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Rauner attacks Pritzker for not revealing his trust fund names

Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017

* From the Rauner campaign…

JB Pritzker may call for higher taxes in Illinois, but what he pays might not be as big as expected.

Pritzker, whose family has a history of off shore holdings and avoiding taxes, refuses to release even just the names of his trusts.

With JB Pritzker in Springfield, Illinoisans will be paying higher taxes, but don’t expect Pritzker to be paying his fair share.

More from Rich Miller’s column ‘Rich Is As Rich Does’:

    …He refused to divulge the tax returns for those trusts (which really would be “complex”) because, his campaign claimed, other members of his extended family also benefit from those trusts. OK, fine. But how about divulging the names of his trusts? Tracking down these trusts is a difficult business because they’re shrouded in such secrecy. Names would help.

    When a politician refuses to divulge something, particularly after criticizing others for not doing so, you gotta wonder what that person is hiding.

    The Pritzker family all but invented off-shore trusts. “No family in the U.S. can copy the Pritzkers in using offshore entities to gain tax advantages,” claimed Forbes magazine back in 2003.

    In an attempt to pry Pritzker’s information loose, I reached out to Chris Kennedy’s gubernatorial campaign and asked if they would release the names of the trust funds Kennedy benefits from. They did.

    …JB Pritzker’s sister Penny, who served as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Commerce, is mentioned in the so-called “Paradise Papers,” a massive ongoing research project into the uber-wealthy and mega-corporations conducted by journalists all over the world. Ms. Pritzker transferred shares from two Bermuda companies to a company owned by trusts that benefit her children after she was confirmed for the Cabinet post. Her family’s myriad offshore trusts were a big issue during her confirmation hearing.

    Alas, Kennedy’s decision to reveal his trust funds’ names did not move the Pritzker campaign one iota closer to disclosing the names of Pritzker’s trusts.

    This ain’t over.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Montrose - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    oooh. A good ol’ fashioned billionaire “who avoids more taxes?” fight.


  2. - Ray del Camino - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    I don’t think Baron von Carhartt is the guy to be bringin’ this up.


  3. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    That’s rich (pun intended)

    I’m sure BVR’s holdings are all publicly known. Oh, they’re not?


  4. - HL Mencken - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    Republicans attacking democrats for being too rich constitute the “Chutzpah” award for 2017.


  5. - LUC/ND 47 - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    It used to be the standard that a candidate for a governor would release their tax returns, and would do several years’ worth. While the drumbeat for more info from Pritzker will continue, it’s absurd for Bruce Rauner to attempt to claim any high ground on this issue whatsoever.

    Rauner is not off the hook, just because he releases a list of 100 acronym-laden LLC’s and LLP’s that mean nothing to anyone and highlighting his hit on Pritzker without proper context will only serve to lower the standard for what transparency we can expect from gubernatorial candidates going forward.


  6. - cicom - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    Biss will likely re tweet this and whine further. Still waiting for your plan, Danny.


  7. - A guy - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    THE Rich Miller sure is getting quoted often.


  8. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    LOL are you really going there? I guess we know who Rauner doesn’t want to battle in November.
    Haven’t heard a GOP attack on Biss or Kennedy in a while?
    Don’t count your chickens though
    Tick tock there is a chill in the air, winter is coming and the name is Ives


  9. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    While we’re at it, let’s see how much money Rauner and his firm made from the public sector and collectivism he despises. That’s lots and lots of years of business.


  10. - The Crane - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    Biss’ campaign put out a new ad about JB’s tax returns. Does anyone really read them?


  11. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Did they get permission to use your column? That’s a pretty lengthy excerpt for “fair use.”


  12. - Duopoloy - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    If an individual is using a legal means to minimize their tax burden, isn’t the beef with the US Congress or state legislature who approves the law? Why isn’t the beef with tax policy with the Congress or state legislature? Aren’t they the ones who could address the issue?

    After all, most people (including corporations) support our two-party system of legislating and enacting laws. Why not work through that system instead of criticizing law-abiding individuals?


  13. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Glass House much?


  14. - SSL - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Rauner is a disaster, but when JB talks about raising taxes on the wealthy it is fair to bring this issue up. JB is criticizing Rauner at every turn, not that it is difficult to do so. I would like to know how JB plans to increase taxes, including how the tiers of his progressive tax structure will be set. Will he include retirement income.

    Many more than the 1% will be impacted. So if JB is hiding income offshore and in complex legal entities, that’s a problem.


  15. - Chris Widger - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    ==So if JB is hiding income offshore and in complex legal entities, that’s a problem.==

    Assuming that Pritzker is complying with the tax code (which is very likely), it’s not coherent or interesting to characterize his behavior as “hiding” income.


  16. - SSL - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Sorry about that Chris. I’ll be sure to check with you in the future.

    I meant to say that when JB says the wealthy need to pay their fair share, it is perfectly okay if he doesn’t.

    Of course some logical people might call that problematic.


  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    ===sure is getting quoted often===

    Rauner retweeted me twice yesterday. lol


  18. - Chris Widger - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    ==I meant to say that when JB says the wealthy need to pay their fair share, it is perfectly okay if he doesn’t.==

    That’s often a complaint levied at people like Warren Buffett when they propose tax code changes to increase revenue, and it’s always weird to me. Are you suggesting that Pritzker just voluntarily pay more than he has to and that that’s the answer to tax reform? Can taxes ever be raised by anyone?


  19. - People Over Parties - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    Pritzker’s financial hypocrisy is going to be an issue. He better get his story straight, if he can, because that’s just more easy ammo for Rauner and his Dem opponents.


  20. - Just Blocked By Rich - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    =need to pay their fair share=

    How do you determine “fair share” within legal options for a tax filings?


  21. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    Will Rauner release his partnership and s Corp income sources?


  22. - Jocko - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    As others have stated, Bruce might want to get the log out of his own eye. How I wish a reporter would ask about Bruce’s (not-so) blind trust.


  23. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Dec 5, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    I wonder what the GOP governors candidate thinks about this. Hopefully she’ll be releasing a presser soon.


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