The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is attacking Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias for supporting tax increases in a new ad, and claims he was exempt from paying taxes in 2009.
The ad highlights a March video in which Giannoulias argued on camera in favor of raising taxes.
“I have said from day one … while it’s not politically the smartest thing to say, we need an income tax increase,” Giannoulias said at the time.
The race for the Illinois senate seat between Giannoulias and Republican Rep. Mark Kirk is in a dead-heat, with Giannoulias polling just above Kirk. Both parties see this race as a symbolic one, since it is a battle for the seat formerly held by President Obama.
The ad repeats Giannoulias’s line, “We need an income tax increase,” four times and portrays the Illinois state treasurer projected on buildings across Chicago.
The ad closes with, “If you don’t want a tax increase, you don’t want Alexi.”
According to tax filing returns released in July, Giannoulias did not have to pay federal or state income taxes in 2009 because of financial losses from his family-owned Broadway Bank, which failed last year.
Giannoulias and Kirk are meeting Tuesday evening for their second public debate, where Kirk is sure to bring up his opponent’s call for increased taxes. Giannoulias has previously criticized his opponent for supporting President Bush’s policies.