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*** UPDATED x1 *** Durbin vs. Oberweis react

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The AP focused on guns

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and GOP challenger Jim Oberweis disagreed Monday on whether to require universal background checks for firearms purchases, with Durbin saying it would reduce violence in a country “awash in guns” and Oberweis saying he’s not convinced the checks would have the intended impact.

Oberweis, an Illinois state senator and entrepreneur from Sugar Grove, is trying to unseat Durbin — the U.S. Senate’s No. 2 Democrat — in November. They met Monday before the Chicago Tribune editorial board for their first joint, televised appearance of the 2014 campaign.

If you missed the debate yesterday, you can watch it here.

* ABC 7 went with these two issues

Tax returns and residency take center stage in a face-to-face meeting in the race for the U.S. Senate race in Illinois. Both Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin and Republican challenger Jim Oberweis appeared before the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune.

Durbin demanded proof that the Republican is an Illinois income tax payer. Oberweis’ wife lives in, and takes a homestead exemption in, the couple’s Florida house, making her a permanent resident there. The candidate says he still lives in Kane County.

Later, Oberweis would not guarantee he’d make his state return public, but insisted he does pay Illinois income taxes.

* Oberweis made good on releasing his returns

Oberweis accused Durbin of lying and insisted he pays Illinois taxes. “If it’s an important issue, I will provide you the state income tax (forms),” Oberweis said.

Hours later, he landed a counterpunch by releasing his 2012 and 2013 Illinois state income tax returns. In 2013, Oberweis reported $1.726 million in total income and paid $61,739 in state taxes. He overpaid by $4,485, money that will reduce his 2014 obligation.

His 2012 state tax return reported almost $1.43 million in income and a tax bill of $60,871.

* After the debate, Oberweis pointed to another tax issue

According to the Oberweis campaign, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin was caught lying today at the Chicago Tribune editorial board session when asked about his role in the IRS scandal.

In a press release, Oberweis said Durbin was asked unequivocally whether he or his U.S. Senate staff had ANY contact with the IRS during the IRS scandal other than the well-publicized letter he wrote asking the IRS to target Crossroads GPS on Oct. 10, 2010.

Durbin responded that there was no other correspondence.

Oberweis then produced an email from a Durbin staffer to an IRS staffer two days after the Crossroads letter. The email was first revealed by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in its June 16, 2014 report titled, “How Politics Led the IRS to Target Conservative Tax-Exempt Applicants for the Political Beliefs.”

“Dick Durbin flat-out lied to the Tribune editorial board. This is important because we don’t know how deep Dick Durbin’s role was in the IRS scandal that he himself characterized as reminiscent of the worst abuses of the Richard Nixon era,” Oberweis said.

The brief e-mail, which is here, is from a Durbin aide. The Durbin campaign later responded to the Oberweis claim

Durbin campaign spokesman Ron Holmes later dismissed the email’s significance, saying it was sent by Durbin’s staff to alert an IRS employee to Durbin’s already-disclosed letter a day after it was sent.

*** UPDATE *** Sheesh…

He thinks Evergreen Park is a black neighborhood?


  1. - Steve - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    I watched the Q and A. Who knew that Dick Durbin was for cutting Social Security via reduced COLA’s for wealthy seniors ? For a second there, I thought Dick Durbin was a member of the Heritage Foundation.

  2. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Hmph. I thought immigration was among the more interesting topics yesterday.

  3. - LizPhairTax - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    Hard to decipher the demographic nuances from up in the chopper

  4. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    Good on Oberweis for releasing his taxes, and for opening the new office at 66th and King. He is taking steps that more Republicans need to be taking.

    The IRS targeting of groups is some tasteless stuff.

  5. - Nonplussed - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    According to one website, Evergreen Park is 69% white, 19% black, 10% hispanic…

  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===He thinks Evergreen Park is a black neighborhood?===

    Compared to Sugar Grove or the Florida community his wife lives…

    It’s like Oberweis just can’t help himself

  7. - pundent - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Durbin accomplished what he wanted to yesterday by reminding voters Oberweis makes a considerable amount of money which allows him to live in Illinois while his wife lives in Florida. Not exactly the arrangement that most of us have.

  8. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Rove and Koch’s groups are grossly violating the tax code under which their “educational” groups are organized by using them cover for their massive anonymous contributions for political ads. IRS should be investigating and revoking their charitable tax status!

  9. - The End Is Near - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Jim Oberweis: By Any Means Necessary

  10. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    “Oberweis then cited a store on 95th and Kedzie. I said that’s not a black neighborhood. He disagreed and said there were black workers.”

    To be fair, if true this last statement does make this location stand out among his business concerns.

