* Mary Ann Ahern asked Gov. Rauner about a press release his campaign sent out earlier today attacking JB Pritzker for hiding money in off-shore accounts. Doesn’t he do the same?…
Gov. Rauner: Not at all.
Mary Ann Ahern: You don’t have any off-shore accounts?
Rauner: I do not.
Ahern: That was reported in your first term.
Rauner: Yes, so, so Mary Ann, here’s the spin. This is, this spin is amazing. So, I have assets, I’ve worked hard, I’ve made all my money. I didn’t inherit money. Um, and, uh, uh, I worked hard for teachers and made teachers a lot of money for their retirement. I worked for police officers, made a lot of money for their retirement, and I made a lot of money. I’m proud of it. I’ve never apologized for it.
I have investments that I do not control. For example, investments in, in banks and insurance companies, etc. They manage some money. And what’s got reported, which is true, some of them, for their accounts, where I’m a tiny piece, I have no voice, I have no control over decision-making, they have investments in some operation in Bahamas, or somewhere. Tiny for me, tiny for them, I don’t control it, I don’t have a voice in it. That’s what got reported and spun.
Um, the candidate Pritzker, inherited over $3 billion. And he and his family has chosen, chosen, on a massive scale to hide hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of their money off-shore in accounts outside of the United States.
That is fundamentally wrong. That is gonna come out and it is outrageous.
Ahern: [Over cross-talk, made a point about how Pritzker made $15 million last year]
Rauner: Exactly. So get this. Mary Ann, great question [laughter]. Great question. So, you inherit, you inherit $3 billion. And if you want to see how good a businessman he is, go look up how he did with his New World Ventures, you can really see some truth about how good a businessman he is.
But, inherits $3 billion and he’s still got $3 billion years later, mostly. And, but he only reports $16 million of income. How do you do that? I mean, you, you have to be one of the worst investors on the planet to only generate $16 million of income on $3 billion of assets.
How do you do that? By hiding from taxes and tax avoidance. That’s how you do that.
* Pritzker campaign…
In response to the Worst Republican Governor in America’s comments at this morning’s press conference, Pritzker campaign manager Anne Caprara released the following statement:
“We’re not going to get in the way of the Bruce Rauner implosion tour.”
Nope. Not good enough. Not by a long shot.
It’s time JB Pritzker answered questions about his assets. Gov. Rauner made some very valid points today. The Democratic billionaire needs to stop hiding behind snarky statements and release the names of his trust funds. Period.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Pritzker campaign…
Bruce Rauner’s accusations are false and he is lying about JB Pritzker. In addition to releasing his personal tax returns, the total taxes paid by trusts benefitting JB, charitable contributions made personally and by his foundation, JB also filed a detailed Statement of Economic Interest that lists personal investments and assets as well as those held by trusts benefitting him. JB and trusts benefitting him have paid a combined $25 million in state taxes and $136 million in federal taxes over the last three years.
There are some trusts that were established by JB’s family a couple generations ago. JB did not set them up, has never received a personal disbursement from them, and he has directed that any disbursements from these trusts be given to charity. Those are facts, and Bruce Rauner’s attempt to distract from his disastrous campaign can’t change them.
ADDED: In regard to the offshore question, there are some trusts that were established by JB’s family a couple generations ago. JB did not set them up, has never received a personal disbursement from them, and he has directed that any disbursements from these trusts be given to charity. Those are facts, and Bruce Rauner’s attempt to distract from his disastrous campaign can’t change them.
They also claim that Pritzker inherited a bit over a billion dollars, not the three billion claimed by Rauner.
…Adding… From another campaign…
That “bit over a billion” is a red herring. That number is from before Hyatt got taken public and a lot of family owned [assets] got sold.
*** UPDATE 2 *** RGA…
Illinois Democrat candidate for governor and billionaire heir to the Hyatt fortune J.B. Pritzker is being called out for refusing to answer questions over reports that he is hiding his income sources from voter scrutiny in offshore accounts.
The multi-billionaire only reported $15 million in state taxable income this year, leading to questions over Pritzker’s use of offshore trusts to shield his income from taxation.
Illinois’ top political blog, Capitol Fax, slammed Pritzker’s campaign this afternoon for refusing to answer questions about his assets, including his refusal to list the names of the offshore trust he benefits from. “The Democratic billionaire needs to stop hiding behind snarky statements and release the names of his trust funds. Period.”
Pritzker’s primary opponent Chris Kennedy has already listed the names of the trusts he benefits from. Previous reports have detailed the Pritzker family’s “legendary use of hundreds of offshore trusts to protect its wealth from taxes and the prying eyes of the Internal Revenue Service.”
J.B. Pritzker’s refusal to answer questions about his offshore trusts shows he may have something to hide.
*** UPDATE 3 *** Biss campaign…
Today, Daniel Biss’ campaign released the following statement in response to Bruce Rauner and JB Pritzker’s astonishing attacks on each others’ financial interests and tax returns.
“Bruce Rauner and JB Pritzker are two sides of the same shiny gold coin,” said Biss spokesperson Tom Elliott. “Both billionaires lacking government experience. Both have private trusts they don’t control, and can’t disclose, and aren’t willing to report how much they’ve made from them. Both use their business acumen as reasons they should be governor, yet neither have released their full tax returns.
“If we’ve learned anything from the failures of Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump, it’s that success in business doesn’t equate to success in government, and that a candidate who isn’t being fully transparent with their financial interests can’t be trusted to have our best interests in mind.
“While Bruce Rauner and JB Pritzker attack each other in an astonishing battle of the billionaires, everyday Illinoisans are struggling to make ends meet. That’s why we need Daniel Biss, the only middle-class candidate with a record of getting things done, who we can trust to make government work for us, not the uber wealthy and the political elite.”
*** UPDATE 4 *** G…
At a press conference today, Bruce Rauner claimed that in his career in business he “worked hard” for teachers and police officers and “made a lot of money for their retirement.”
But the truth is Bruce Rauner tried to strip those same teachers and police officers of their hard-earned retirement money. In 2015, Bruce Rauner proposed massive cuts to benefits for police officers, public-school teachers, and firefighters with “little or no input from organized labor.”
“Bruce Rauner has never ‘worked hard’ for teachers and police officers and is only interested in their benefits when it lines his own pockets,” said Pritzker Communications Director Galia Slayen. “This is a failed governor who has worked to cut benefits and undermine working families to advance his special interest agenda.”
* Fact Check: Do Pritzker and Kennedy Have a Tax Transparency Gap?: There is no law in Illinois requiring gubernatorial candidates or governors to release any tax information whatsoever, and Biss is clearly engaging in some campaign hyperbole when he refers to a Rauner standard and a Romney standard. That said, we find the essence of his statements to be True.