Chicago mayoral candidate releases tax returns, shows unstable financial condition

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The candidate, who first said on Monday that she wouldn’t make public her tax returns like the two other candidates “because I don’t want to,” on Tuesday provided them to the Chicago Tribune. It’s now a bit easier to understand why she wouldn’t want to.

She initially refused to release her income tax returns in the race for mayor of Chicago.

Carol Moseley Braun, the former U.S. senator from Illinois and former ambassador to New Zealand, showed income of $15,000 in 2009 and a loss of $225,000 in the previous year. She only provided a portion of the returns, making it difficult to understand how the numbers were derived.

Moseley Braun paid no income taxes in either year.

In running for mayor of Chicago, Moseley Braun has frequently touted her business acumen, even though it appears that she is struggling to operate the small coffee and tea import business, Ambassador Organics, which she started in 2005. A spokesman for the business, Kevin Lampe, said that Moseley Braun has been a hands-on manager.

Moseley Braun’s financial troubles were also recently reported in the Tribune, which reported that she had paid her property taxes late, and had taken out an additional mortgage on her home to do so.

She is now attempting to sell the house. Braun, in a statement said that the 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.”

The other two candidates, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Chicago City Hall insider and lobbyist Gery Chico, have already made their returns public.

According to records released by Emanuel, he and his wife made nearly $2 million over the last five years and paid more than $300,000 in taxes. The bulk of his earnings came from a blind trust.

Chico’s returns showed an even larger amount of income than Emanuel. In 2009, he and his wife, a school consultant, made $2.6 million; in the previous year, they earned $2.9 million. According to their tax returns, they paid taxes of $830,000 in 2009 and $900,000 in 2008.

The Chicago Tribune

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