Today, the Biss campaign released a new video encouraging voters to hold Democratic candidates to the same standard to which they held Donald Trump and demand that J.B. Pritzker fulfill the pledge he made seven months ago to release his income tax returns.
The video highlights the similar excuses Donald Trump and JB Pritzker have given to reporters and individuals alike who ask about releasing their tax returns. Both billionaire businessmen argue that it is “complex.”
“No Democratic candidate for governor should be in the same sentence as Donald Trump when it comes to accountability and transparency. How can you credibly promise to lead the resistance to Trump when you mimic his billionaire ways,” said Biss campaign manager Abby Witt. “Illinois voters deserve a governor they can trust to fight for the middle class—not another billionaire who can’t keep his promises.”
It’s a fair hit; I’m sure his taxes are very complex but I’m also sure he could release *something* if he actually wanted to. We need to know what his assets are when he becomes governor - even Rauner but his assets in a kind of pseudo trust. Comparing him to Trump is kinda ridiculous, besides the size of their bank account the two couldn’t be more different (IMHO), but it’s a political campaign so you can’t expect hits to be fair or logical. Pritzker should release something on it just to make it go away.
You run for Governor, and you know this will be an issue you have to address. There will be nothing illegal, immoral or fattening in it, so why the dodge? Too much money looks bad? Folks know you are a billionaire - no news there. Skimpy on charitable contributions? Questionable sources of income, or deductions? That cat is at least half-out of the bag.
Holding back or dodging is probably more harmful than what’s politically fearful within it. Assumptions will be made that may hurt more than getting it all out there now, and wearing it out before election da6.
Robert the Bruce - re: ‘nothing illegal, immoral, or fattening’…
Not sure about it, but I’d assume laying out your illegalities to the IRS isn’t how billions have been kept intact by the family for generations. You pay lawyers/accountants big bucks to hide any transgressions that may exist. That’s why THEY exist.
I’m a little confused– is it not common knowledge that super rich people have a hundred loopholes they hires expensive lawyers and accountants to get out of paying the standard (30%) tax rate? If I was a billionaire, I probably have had planned to be able to release SOMETHING, as this is going to be a perpetual issue when running for public office.
I think it’s pretty obvious what JB’s returns will reveal: that he paid an absurdly low tax rate, and perhaps nothing at all in some years. How could it be otherwise? Almost all his income will be somehow characterized as “capital gains” or benefit from the “carried interest” provision of the tax code. It will look just like Romney’s taxes did, if not worse, paying 13%. Which could really hurt him in a Democratic primary.
Voters, when it came to Trump, gave large leeway to Trump, even though Trump lost the popular vote and a blue state like Illinois by a large margin.
If Virginia taught us anything, the Trump stylings, in statewide comparisons only, are being rejected, be it the racism, divisiveness, and hate, but also the arrogance.
Not many before Trump’s failures could get away with how Trump ran, including the “failure” to release tax returns.
A major issue the Pritzker has… they seem like Keystone Kops when it comes to handling their own oppo and handling these taxes, knowing it’s a possible issue, but can’t quite park it by just releasing, or sound at least sincere about withholding the tax returns.
The reality is the Pritzker Crew, again I say, when having time to prepare, they do exceptionally well
They continually to fall well short on being able to respond to self-inflicted mistakes, compounding these holes by just not seemlingly ill-prepared for things known or brought to light now.
There’s a sense that as Pritzker has gotten $35 million of his own dough into this race, the putting off of the taxes highlight what some may say is a negative, self-funding,
“How this relates to the video?”
What and how is different with JB that isn’t portrayed in this video?
The good for Pritzker is that this will be swamped by them, ironically by Pritzker’s money that voters don’t know what his taxes say.
It’s a video that shines a very white hot light not only on where Trump and Pritzker can be married, but shines that white hot light that Pritzker has serious questions that they just hope can be ignored long enough to win.
That’s how campaigns go. This video is trying to stop the steamrolling.
Will someone please explain to me why anyone actually cares about a candidate’s tax returns? I don’t think your average voter really cares. He’s rich and probably avoided paying taxes - everyone already knows that from the property tax debacle that was publicized. I don’t think anyone really plans to learn anything from seeing the full return.
Of the myriad weaknesses he has, not sure this is the one people really will care about.
