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posted: 10/4/2012 5:40 PM

Dold, Schneider feud over tax returns, business experience

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  • Brad Schneider, left, listens to Robert Dold speak to reporters and editors at the Daily Herald.

       Brad Schneider, left, listens to Robert Dold speak to reporters and editors at the Daily Herald.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Democrat Brad Schneider, left, and Republican Robert Dold

      Democrat Brad Schneider, left, and Republican Robert Dold

  • Video: GOP video targets Schneider

  • Video: Schneider campaign ad

  • Video: Dold/Schneider endorsement

  • Video: Dold/Schneider on tax returns

 
 

U.S. Rep. Robert Dold has challenged Democratic rival Brad Schneider to release his personal income tax returns, but Schneider isn't interested.

In an interview session held Wednesday at Daily Herald headquarters in Arlington Heights, Dold pledged to make his tax returns for 2010 and 2011 public.

"I'm going to release my taxes. Are you?" Dold, a freshman lawmaker from Kenilworth, asked Schneider.

Schneider, a first-time candidate from Deerfield, said people can learn about his finances by reviewing his U.S. House disclosure forms.

"So we'll take that as a no," Dold responded.

"You can take that however you want," Schneider said.

Schneider's stance didn't change Thursday. In an emailed statement from his campaign, he again referred people to his House disclosure forms.

Congressional candidates' financial reports available online at clerk.house.gov/public_disc/financial.aspx.

Schneider's paperwork indicates many sources of income and assets for his family, but it doesn't include a total or show taxes paid or owed.

Meanwhile, Team Dold followed through with the promise Thursday, letting the Daily Herald review the documents. However, his federal tax returns are available for inspection by reporters, not the general public.

The 2011 return shows Dold's household reported $246,031 in adjusted gross income and $51,526 in taxes that year. The 2010 return shows $208,423 in adjusted gross income and $38,379 in taxes.

The tax-return kerfuffle is part of an ongoing assault from Dold and the Republican Party on Schneider's business resume.

Dold and Republican activists have criticized Schneider for campaigning as a business owner even though his business, Cadence Consulting, hasn't reported any revenue in at least two years, according to federal documents.

Schneider said he has more than 25 years of business experience with small and large companies. He said he put the consulting firm on hold to run for Congress.

"The last two years I've been working on this campaign," Schneider said. "I haven't been billing any hours. Therefore, I haven't had any revenue."

That led to more barbs from Dold and more pressure for the Democrat to release his tax returns.

"My opponent holds himself out to be this business guy," said Dold, the part owner of a family pest control business. "This is the crux of your campaign. This is the crux of what you say you're doing here."

The pressure rose as the conversation continued.

"I've met a budget and a payroll with three companies. How many have you done it with?" Schneider asked Dold.

"Just one. But I'm still doing it," Dold responded.

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