Carol Moseley Braun told reporters "I don't want to" about releasing her income taxes on Monday, and 24 hours later we know why: the Chicago mayoral candidate more than $224,000 in 2008, returns show.
Braun began a new business called Ambassador Organics, a small company that was hit hard by the recession. This past year, 2009 offered a glimmer of positive news with her income reported at just under $16,000.
"The reality is that unlike Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Chico, who traded on their government relations for vast riches when they left office, I did not," said Moseley Braun.
She's certainly not the first candidate in recent years to have been personally hit by the recession.
GOP candidate for governor Bill Brady paid no income tax as his construction business struggled. And there were several former candidates for congress who worked as consultants but were not gainfully employed.
"My tax returns are one measure of the fight I have waged to keep my business running. It is not unlike what many small business owners and regular Chicago families are going through," Moseley Braun added.
Campaign spokeswoman Renee Ferguson said Moseley Braun always planned to release the returns if she made it to the April runoff, which will be held unless one candidate gets a majority of the vote in February. Ferguson said Moseley Braun decided to release the taxes now when her staff told her her recent statements had caused a "firestorm."
"She changed so it wouldn't continue to be such a big story and issue," Ferguson said.
In recent weeks, candidate Rahm Emanuel revealed that he and his wife made more than $2 million over the past five years. Returns show that Gery Chico and his wife made more than $5 million in the past two years. And City Clerk Miguel del Valle earned just more than $114,000 in 2009.