.

  16. - Former Card Carrying Repub - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    ==have a right to know what Brady is being shady about. ==

    Which is?

  17. - Squideshi - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    ==Should Brady allow reporters to make copies of his tax returns?==

    I’m not even sure that he should have to release them; but if he’s going to release them, he should just release them without the silly games.

    ==If good government types want tax records released as part of the requirements of running for office, change the law.==

    I second this. If the Statement of Economic Interest is not good enough, change it.

    ==Furthermore, I believe any candidate should be able to take any amount of money in campaign contributions from anyone as long as the donation is INSTANTLY reported on-line.==

    Here’s where we disagree. It’s bad enough that we have candidates bought by corporations. Do we really want candidates bought by Iran and North Korea?

  18. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    I’m not a fan of releasing tax returns, medical records other matters that honestly should remain private.

    I also think that Quinn is a massive hypocrit on this subject. Last year he did a “Brady” on his tax returns, now he criticizes Brady for emulating him?

  19. - Joe - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    Quinn didn’t do it. Why is the bar raised higher for Brady? Making copies and allowing reporters and partisan bloggers cherry pick bits of information isn’t good for anyone, but those trying to make headlines and sell newspapers.
    Why aren’t the Lt. Governor candidates releashing tax returns? They should be subject to review.
    Plummer is an executive in his dad’s business. Is he making an executive salary or just drawing a salary and passing himself off as an executive.
    Simon is a professor, but who knows what other sources of income she has received over the years.
    Let’s look at them all. No copies.
    If a good reporter can’t review the information in 3 hours, then the reporter isn’t capable.

  20. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    C’mon people. Releasing tax returns is legitimate. No one is suggesting that Brady has anything untoward in his returns or is hiding something. But the voters have an interest in knowing if any candidate might have earned income from questionable sources.

    You want privacy? Stay in the private sector. You want to run for office? Be prepared to have everything from your birth certificate to your passport files to your health records to your business dealings printed on the front page of every newspaper in the world.

    We call it public office for a reason.

  21. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    Ditto to what Schnorf said.

  22. - Living in Oklahoma - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:52 pm:

    This is Idiotic. No wonder voters dont trust these people. You have to drive to springfield? Are you kidding me! Then you have 3 hours to view them. Despicable. Just absolutely ridiculous. I want to vote for Brady, but these circus act, half baked, worthless gestures make him look as if he has something to hide. I think I need a smoke.

  23. - ABCBoy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:52 pm:

    I’m not convinced it’s necessary either. Politicans can of course still play the game of “he must be shady and hiding something” to their hearts content. But if it’s necessary then it should be law.

    Has Mike Madigan ever released his tax returns? He’s arguably the most powerful elected official in the state…

  24. - ABCBoy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:56 pm:

    You want to run for office? Be prepared to have everything from your birth certificate to your passport files to your health records to your business dealings printed on the front page of every newspaper in the world.

    “Be prepared,” is fine. “Be required,” is another matter entirely. It’s why A LOT of good people stay the heck away from government. A squeaky clean record does not a good leader necessarily make. Nor does a record with some dings on it (a DUI, other silly skeletons, whatever), necessarily make the person unfit.

  25. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    In the spirit of Talk Like Shakespeare Day (which is today):

    Bill Brady doth protest too much, methinks.

  26. - Charge'm - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:05 pm:

    I would treat it like the State Board of Elections and make them pay per page. $100 per page!! I would even have a sponsorship level to copy them in color and binding.

  27. - illinoise - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    these stupid rules make no sense. if he’s going to let some people see them, why not make it public record?

    we need a governor who is open with his people

  28. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:16 pm:

    I don’t care about the $$ he made last year, I care about what the heck he is going to do to fix the MESS that is the STATE OF ILLINOIS.

  29. - Louis Howe - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:42 pm:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with limited access to his tax returns. This may be a wild guess, but I doubt that Brady has paid much in taxes over the last few years….that could be embarrassing…

  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===that could be embarrassing===

    Hit “refresh.”

  31. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 2:47 pm:

    Yes, copies should be made by reporters so they can have help analyzing them, also they can be more accurate when reporting on them.

  32. - Liandro - Saturday, Apr 24, 10 @ 1:29 am:

    First of all, if people are demanding all politicians release their private tax returns, the burden falls onto THEM–those demanding individuals–why they have a right to see another individual’s very private financial reports. Seriously, saying overly broad and generic things like “transparency” and “accountability” is nonsense. Brady is accountable for what he does with his office’s funds, or with his office’s power, but NOT with his personal funds.

    To my knowledge IL already has a basic financial form that these candidates had to fill out. If they go above and beyond, fine (I won’t snoop, so I don’t care). But to require them to go further would, and should, require legislative action or judicial order–because that way a proper and useful debate would take place over privacy concerns vs public gain from such disclosure.

    I think the bottom line is this is all political hey, and is nobody’s business. Any serious financial issues–foreclosures, failed businesses, etc–are already a matter of public record. My point is further proven by the GOV taking the same approach last year, and by the financial retribution Brady suffered the last time he exposed his private tax returns. Politicians have to deal with enough invasion of privacy as it is.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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