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Truax attacks Oberweis over wife’s Florida residence

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* Republican US Senate candidate Doug Truax talked to the Sun-Times about rival Jim Oberweis and the fact that Oberweis’ spouse established residency in Florida to avoid Illinois taxes

“As a state senator, I think he should show better leadership in general,” Truax told reporters after submitting signatures at the State Board of Elections. “If you’re going to be on the state payroll and set up a luxury tax shelter to avoid paying state taxes, most of us can’t do that. I can’t imagine why he’d think it’s OK.

“But if you lost five races in the last 11 years,” Truax continued, referring to Oberweis’ string of electoral failures, “you might be looking for a different state to run in, so I can understand that.”

* The Oberweis campaign issued an even-keeled response

“Julie’s very involved with the business,” Oberweis spokesman Jon Zahm said. “I don’t think this campaign is about candidate spouses, so we’re not going to make an issue out of Doug’s spouse, and I don’t think he’d make an issue out of Jim’s.

“We’re just going to keep it on the issues, keep it on our business experience, keep it on our record in the state Senate, keep it on our conservative values and not make an issue out of the children, grandchildren or spouses of candidates,” Zahm said.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:25 am:

    Oberweis should have expected this. At the very least it’s distasteful that his wife has her “residence” as Florida. Apparently Illinois, the state her husband wants to represent, isn’t good enough to “live” in.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:28 am:

    Dear Jon Zahm,

    Do us all a favor.

    Don’t open a 4:45 announcement claiming you are running for your “Grandkids”, then issue a statement saying its NOT about … Grandkids!

    Other than that… lol

  3. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:30 am:

    Good response but questions remain. Does he have a rational explanation other than to avoid paying taxes.

  4. - David Ormsby - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:32 am:

    Illinois’ income tax is a central issue for most voters who have to pay it. And the issue comprises more than just the tax rate.

    If a candidate employs an accounting dodge via a second, out-of-state residence to avoid paying it, that’s another dimension of the issue, too.

    Fair hunting, Jim.

  5. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:38 am:

    Jim, the difference is the there is nothing for you to make an issue out of regarding Doug’s spouse. Are you really as stupid as this comment makes you sound ? How can you file a joint return with your wife in Illinois & then claim she resides if Florida. There should be something illegal about this. If not, the law needs fixing real fast. Even if it turns out your tax dodging isn’t illegal, it certainly is unethical. This is really appalling from someone who is constantly railing about the financial state of Illinois. It’s truely amazing, those that have much more than they’ll ever need still don’t have enough. Sen. Oberweiss you are as greedy as anyone could possibly be. Your already dead on arrival campaign probably won’t even survive the GOP primary.

    ” so we’re not going to make an issue out of Doug’s spouse, and I don’t think he’d make an issue out of Jim’s.”

  6. - Downstater - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:38 am:

    “Don’t open a 4:45 announcement claiming you are running for your “Grandkids”, then issue a statement saying its NOT about … Grandkids!”
    Where did Oberweis state he was running for his “Grandkids”?

  7. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    The issue isn’t his wife. The issue is tax avoidance, as it appears, at least.

  8. - Downstater - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    Heck! Rod Blagojevich is living in Colorado to avoid paying state income taxes. Just saying!

  9. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:40 am:

    So the other day they get asked about this and they go after Durbin’s spouse. Now Truax hits them and they have no wifey ammo on him so spouses are suddenly out of bounds. Pick a lane, guys.

  10. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:41 am:

    I think he’s on the ballot in 3 states: bigotry, intolerance & greed.

    “Where did Oberweis state he was running for his “Grandkids”?”

  11. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:41 am:

    I think this is bad for Oberweis. He wants to the State to support him and let him make decisions for it… but he doesnt want to support the state with his milk money.

  12. - DuPage Rep - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:42 am:

    Jon Zahm says this campaign is not about candidate spouses. Maybe he’ll take a break in bashing Rauner through his wife.

  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:44 am:

    Oberweis could easily have said “none of your business” when asked why his wife was a Florida resident.

