* Attorney General Lisa Madigan called this morning and asked me to meet her when she gets to town so she can show me her tax returns.
Madigan’s campaign manager refused on Friday to release the returns after I’d requested them. I asked for them after speaking with Bill Brady’s campaign, which mocked requests for Jason Plummer’s returns because AG Madigan hadn’t disclosed hers. Madigan is now second in line to the governor’s office since the state does not currently have a lt. governor. I was told yesterday that Lisa Madigan was not fully aware that the returns were specifically requested by me, but only knew that Brady was trying to drag her into the debate.
Madigan’s release will likely put even more pressure on Republican lt. governor nominee Jason Plummer to disclose his returns. Plummer has adamantly refused to do so, but now that the Brady campaign has directly tied Madigan’s tax returns to Plummer, it’ll be even more difficult to continue his refusal.
* Late yesterday, the Illinois Republican Party issued a press release demanding that Attorney General Madigan release her tax returns…
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady’s Response to Lisa Madigan’s Refusal to Release Her Tax Returns
CHICAGO - Lisa Madigan’s spokesperson dodged questions as to whether the Attorney General would release her tax returns. At the same time, Governor Quinn made the following statement regarding this very issue: “When these candidates play peek-a-boo, or not at all, with their tax returns, I think there’s legitimate questions to be asked.” Answers to the following simple questions would be a good start:
What is Lisa Madigan hiding?
When will the de-facto Governor, Mike Madigan, release his tax returns?
Will Pat Quinn apply the same standards he touts and ask both Madigans to open their tax returns for public viewing?
“People are fed up with single-party rule and the Democratic Party’s hypocritical stances regarding transparency,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady. “They expect stronger leadership from both Governor Quinn and de facto Governor Mike Madigan. All they are getting is political gamesmanship.”
Again, now that AG Madigan is releasing her returns, that IL GOP statement just puts more pressure on Plummer. Talk about irony. Yesterday’s repeated demand by Mark Kirk that Alexi Giannoulias disclose his own tax returns (as soon as he files them) doesn’t help Plummer’s case, either. I’ll ask about Speaker Madigan’s returns today, along with the other three legislative leaders, including the two Republicans.
…ADDING… Oops. I forgot to mention that Lisa Madigan’s Republican opponent, Steve Kim, has also agreed to disclose his tax returns. Chalk up another loss for Plummer.
* The State Journal-Register editorialized on the Plummer refusal today…
Plummer’s position is less defensible than Brady’s early refusal to release his returns. Plummer is a complete unknown. He is 27 years old and does not have an extensive record on which the public can judge him. He has said he will not draw a salary if elected. That’s a nice gesture, but it also invites the inevitable question of what he will live on without a state salary. Let’s not forget that some of the testimony in the George Ryan trial focused on Ryan always having money but not having bank records showing where it came from.
We’ll concede that releasing one’s personal income tax information can be uncomfortable. For someone like Plummer, with extensive business interests and family wealth, it can be quite a hassle. As an electorate, we need to be aware that, taken to its extreme, the discomfort of releasing income tax returns could keep quality candidates from seeking office. Should a state representative candidate be expected to release his or her tax returns? A county treasurer? An alderman?
But if you expect to be a step away from being governor, you ought to be ready for the attendant hassle. Your discomfort is a fair trade for the voters’ trust.
* Meanwhile, the Associated Press found the deeply buried nugget in the Tribune and ran its own story…
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady voted for legislation as an Illinois state senator in 2003 that could have benefited his business interests as a developer, according to a published report. ‘ […]
The following year in November, Brady voted to enact legislation giving local government the authority to take land for sewers near the interchange. That would have helped Brady’s development and property value. […]
His campaign spokeswoman Jaime Elich said Monday that Brady’s actions involving the interchange development were “normal business dealings.”
“Senator Brady has recused himself of voting when in fact he is concerned about a conflict of interest,” she said in an e-mailed statement.
“Normal business dealings” does not mean there is no conflict. Voting on legislation that directly impacts one’s business, and only one’s business, is a conflict of interest, plain and simple.
* Sweep conducted at Jacksonville nursing home: Top officials from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office conducted a sweep at a Jacksonville nursing home Monday to check for violations of state law and regulations.
* Illinois AG unveils new aid to protect seniors from scams
* Attorney general often rules in favor of agencies in FOIA cases: Some redacted information, such as signatures of assistant attorneys general who sign letters that contain rulings on FOIA matters, is kept because of a concern about identity theft, said Cara Smith, who heads the public access counselor’s office. The names of lawyers do appear in print.