The Quinn campaign trotted out Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon Monday to build pressure on Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner to release his tax returns. Simon says it’s something she has done throughout her political career. “It’s what I did running for mayor of Carbondale, Ill., and if the candidate for mayor of Carbondale discloses more than a candidate for governor, that’s not a good day for democracy,” she said at a news conference in Chicago. Simon ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2007.
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Rauner has released partial returns from 2010, 2011 and 2012, and he hasn’t filed for 2013 yet. Simon says the public deserves to see all the schedules and attachments, especially since the legality of one of his tax avoidance strategies is being reconsidered by the IRS. The Rauner campaign says this effort – along with some Democratic state lawmakers making the same demand last week – is being used as a distraction from the governor’s problems with the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Gov. Pat Quinn acknowledged on Thursday that the federal grand jury investigating the anti-violence program subpoenaed his office for e-mails among those who led the program; Quinn says his office is complying.
Simon notes that Republican candidates for governor dating back to Jim Thompson have all released several years’ worth of full tax returns.