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Mark Kirk, Alexi Giannoulias Spar Over Tax Returns; Quinn Slams Brady On Refusing To Release

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After days of pressure from his opponent Pat Quinn, Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady has agreed to release his tax returns from 2009. From a press release:

“Pat Quinn wants nothing more than to turn attention away the failures he has led us to,” Brady said. “I won’t let anything stand in the way of my determination to bring a clean break to Illinois.”

Brady noted that Quinn has earned his income from taxpayer money while he himself has worked in the private sector.

“Today just shows again that Pat Quinn is part of the public sector ruling class,” Brady said.

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Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk released 10 years of tax returns on Tuesday, and challenged his opponent Alexi Giannoulias to release his own tax information.

Giannoulias has filed for an extension, and released a copy of that document to WBEZ after Kirk's demands. Still, the Republican suspects the worst, according to a Sun-Times report:

"I worry the coming implosion of his family bank may have tax implications for him, and therefore he's not willing to release his taxes," Kirk said. "I knew that I had to finish my taxes on time because I was running for a very high-profile office."

Giannoulias counters that he files extensions most years, and that his role in his family's Broadway Bank complicates his tax situation. At the same time, his campaign points out that it's actually Giannoulias who has the better record on releasing tax documents.

From an NBC Chicago story:

"We are pleased that after ten years in office, Congressman Kirk has finally given in and made his tax returns available, though his refusal to release them widely remains a concern, and we encourage him to do so," a spokesperson said. "Alexi has released his tax returns for all he years he's been in office and will fully release all future tax returns when he files them."

Meanwhile, Kirk's insistence that Giannoulias release his tax returns puts his fellow ticket-topping Republican in an awkward position. GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady has outright refused to publicize his tax returns, and his rationale sounds a lot like Kirk's accusation of Giannoulias -- protecting the family business.

"Last time I did that, and I did it without realizing the effect it would have on our business," Brady said. "I don't feel there's any reason to do it. There's nothing gained by releasing that, and I'm not going to do it this time."

Incumbent Democratic governor Pat Quinn took the opportunity Tuesday to attack Brady on the issue. Though he didn't mention Mark Kirk, he suggested that Brady might be trying to hide a conflict of interest.

In fact, he seemed to suggest that Brady should leave the race unless he was willing to publicize the documents.

TheChicago Tribune reports:

"As everyone knows we've had two governors preceding me that got into a lot of trouble, one's in jail, one's under indictment," Quinn said, referring to predecessors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. " Illinois doesn't need a shady governor. I think it's very important we have a governor that's open, direct, and accessible."

"I think anybody who wants to aspire to this office and doesn't want to disclose their tax return really should re-think their candidacy, because I think this is fundamental to making sure the governor of our state does not have any conflicts of interest that would in any way harm the people of Illinois."