Saturday, October 18, 2008
Jim Lindgren (Northwestern) asks why the media is focusing on Joe the Plumber's tax problems while ignoring the clear violation of law shown on the face of Barack Obama's tax returns. The Illinois Governmental Ethics Act (5 ILCS § 420/2-110) prohibits state legislators from accepting any "Honorarium," defined as any payment "for an appearance or speech." Obama reported "speaking fees" on his 2000 and 2002 tax returns while he was an Illinois state legislator:
- 2000: On his 2000 Schedule C-EZ, Barack reported that he received $16,500 as a “Foundation director/Educational speaker.”
- 2001: On his 2001 Schedule C-EZ, Barack reported $98,158 from a Chicago law firm, Miner, Barnhill, for “Legal services/attorney” (and nothing for speaking).
- 2002: On his 2002 Schedule C, Barack reported $34,491 for “LEGAL SERVCES / SPEAKING FEES.” These “speaking fees” are in addition to the amounts that Barack was paid as an employee, a lecturer at the University of Chicago, reported on the first page of his 1040s.