SPRINGFIELD-Iowa’s senior U.S. senator made clear Thursday he wasn’t thrilled about having his image and voice used in a campaign video Gov. Pat Quinn posted online, jabbing Republican Bruce Rauner about his personal investments in the Cayman Islands.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has been a leading voice in Washington against companies that establish themselves on paper in foreign tax havens like the Caymans to lower or eliminate their U.S. tax burdens.
The senior member of the Senate Finance Committee also has targeted three of President Barack Obama’s appointees for their personal investments in the Cayman Islands after the president himself hammered Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for having millions of dollars in personal funds tied up there, as well.
On Thursday, Quinn bolstered an attack on Rauner and his Cayman investments with 2010 footage from the Iowa Republican going after Jeffrey A. Goldstein as Obama’s nominee for Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance. Goldstein worked at a private equity firm that had set up “blocker corporations” in the Cayman Islands to minimize the federal tax hit for U.S. investors.
“The only real difference I hear between investing in the Cayman Islands and investing in the United States or the only way the Cayman Islands investments are superior is the possibility of avoiding U.S. tax,” Grassley said in the sound bite in Quinn’s video.
But a Grassley aide condemned Quinn’s ad Thursday.
“The campaign ad misuses the isolated clip of Sen. Grassley’s words in missing his entire point of hypocrisy on the part of top Democrats,” Grassley spokeswoman Jill Gerber told Early & Often, the Chicago Sun-Times’ online political portal.