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Brady backfire: Lisa Madigan to reveal tax returns

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

* 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.

* Related…

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 9:27 am:

    Geez, the Brady people and the Illinois GOP really didn’t see this one coming? Kind of set themselves up.

    Brady has to get this behind him. My guess is Plummer’s returns will be available for viewing Sunday afternoon before Memorial Day.

  2. - dupage dan - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 9:29 am:

    Such cynicism, Word.

  3. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    They probably expects LMad to be obstinate about it, but she knows the score. Likely, she just collects her state check at this point so there isn’t much to hide. She gets to throw it back in their face. I’d be more interested in MMad’s returns, personally.

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 9:32 am:

    Not at all. It would be the smart way to reduce coverage and viewing, which is the goal of all politicians of both parties who are put in this position.

  5. - curtis - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 9:32 am:

    Once the Blago trial starts, I think this ‘tax return’ issue fade…

  6. - just sayin' - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 9:40 am:

    So the ice keeps melting under the Brady-Plummer camp. We can only assume there must be something really, really embarrassing in Plummer’s returns.

    The whole “I don’t want to put my business partners at a competitive disadvantage” line is nonsense. No one would have a problem if Plummer wanted to blot out identifying names, or truly sensitive information.

    But Plummer won’t even say how much he makes a year! And then we’re not supposed to question how a 27-yr old is able to loan his own campaign $350,000.

    And then there is Brady who insults our intelligence in the same absurd way when he says there was no conflict of interest in the senate votes he made to help his own business project.

    Of course he’s gonna deny. Otherwise he might have to pass GO and go directly to Jail. Blago says he’s innocent too. That’s what these guys do.

    This is starting to look like a remake of Groundhog Day for Republicans. This one’s directed by George Ryan.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 9:43 am:

    At what point does the Brady crew cut their losses?

    Jerry Clarke, good pickup with Patty Schu, now let her do her job … and let the other “professionals” who WERE speaking for the campaign find envelopes to stuff, or dry cleaning to pick up. The complete lack of a message that both Brady and Plummer were together on should be enough to re-think that the Brady crew is not close to being Prime-Time. Good luck Jerry!

    Jerry, please, oh please … have someone work with Plummer to answer the obvious questions that are going to come out with the releasing of the records. Do we all really want to see Plummer stammer and stutter about income tax returns, and why it seems “this” or “that” is in or not in the tax return?

    I will give you one for free, “Mr. Plummer, you wanted transperancy and open government, you even campaigned on it. Then, you refused disclosure of your tax returns, even when everyone you called out eventually disclosed theirs. Then, in a 180 degree turn, you are forced to disclose. Do you feel you were pressured when you made such a bold statement you would not do it ever?”

    Ok, now start your dry run answers with Plummer before he looks like he did with Phil Ponce.

  8. - dupage dan - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:00 am:

    =who are put in this position=

    I would say that they put themselves into this position. I wonder what goes on in their minds as they plot their “strategy”. You are too kind.

  9. - too obvious - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:01 am:

    Once again Illinois Republicans display the utter idiocy and incompetence that has kept them in the wilderness for 8 long years.

    But kudos to Steve Kim. Maybe should have made him more than a sacrificial lamb this year.

  10. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:05 am:

    glad she realized she needs to be tranparent on this…good job Rich! Put the blowtorch under Plummer now…

  11. - I'm Just Saying - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:10 am:

    Ready Shoot Aim

  12. - jonbtuba - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:16 am:

    Plummer is isolating himself from his own party AND voters by continuing to stall on this. If he valued transparency, he would have already released the documents. Currently, voters know this guy solely as “that Republican who lied about his resume and hid something probably bad on his taxes”…not a good introduction.

    As for Brady, his inability to notice or do something about a CLEAR conflict of interest is worrisome. Haven’t we already had enough ethics problems with our governors?

  13. - Ghost - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:18 am:

    The morning news on chan 2 in spfld had a breif blurb about this, and they rarely have any politcal news at all in the morning show. They of course skipped the majority of the tribunes story wich burried this nugget, and just repoted on the nugget

  14. - Justice - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:18 am:

    Bob, our show host: Audience, please select which trait best describes your choice for Governor. Feel free to fill in your own observation.

    Honest, trustworthy, high integrity, competent, forthright, _____________:

    Why thank you Bob, I choose “incredibly dumb.”

  15. - Joe from Joliet - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:19 am:

    RM - …show me her tax returns…

    Only you or can anyone get a look-see?

  16. - Angry Republican - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:20 am:

    OK, I’m back to being angry again. The IL-GOP is hellbent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at every turn. I really hope Plummer follows Brady’s lead and only shows his tax returns in Springfield on Saturday for three hours during the Stanley Cup finals (7PM - 10 PM).

  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:21 am:

    Plummer needs to go. Pun intended.

  18. - just sayin' - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    The big gimmick now with some GOP players seems to be this idea of a “forensic audit” to root out they say “waste, fraud and abuse.”

    Well now this Brady story falls in their lap which is all about all three: waste, fraud and abuse.

    So given their silence (if not outright kneejerk defense of Brady) when presented with evidence, we can assume they are only interested in waste, fraud and abuse when they can hang it on a Democrat.

    Not a good way to gain credibility for your cause.

  19. - Ghost - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:34 am:

    It is interesting that we have had multiple canidates, on both sides, slip through the primary without ay real vetting.

    Quinn may be mad at Hynes, but at least with the Hynes challange Quinn was deeply vetted and is now a more temepered canidate.

  20. - Finger Pointing - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 10:35 am:

    Smooth move by the IL GOP, highlighting its own candidate’s problems with a stupid release. Who’s running that place?