Good for Biss. This is a delaying tactic from JB– he is an important enough client that whatever firm he contracts with to do his taxes could get all the returns put together in a few months. I’m sure the accountants can work through the “complexities”
JP, JB would certainly second your thoughts, I’d guess, but your points only spotlight the reasoning behind NOT showing them. He wants to be like Trump, and his ‘none of your damn business’? He’s apparently in a pickle re:tax returns. Damned if he does reveal, damned if he don’t. What does that say about him? He can dodge taxes, but he can’t dodge skepticism that arises when he seems either obstinate or tone deaf re: his wealth, lifestyle.
If Illinois/America wants to be ruled by the rich then having hidden tax returns is part of the package.
“Most of the growth in the tax code came in the past 30 years, growing from 26,300 pages in 1984 to nearly three times that length today.” Washington Examiner (last year it was 74,608 pages)
Now seriously how many of those pages do you think are made for the poor and middle class.
The commercial won’t mean a thing. People don’t care…
Originally, I thought Pritzker might be compared to Hillary a bit. The annointed one who just isn’t loved by the rank and file voters, who are itching for a non-establishment change. No candidate these days doesn’t have some baggage. On the whole, Pritzker is making way more good moves than bad. He’ll probably be the future Gov, and he’ll be in charge of an indebted, reformless state. Wish he would talk more about Illinois problems.
I agree that most voters probably don’t care that much about seeing the actual returns. But I do think voters — especially democratic voters, and especially after so much hay was made out of it during the presidential election — might care about *not* seeing them.
This stuff helps Biss make JB seem like an out of touch plutocrat who gets benefits not available to the rest of us (which, frankly, is probably true.) I’m not sure how effective this attack is in the long run, but I think it’s more or less what Biss has to work with. Given the current political climate, it might end up playing pretty well.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Nov 14, 17 @ 10:19 am:
Expecting a JB “double entendre” ad to counteract this.
- Sen. Blutarsky - Tuesday, Nov 14, 17 @ 10:38 am:
JB really does need to release his tax returns. He claims to be a progressive champion, but a true progressive would release them sooner rather than later. I am sure he has done some dodgy things with his taxes.
He needs to talk about why he did those things while also claiming that the wealthy need to pay their fair share.
In agreement with Anon at 10:03. Biss didn’t grow up working class and, unlike many middle-class and poor Americans, he has no real clue what it’s like to come from a family without access to immense material and intellectual resources.
His parents were brilliantly talented world-class musicians - concert violinists, and his paternal grandmother with a famous cellist. Biss has been surrounded by skilled artists and intellectuals his entire life, he attended Harvard and MIT, and is, himself, a highly intelligent and exceptional person.
Good for him! We need more smart, educated people in state government. Biss should tout his intellectual gifts and progressive values all day long. But he needs to stop pretending his success is a result of overcoming adverse circumstances, and that he somehow knows the plight of the working-class better than the billionaires he decries.
Biss has been surrounded by bright, creative, talented people his entire life and was educated at the very best schools. He also lives in Evanston in a house apparently paid for by some trust fund or inheritance. Somehow his wife manages to stay home with the kids (good for her), but this isn’t an option for most working class or even middle class people.
Biss is out of touch, yet refuses to admit it. Pritzker is rich as hell and willing to spend his money to help our crippled state. He should absolutely release his tax returns. And Biss should stop acting like he’s some working-class hero and concentrate on making sure Rauner isn’t re-elected.
For 2016, Biss reported $32,568 in adjusted gross income and, after deductions and exemptions, a taxable income of $2,958. The returns show he owed no federal tax. In 2013, the Evanston state senator reported $54,218 in adjusted gross income and $18,116 in taxable income, owing no federal tax.
Biss and his wife, Karin Steinbrueck, paid federal taxes of $581 in 2012, $629 in 2014 and $2,775 in 2015. Among the largest deductions he took were ones for local property taxes, state income taxes and home mortgage interest.
It is not that complex how even extremely well educated people, who pay virtually no income tax, are constantly talking about increasing government spending and complaining that other people aren’t paying their fair share.
How effective? We’ll see. I’ve never been convinced that voters, particularly D voters cared that much about this. I know R voters don’t. It’s a loud talking point on the D side. We’ll see if it’s any more than that.
Just my humble opinion but this is not the hill for Biss to die on and spend his limited funds on. Everybody already knows that Pritzker and his family are richer than Croesus and they know that rich people take advantage of the tax codes to avoid paying as much tax as they possibly and legally can.
I do think JB’s wealth will turn off a lot of voters but it’s already out there and Biss doesn’t need to facilitate that further. He does need to focus on why people should vote *for* him–and it has to be more than “I released my tax returns and JB didn’t”.