Democratic U.S. Senate candidate David Hoffman released his last five end-of-year federal income tax returns Thursday and pointedly called on frontrunner Alexi Giannoulias to follow suit.
The former federal prosecutor and Chicago inspector general opened up his personal finances to scrutiny this week while challenging the state treasurer to let the public have a close look inside his pocket book, particularly his ties to the bank his family controls.
Crain's Chicago Business reported last month that the Giannoulias family-owned Broadway Bank pulled out $70 million-worth of dividends in 2007 and 2008, just before the housing downturn threatened the bank's solvency.
"It's a simple request -- full and complete transparency of personal tax returns," Hoffman said in a statement distributed by the campaign. "After the recent problems and scandals in Illinois, that's the very least that candidates for U.S. Senate owe the voters."
The Giannoulias campaign declined to respond. Hoffman did not specifically target another rival Democratic candidate, Cheryle Robinson Jackson, in his statement.
In the last five years, Hoffman made between $247,726 (2008) and $630,034 (2007), the most fluctuation coming in capital gains. He inherited a sizeable trust from his grandfather, a former CEO of GEICO Insurance.
In the press release accompanying the tax returns, Hoffman pledged to place his money in a blind trust should he be elected to the Senate.
"If we are going to restore trust and integrity in the system, it is critical for candidates to be completely transparent about their personal finances," Hoffman said in the statement. "The voters are entitled to know as much as possible about each candidate so they can be sure there are no conflicts-of-interest, improper dealings, or private agendas in play."