  21. - illinoise - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 11:02 am:

    again with the refusal from the GOP…

    this just makes me more interested in what Plummer is hiding in his tax returns. please make them available to the public tho, don;t try to bury it 300 miles downstate on a friday afternoon

  22. - Reality - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 11:13 am:

    Again with the stupid tax returns people? What the heck do you care? Salary envy? I don’t care if you are D or an R. The returns are irrelevant…unless they are faked, in which case you have IRS problems and then it is a big deal. The tax returns are what they are. As long as your income is being properly reported and your deductions are fine that is the end of the story. Period. If they are fraudluent numbers then that is an issue for the IRS. What could possibly be “embarrassing” in anyone’s tax returns. This is a ginned up controversy to give media types something to talk about and dupe the citizens into thinking it matters. I wish this much attention would be paid to the inability of MJM and all incumbent politicans to solve the budget problems.

  23. - Cosmic Charlie - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    Maybe Doc Walls does have a chance. The Dem and Repub tickets are both excruciatingly bad.

  24. - Fairplay - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===RM - …show me her tax returns…

    Only you or can anyone get a look-see? ====

    Yeah Rich at least you are asking and getting a response but where is the rest of the media?

    If the media is going to chase Brady/Plummer around with no evidence of wrong doing just to see what pops up, then what about the lack of interest in the other candidates?

  25. - Amuzing Myself - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    Everybody step back from the cliff. Remember: It’s still May. BTW, anyone seen Quinn’s response ad yet? ;)

  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 1:29 pm:

    It is only May … but come September or October …

    “Meet the ‘No Taxes’ Boys … Brady and Plummer - One pays no taxes, and one won’t let anyone know how he earns his money of ‘if’ he even pays taxes …”

    Why waste the shots now, they will be there in plenty of time then …

    Tick Tock Jason, Tick Tock.

  27. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 1:51 pm:

    You’d think the GOP would have the sense to never mention the words “tax return,” given that Plummer won’t release his and Brady’s show he didn’t pay any.

    You’d be wrong.

    These guys aren’t even playing checkers. “Go Fish” with half a deck.

  28. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    Tip #2: Don’t attack Lisa Madigan. One of the most popular Democrats in the state, she’s going to easily win re-election, you don’t want her involved in the Governor’s race, and it only annoys the Speaker.

    Rod Blagojevich annoyed the Speaker, and look where he ended up.

  29. - Steve-O - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 2:16 pm:

    so, if Plummer shows his tax returns to Rich Miller in a private meeting, does this go away?

    I see people on here claiming he “won’t tell us how he earns his money.” Has he refused to tell us how he earns his money? I guess I haven’t seen that refusal.

  30. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 2:22 pm:

    –Has he refused to tell us how he earns his money? I guess I haven’t seen that refusal–

    I think we all know: from the family business. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that. It’s the American way.

    He’s a rich kid getting into politics. Certainly his high-dollar braintrust anticipated the question of where he gets his money might come up.

    By their response, though, it doesn’t appear that they did.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 2:23 pm:

    You “loan” your own campaign $350K, personally. Your only job(s) you can claim that are NOT internships are those from your Daddy, and still you refuse to disclose your tax returns …

    Tell ME how he showed he earned that money?

    I think it goes without saying… your tax returns SHOW how you earn money, so … by asking for the tax returns, you are then, by default, asking “Hey, how do you earn your money?”

    Further, if you say you will NOT take your state salary in your elected position, under certain conditions. How do we know WHERE you get your monies … I think a tax return would show that …

  32. - Ghost - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 2:36 pm:

    The State GOP party is right, Plummer needs to show his return.

    With all these Illinois Buisness’s which do not appear to be paying tax; nor are their owners paying tax…I think i see where part of the revenue problem comes from. Provides strong support for a graduated income tax for those making more money as well to try and actually get some income tax from them.

  33. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 3:38 pm:

    Plummer has gone from seeming evasive to looking like he’s got something to hide to looking guilty.

  34. - Rambler - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==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 release will likely put even more pressure on Republican lt. governor nominee Jason Plummer to disclose his returns.==

    That’s a nice coup, but is showing your returns to Rich Miller the same as “releasing” them? I can imagine how it would go over if Plummer hand-picked a reporter to look at his returns.

    ==“When these candidates play peek-a-boo, or not at all, with their tax returns, I think there’s legitimate questions to be asked,” said Quinn.==

    Isn’t peek-a-boo what Quinn did for 2008, and not-at-all for prior years?

    ==I’ll ask about Speaker Madigan’s returns today, along with the other three legislative leaders, including the two Republicans.==

    At least someone’s reading the comments.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 3:46 pm:

    How sad is it that Plummer playing “peek-a-boo”, something dismissed by all, is better than where he is at now …

  36. - downstater - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 6:27 pm:

    As a Republican I think Plummer should show his and then demand that Mike Madigan do the same. Let’s start the drumbeat.

  37. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 6:41 pm:

    I am staunchley for the Quinn team but come election day nobody and I mean nobody will care whether Brady’s running mate released his taxes. As a matter of fact, the distraction probably keeps the press away from Brady’s flaws.

  38. - T.J. - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 8:50 pm:

    What a surprise. VanillaMan and Oswego Willy, the two here beside themselves when Plummer won the primary, are calling for Plummer to go now.

    In other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 11:45 pm:

    In other news … Jason Plummer has yet to release, show, etc. his tax returns while everyone Brady and company seem to call out is willing to comply …Transparency is not a strong suit, while inflating is at an all time high.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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