    In this day and age, it’s not that unusual for married people of a certain age and wealth to maintain separate residences for “ain’t nobody’s business but their own.”

    But he chose to say “tax advantages.” Unforced error and now fair game.

  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:44 am:

    ===Where did Oberweis state he was running for his “Grandkids”? ===

    His campaign announcement video that he posted online last Friday.

  15. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:46 am:

    BTW, attention Kane County Clerk. Yet another story reveals an active voter on your rolls, Julie Oberweis, is in need of purging as she has apparently become a resident of Florida. Get on it.

    Also one detail in that Oberweis story that confuses me is that Oberweis says the Mrs. has been a Florida resident for 3 years. Yet the only Florida election info was back to Jan 2012. Was there a time she was claiming Florida residency and voting in Illinois?

  16. - mongo - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:48 am:

    This is like the goofball that makes the (unfortunately, good) sandwiches that left Illinois but came back for political purposes. A commenter above said it…pick a lane here and stay in it. Look, Oberweis cannot be taken seriously and this is just another example. He has plenty of half-baaked ideas about what to do, but thinks he and his family are above the rules in so many ways.

    By the way I laughed out loud at the notion of keeping the discussion to amongst other things his Senate record. Really? The speed limit bill? That’s enough to send him to DC as a United States Senator?

  17. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:51 am:

    Avoiding taxes is a rational explanation. Also, Florida has one of the nation’s broadest homestead property judgement exemptions in the nation. Worked well for OJ Simpson. If Senator Oberweis is capable of shifting significant income from his ice cream empire to his wife and avoiding Illinois taxation, he’d be nuts not to. Maybe he’ll work to provide similar tactics to us mere mortals. Just because one is running for office, doesn’t mean he has to acquiesce meekly to the fiscal lunacy of the jurisdiction he is running in.

  18. - A guy... - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:55 am:

    Much ado…a news cycle or two and bye bye. If Jim’s greatest fault was a legal residence and status of his wife in Florida, we’d all be better off. Everyone’s spouses should be out of the discussion unless they have a public persona of their own. This is a waste of time, but an early jab by the challenger. He’ll need to get more depth to win a primary.

  19. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    Cook County Commoner = you mean like Warren Buffet? who beleives everyone should pay up on taxes… or its ok for wealthy people to be dodegy because we dont expect people with money to be good… cept for Buffet and Gates….

  20. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:02 am:

    ==Everyone’s spouses should be out of the discussion ==

    I generally agree, except in this case. A candidate for office has a spouse officially residing in another state to dodge Illinois taxes. I find it personally offensive and would consider it as a reason not to vote for the guy.

  21. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:06 am:

    Cook County Commoner, avoiding taxes may be a logical explanation but it’s not a good one for someone who wants to connect to voters. If everyone had the wherewithal to avoid taxes where would that leave the State and local jurisdictions such as school districts? This is like Romney parking his money offshore.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:22 am:

    Julie “Marie Antoinette” Oberweis may not be an “issue for Slytherin Jim Oberweis in the Primary…

    But… making a point about Sen. Durbin’s wife, and her job as a lobbyist (ALL fair game), will also lead to “let them eat Ice Cream” remarks from Durbin’s Crew, and Durbin’s ads, along with Black Helicopters… and intolerance of state Senator Jim Oberweis feeding that Julie Oberweis Ice Cream, those short few months ago.

    Jim Oberweis’ run against Sen. Durbin could very well bring down Slytherin Jim Oberweis, and the entire ILGOP, while Julie Oberweis “winters” in her residence, her real residence, in Florida.

    That is real.

  23. - votecounter - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    He has 1500 employees paying taxes here he pays here! He has paid millions in taxes here this is a bunch of smoke from someone who is trying to get earned media. Doug had 7 months to run all by himself and nobody knew he was running. In a day or two nobody will again

  24. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    We don’t have to like it, but tax AVOIDANCE is perfectly legal. It’s whole different issue if it crosses the line into tax EVASION.

  25. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:36 am:

    I don’t like Sen. Durbin and have made no bones about it. But as far as attacking spouses go, the one on Mrs. Durbin was unfair … she’s a classy lady and I have no complaint about her.

