After all, the vice president himself is a serial exaggerator. At one point during the 2008 Presidential election, MSNBC even hosted a conversation about Biden’s “embellishment problem.” (Sound familiar? THE WEEKLY STANDARD has covered Giannoulias’s own embellishments here, here, and here.)
We all remember the “big mistake” of Joe Biden’s career – the infamous plagiarized speech of 1988. But Biden’s embellishments continue to this day.
Here are a few of the most colorful examples:
Read on. Perhaps Joe the Biden will give us some new material today.
More. Capitol Fax. Latest embellishment by Alexi Giannoulias. Plus Illinois Republican party recap:
1. Falsely claimed to serve on the Board of Directors for a distinguished banking group. “Democratic Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias corrected a claim on his website that he served on the board of a banking group when he didn't…‘Alexi was not that intimately involved to be candid,’ Wingert said.” (Associated Press, “Giannoulias Fixes Bankers Association Board Claim,” 6/9/2010)
2. Falsely claimed to chair a defunct charity. “Giannoulias is currently the state treasurer of Illinois. And, according to his official website, ‘He founded and chairs the AG Foundation, a not-for-profit charity that donates money to treat child-related illnesses, curb poverty and assist disaster relief organizations.’ The problem is, the charity no longer exists. According to the AG Foundation’s tax return, ‘The organization was in existence only for the two-year period from 2005 to 2006.’ So, why is Giannoulias still claiming to be the ‘chair’ of this defunct organization? According to the same tax return, Giannoulias’s formal position with the foundation was ‘president.’ In this capacity, the ‘average hours per week devoted to position’ was 0.15, which amounts to 9 minutes per week and an average of 39 minutes per month.” (Weekly Standard, “Giannoulias's Embellishment,” 6/3/2010)
3. Falsely claimed Bright Start only lost $85 million. “The losses in a mutual fund that was part of the Illinois Bright Start college savings plan totaled about $150 million in 2008, more than double what the state had previously disclosed. As a result, families will recoup about half of what they lost, where six months ago some expected to recover a higher percentage of their losses.” (Chicago Tribune, “Illinois Bright Start college fund settlement less than expected,” 12/23/2009)
4. Falsely claimed he opted for conservative investments in Bright Start. “But Mr. Giannoulias is exaggerating -- perhaps because the questions just keep on arising about whether he properly managed Oppenheimer, or just let it do what it wanted amid a rising number of red flags...Mr. Giannoulias' office was informed last April that Core Bond had heavily invested in mortgage-backed securities, far beyond what its benchmark specified. But he kept putting new Bright Start money into the fund for another seven months.” (Crain’s Chicago Business, “More Bright Start woes for Giannoulias,” 4/27/2009)
5. Falsely claimed he was a philanthropist helping world poverty organizations. “‘I am the Chairman and Founder of the AG Foundation, a not-for-profit charity which donates funds to children’s illnesses, efforts to curb world poverty and disaster relief organizations.’ (Independent Voters of Illinois Questionnaire, 1/12/2006.) What ‘efforts to curb world poverty’? According to the AG Foundation’s federal tax returns, it didn’t contribute to any world poverty organizations.” (Weekly Standard, “Giannoulias's Embellishments: Rhetoric vs. Reality,” 6/11/2010)
6. Falsely claimed he was a philanthropist helping environmental organizations. “‘As the head of his own AG Foundation, Alexi has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Chicago-area charities and environmental organizations, including significant help for victims of Hurricane Katrina.’ (alexiforillinois.com 1/11/2006 version.) ‘Environmental organizations’? Which ones? According to the AG Foundation’s tax returns, it didn’t contribute so much as $1 to any environmental organizations. (Weekly Standard, “Giannoulias's Embellishments: Rhetoric vs. Reality,” 6/11/2010)
7. Falsely claimed he provided significant help for victims of Hurricane Katrina. “How about ‘significant help’ for victims of Hurricane Katrina? It depends on your definition of ‘significant.’ AG did in fact contribute $1,500 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and $1,000 to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. (Weekly Standard, “Giannoulias's Embellishments: Rhetoric vs. Reality,” 6/11/2010)
8. Falsely claimed his foundation disbursed “tens of thousands of dollars.” “As for ‘tens of thousands of dollars’--that would seem to mean at least $20,000. However, the AG foundation disbursed only $18,800 over the eleven or so months it was in existence. (Weekly Standard, “Giannoulias's Embellishments: Rhetoric vs. Reality,” 6/11/2010)
9. Falsely claimed his foundation’s money was mostly his own. “Giannoulias told the Windy City Times that most of the funding for the AG Foundation came from himself. Only if ‘most’ means ‘less than half.’ According to the AG Foundation’s tax returns, Giannoulias contributed $9,000 to the foundation, with his mother and other undisclosed donors contributing the rest of the organizations’ funds. The AG Foundation ultimately dispensed $18,800, meaning Alexi Giannoulias’ contributions accounted for only 48% of its funds.” (Weekly Standard, “Giannoulias's Embellishments: Rhetoric vs. Reality,” 6/11/2010)