Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Pat Quinn Gets By on $155,000

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Pat Quinn Gets By on $155,000
Pat Quinn Gets By on $155,000

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Pat Quinn released his tax returns today, just to prove that he’s not a rich guy like his rival, Bill Brady.

He's only upper-middle class.

We should all be doing as well.

In 2009, Quinn earned $155,489.09 for his service as governor and lieutenant governor. On top of that, he claimed $479.42 in interest income.

Quinn made a big show of proving that he lives on the salary the state forces him to accept as an in-your-face to businessman Brady, who is refusing to release his tax returns.

The governor likes to boast about how cheap he is:  He flew coach to a National Governor’s Association and, after becoming governor, he scratched out “lieutenant” on his old business cards, so he wouldn’t have to buy a new supply. He has a defunct discount card for a budget motel chain, and usually looks as though he needs to shell out out five bucks for a trim.

Pat, live a little. $155,000 is raking it in!

Last year's income put Quinn close to the top 5 percent of Americans. This year, when he earns the full governor’s salary of $177,000, he'll move past that mark. Plus, he gets a free house in Springfield, a free plane, and a car and driver.

Now would be a good time to start donating all that cash, too.

After he became governor, Quinn promised to donate $20,000 of his salary to charities, non-profit groups and veterans’ relief efforts, but we're not sure if he did because he didn’t release his charitable donations today.

And, don’t forget, Quinn first made his name as a political pest by urging voters to send teabags to lawmakers as a protest against a 40 percent pay hike for legislators. If Quinn donated 40 percent of his salary, he might have to fly to coach and stay in cheap motels, instead of adopting a frugal lifestyle as an affection to demonstrate his integrity.

At least now we know how much Quinn wants to raise his own taxes. If the state takes an extra one percent of his income, he’ll be out $1,559.

Quinn’s running mate, Sheila Simon, is in the same high income bracket. Simon and her husband, Perry Knop, both professors, earned a combined salary of $138,127. They reported $13,121 in business income, and $3,355 in interest.

At least now we know the stakes in this November’s election. You can vote for a couple of upper class guys, in Bill Brady and Jason Plummer. Or you can vote for the humble Pat Quinn and Sheila Simon.

Related Topics Pat Quinn, Bill Brady, 155K Street
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