  26. - DJ 8 - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:37 am:

    Why is she dodging taxes? Does she work? Does someone pay her a salary? I am sure she hasn’t worked a day in her life. So don’t you need to be paid to actually dodge taxes?

  27. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    I don’t care that much if candidates pledge to reside or just sleep in Springfield.

    Maybe one of these super rich guys can fix the Governor’s mansion while they’re at it.

    It needs more than a million of dollars of work, and that’s real costs, not “government costs.”

  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    - DJ 8 -,

    The Oberweis website states she works at the Dairy.

    Just saying.

  29. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    It’s nice to see that on day 1, the Oberweis campaign juggernaut has already shown their not ready for prime time.

  30. - John Boch - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    You have to give Oberweis credit, he doesn’t take “no” for an answer from Illinois voters.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 10:53 am:


    Oberweis for Senate website:

    ===Jim is married, and his wife Julie works with him at Oberweis Dairy. He has five adult children, two stepchildren, and seventeen grandchildren, most of whom call Illinois home.===

    I never would have guessed that “…most of whom call Illinois home” would be a reference to Julie “Marie Antoinette” Oberweis, while working at the Illinois Dairy(?), but residing in Florida.

    “…most of whom call Illinois home.”


  32. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    RNUG, voters don’t have to accept all behavior from pols just because it was perfectly illegal. I don’t recall any alleged illegalities causing Jack Ryan to be pressured to quit his race in 2004.

    Voters have their own ideas about what behavior is ethical, moral and reasonable that comes into play when voting, not just what behavior is legal.

  33. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    Couldn’t tax avoidance have been just Jim’s way of not admitting that his wife keeps a separate domicile because she doesn’t particularly care for his company?

  34. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 11:27 am:


    Great comment

    “Couldn’t tax avoidance have been just Jim’s way of not admitting that his wife keeps a separate domicile because she doesn’t particularly care for his company?”

  35. - MrJM - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    We don’t have to like it, but tax AVOIDANCE is perfectly legal.

    It is also perfectly legal to refer to a veggie burger as “a burger” — but I’d never vote for someone who did it.

    – MrJM

  36. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 12:33 pm:

    It will be interesting to see what those supporting attacks on Oberweis’ wife will say about the now-inevitable attacks on Durbin’s wife.

    Both cases involve the personal finances of spouses in direct relation to the state their husbands wish to represent.

    While distasteful in the eyes of some, it appears the Coliseum mob has spoken. This is bloodsport, and we want blood.

  37. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    The question is whether it is avoidance or evasion. If his wife is listed as working at the company in Illinois, and they file a joint federal return as residing in Illinois, how can she claim Florida residence ? This is something for the AG to look into. Also, if it is legal, it needs to stop now. The gall of these greedy multi-millionaires never ceases to amaze me.

    “We don’t have to like it, but tax AVOIDANCE is perfectly legal.”

  38. - My Thoughts For Whatever - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    Typical response and action on the part of another Illinois politician who is one of many that have become experts in using the double standard.

  39. - frustrated GOP - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    Has anyone checked the Illinois residential address. It looked like he was living at the Dairy. If I was his wife, I would live in Florida too. waking up to milk machines and the smell of ice cream. It would have to get old after awhile. lol

  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    I do not like Durban but if he’s going to win, I hope he demolishes this guys ego and hopes any return to politics

  41. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    Poor, misguided anonymous. If only it was that easy.

  42. - Joan P. - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 2:29 pm:

    “The Oberweis website states she works at the Dairy.”

    That’s one heckuva commute.

  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    ===That’s one heckuva commute.===

    Makes Rod’s commute of Springfield to Chicago and back again look like a garden variety Milk Run…

  44. - Tom Joad - Tuesday, Nov 26, 13 @ 3:54 pm:

    Zahm has a reputation as a hatchet man for many candidates. This current civility won’t last long.

  45. - watchdog - Thursday, Dec 12, 13 @ 12:19 pm:

    Hmmm… factory farmer, investment firm…, Senate seat is perfect for more special interest legislation for both.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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