  11. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Evergreen Park is not a “black” neighborhood, imho, though it has a higher African-American population than the state average. The location of that store also abuts the Beverly neighborhood, which is 34% black.

    Whether or not his store is located in a “black neighborhood” or not, his new campaign office certainly is. He is clearly not the same person he was a decade ago, and his outreach efforts are genuine.

    Which is more than we can say for many in both parties.

  12. - IrishPirate - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    I hate to be fair to Oberweis, I loathe him with the light from a thousand suns going supernova, but I can understand where he got his impression of Evergreen Park. As non plussed said Evergreen Park does have a significant black population. That population is disproportionately in the eastern end of the town.

    Play around with this hard to navigate site to get a better idea. Make sure you use the transparency slide on the upper right to find the appropriate street location.

    Then add in for decades the south side of Chicago has been largely a retail desert and blacks from those neighborhoods traveled to Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn and Burbank to shop and it wouldn’t surprise me if blacks were the majority of his customers/employee base on Kedzie.

    One good change over the last decade, if you’re a Chicago taxpayer, is the opening of some big box stores on the south side within city limits. Not so good for the taxpayers of the neighboring suburbs.

    During the Walmart fight I recall seeing a map of various Wallyworld stores circling the city limits like GOP campaign consultants circling Oberweiss every election—-looking for all that wonderful cash.

  13. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    =The location of that store also abuts the Beverly neighborhood, which is 34% black.=

    Mr. Oberweis said Kedzie, not Western Ave. Kedzie doesn’t “abut Beverly”. That address is fully within the confines of Evergreen Park.

  14. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Dick Durbin says everything in 2014, that he would say in 2008, 2002, 1996, or 1990. You know where he stands on everything.

    If you think we don’t need to change anything over the next six years, then you can vote for the same guy whose been in the US Senate since like forever.

  15. - Larry - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    At least Uberweis is doing a better job highering minorities than Flip-flop Bruce but they are minimum wage positions that he isn’t in favor of increasing to a living wage.

  16. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    I think it’s way trippy that Oberweis is quoting the slain 21-year-old Black Panther Party chief from 45 years ago.

    Anyone know what the quote was? A quick search of the google didn’t reveal any likely ones, to say the least.

  17. - Snucka - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    Well, his Senate district is 3% black. Evergreen Park is 18%. So I guess in his eyes, Evergreen Park may be a “black neighborhood”.

  18. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    == Kedzie doesn’t “abut Beverly”. ==

    That location is just a few blocks from the Beverly border iirc. In a space the size of Evergreen Park, that “abuts” in every sense but the most pedantic definition.

    There is no magical demarcation that suddenly marks the “white” or “black” dividing line people dare not cross between Beverly and Evergreen Park. There is plenty of AA business in that immediate area.

  19. - downstate hack - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Durbin gets away with the IRS scandal, because of a weak opponent. Should be a major concern to every tax payer.

  20. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    This article covering the opening of a Borders on 95th Street a few blocks inside the Beverly-Evergreen border goes into much more detail

  21. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    ==Durbin gets away with the IRS scandal==

    If you can tell me what he’s getting away with I’d appreciate it.

  22. - Been There - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    Personally I prefer Rainbow Cone on Western. But to the statement, EP has been slowly integrating for many years now, which is a good thing. The people in EP learned from the Beverly neighborhood and bucked the white flight trend that spread throughout the south side on the past 50 years.

  23. - walker - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    Obie has done better this time around. He does and says reasonable things on a regular basis. Good to see Republicans fighting for Chicago votes.

  24. - Apocalypse Now - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    @Natalie Y Moore. What are the White Democratic politicians doing to bring stores providing basic services to the West and South Sides of Chicago?

  25. - anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    For clarification:
    1. Beverly is exactly 1 mile east of Oberweis’ store .
    2. The Tribune article is from ‘98, Border’s is shuttered and at least for the next month home to one of those halloween stores
    3. The real big box winner is Evergreen Park. 3. Walmart sits on the sight of the famed Martinique.
    3.Menard’s, Meier’s etc sit on the site of the golf course that graced 91st and Western forever. Again Evergreen Park
    5. Marianos and Pet Smart going in just east of California on 95th. Again, Evergreen Park
    I am not sure what big boxes the Irish Pirate was noting, but Evergreen is the home of the big box development, not 95th in Beverly.

  26. - anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    So much for my attempt at numbering…gawd…lol

  27. - A guy... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    Commercially speaking the area is very integrated, in terms of shoppers and pedestrians. It’s close to Little Company hospital which employs a lot of AA people. It’s a major bus route to the Red Line on 95th. It’s a very integrated business. That isn’t the same as opening in Englewood, but it’s hardly a lily white business area. Far from it. Good for him.

