CHICAGO (CBS) — Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and his Republican challenger Jim Oberweis verbally tangled over subjects ranging from gun violence and immigration to ethics in a meeting before the Tribune Editorial Board.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Republican State Senator Jim Oberweis accused Dick Durbin of trying to use the IRS to investigate a conservative group. Durbin actually thinks all super PACs should be scrutinized.

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Durbin supports universal background checks for background sales, but Oberweis told the Tribune Editorial Board that he is not convinced it would be effective.

“You believe that if you had some type of universal background check that would stop people buying guns illegally?” Oberweis asked the board. “I am not convinced of that and if I were I might look at it differently.”

Durbin responded saying, “(Chicago) Superintendent (Garry) McCarthy told me that in the city of Chicago last year, crime guns confiscated compared to crime guns confiscated in New York and Los Angeles, we had six times the numbers per capita.”

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Durbin says while Oberweis physically lives in Sugar Grove, his wife claims a homestead exemption in Florida.
“This may be the first time in history that you have a state senator who declared his home was Kane County to run for office but declared his tax home to be in Florida,” Durbin said. “I’ve never seen that before. What’s the advantage? The advantage is he may not be paying Illinois state income tax.”

Oberweis says his wife does stay in Florida a lot but Durbin is wrong.

“The Florida homestead exemption is a larger exemption than the one in Illinois, so I allowed her to claim the exemption, I don’t get an exemption which means I pay more Illinois income taxes than I otherwise would.”

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In response, Durbin called on Oberweis to release his income tax returns. The state senator said if it is a big question, he will.