  28. - mayor vacco might laugh - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    (the employees are 50/50ish in terms of my guessing at their ethnicity) at my guess (I have not gone since he parked in the handicap spot)
    No way he builds an Oberwies in Woodlawn, (I’d love for him to prove me wrong).
    “Formerly known as is” is right though, give him credit for reaching out, Who owns that building at 66th and King? Better make it a real office, not just a place to claim is an office with a bunch of signs in the window.

  29. - Parish guy - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    Come on- 95th and Kedzie serves Beverly, Evergreen and Oak Lawn. How do I know? I go there. It is not there to serve the AA community. Please quit justifying a stupid statement.

  30. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    mayor vacco might laugh - thanks. That has been my experience as well. The strip along 95th Street beginning around Halsted and stretching towards Western and Kedzie has been and remains a center of AA business ownership and commerce for many years.

    His store and the area might not be a perfect example for diversity or integration, but he is making efforts that more people should be.

  31. - IrishPirate - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 5:04 pm:

    - anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    I was talking big box development well east of Beverly. Out by the Dan Ryan expressway and even east of there. Those are mostly relatively new.

  32. - the oracle - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 6:35 pm:

    The minimum wage issue is a red herring. Republicans should flush it out for what it is. Dems want it because it boost the prevailing wage for their unions loyalists. Republicans, at least the smart ones, seem to appreciate that minimum wage is for our kids working their way through high school and college. The jobs that pay minimum wage were not meant to raise a family on. We need to work to create those particular jobs that produce a sustainable income that can support a family as opposed to settling for service sector jobs. If you look at the median age working in a fast-food restaurant these days you will find that there are quite a few people who actually qualify for social security but are unable to sustain their way of life on that program as well. In a nutshell, we need a better environment for the industry of creating real jobs!

  33. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 6:51 pm:

    –Republicans, at least the smart ones, seem to appreciate that minimum wage is for our kids working their way through high school and college.–

    Says who? Is that in some law somewhere?

    Half of those making minimum wage or lower are over 24; 77% are white; nearly half are white women.

    In Illinois, the minimum wage is a buck lower for those under 18. For those over 18, there’s a lower training rate for the first 90 days of employment. Tipped employees can be paid as little as $4.65 an hour by their employer.

    And what does it have to do with prevailing wage, anyway? Jobs paying minimum wage are dominated by food preparation, followed by sales.

  34. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 8:04 pm:

    I continue to be impressed more by Jim Oberweis. Unlike too many of my party he has evolved in his political behavior and he seems to see the future of an aging all white Republican party as dim. Good for him.

  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:25 pm:

    I’m with you, Schnorf.

    Obie takes a lot of abuse for his past campaigns and his ambition.

    But you know what? He’s a millionaire who knows he has no chance to win but he’s working the hood.

    I have no problem, whatsoever, with an Illinois Republican who ventures into the South and West sides. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

    Having said that, I guarantee you that Obie is banking goodwill to take on Kirk in two years. He ain’t raising any money now, but fighting the good fight in a losing battle against the hated Durbin might get him some points with the Club for Growth crowd.

    Because the national right wing will come after Kirk, big time, in the primary.

    Then again, they might just go with Truax, who put up some impressive numbers with absolutely no money.

  36. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:33 pm:

    word, and if they take out Kirk, Illinois will probably have two D Senators

  37. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 11:05 pm:

    No doubt Schnorf. But given who those guys have gone after in primaries in the last couple of cycles, Kirk is obviously the biggest target for the Torquemadas.

    Look at the guys they’ve gone after. Bedrock conservatives all, but apparently they don’t howl at the moon loud enough.

    A Midwest Republican like Kirk with that crowd? NRA. Abortion. Gay marriage. If those boys are still in business, no way they can leave him out there.

    The separation of powers in the Constitution demands compromise, but they’re not buying in some circles these days.

  38. - votecounter - Wednesday, Oct 1, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Oby is finnished after this loss (if he does) he has money and didn’t put any in. Rauner at least put his own money up before asking others. It is a crime that Oberweis got into the race late if he had no intention of putting up at least 3 million. (Thats what he spent on his Governors run) he let the party take control of his campaign and now sees that they don’t care if he wins or losses. He should have learned from Peter Fitzgerald; you have to run separate from the Party and you can’t win on the cheep. Everyone knew Durbin had 6 million and unlimited amounts if things got close. He only has himself to blame. He just assumed the base would rally but he had to give them a reason. He is afraid to run on the issue he is known for. and polling shows huge support with his voters and even with Democrat voters now! The AA community is almost 80% behind him on amnesty with the high unemployment numbers in their community

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