Well, Alexi finally did it--played the race card himself over the weekend. He continues to stiff even sympathetic editorial boards. Yes, Dem Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias is hurt and offended by questions on his loans to unsavory characters. After all, this came up on Meet the Press, now referred to by even the PC media as the Jaws Giorango debate. Even the liberal Time's Joe Klein was incredulous at the excuse for an answer Alexi offered. He continues to stonewall on his meeting with Jaws Giorango in Miami. Southtown Star:
As the Southtown Star noted when Senate candidate Alexi dodged, "it ain't dogcatcher after all". They ended up endorsing Mark Kirk.
Giannoulias has admitted meeting with Giorango a few times at the bank, years ago, and inspecting one of Giorango's Miami hotels in 2006 as standard operating procedure when approving a loan on the property.
But that's about it.
On Thursday, he couldn't recollect a single detail about his visit to the hotel - a hotel which landed on Florida law enforcement's radar in 2002 after a nationwide prostitution sting.
Broadway Bank's problems weren't just limited to making loans to shady characters--under Alexi as senior loan officer they borrowed hot money--high-priced deposits--in order to recklessly expand their loan portfolio. Even the leftie Chicago Reader and NY Times took note of how out of the ordinary this was. (Check out the Fact Check for more)
From 2002 To 2006, Giannoulias Increased Construction And Development Loans From $80 Million To $356 Million – Expanding Such Risky Investments From 25 Percent To 46 Percent Of The Bank’s Total Loan Portfolio. “At the end of 2002, Alexi's first year as a full-time employee, the bank had nearly $80 million in outstanding C & D loans—about 25 percent of its total loan portfolio, according to records filed with the FDIC. By the end of 2006, not long after he'd left the bank, it had $356 million in C & D loans accounting for nearly 46 percent of its loan total. During those years, it was consistently among the 20 banks, out of hundreds its size, with the biggest share of their portfolios tied up in such loans.” (Mick Dumke, “Alexi’s Albatross,” Chicago Reader, 12/3/09)Then you compound that misjudgment with Alexi's stint as Illinois State Treasurer, where he failed to pull the plug on Oppenheimer's inappropriately high-risk investment of parents' Bright Start college funds--this in a fund that was presented as a relatively conservative investment. As the Sun Times business columnist Terry Savage has pointed out, other such funds made money during this time, and Giannoulias still keeps Oppenheimer on as fund manager. The more we learn the worse it is.
“During Mr. Giannoulias’s Time At The Bank, Brokered Deposits Catapulted Fourfold, To $640 Million.” (David Greising, “As Lender, Senate Candidate Impacted Bank Woes,” The New York Times, 1/30/10)
“Mr. Giannoulias’s Bank Was Increasing Its Load By As Much As 48 Percent In A Single Year.” (David Greising, “As Lender, Senate Candidate Impacted Bank Woes,” The New York Times, 1/30/10)
· “The typical bank at this point was growing brokered deposits at about 9 percent a year.” (David Greising, “As Lender, Senate Candidate Impacted Bank Woes,” The New York Times, 1/30/10)
“Broadway Bank’s Brokered Deposits Reached 80 Percent Of Total Deposits In 2006.” (David Greising, “As Lender, Senate Candidate Impacted Bank Woes,” The New York Times, 1/30/10)
Then you have his inconsistent statements on his work at the bank--saying one thing to voters and another to the IRS--to garner himself a $2.7 million tax credit on the failure of his family's Broadway Bank, which the taxpayers bailed out to the tune of $394 million.
We have Alexi ducking debates. And no wonder. Even the MTP PC media controlled forum was a disaster.
In addition to all his slimy baggage there are all his policy shifts.
First he lied that he doesn't want to raise taxes. That's the biggie. Both state and federal--allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire is a HUGE increase.
Now on the South Korean Free Trade Agreement.
No kidding, that Alexi Giannoulias is such a stellar character--Alexi for Dogcatcher. From Kirk for Senate:
Ad Fact Check:
During the primary, Giannoulias told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board that he was opposed to the South Korea Free Trade Agreement.
From Chicago Tribune Primary Endorsement Interview (at 40:40):
Tribune: A quick yes or no on Colombia and South Korea?
Giannoulias: I think that we have to have environmental standards…
Tribune: As they are written today, yes or no?
Giannoulias: I think we need to have some modifications.
Tribune: So no?
But according to the Peoria Journal Star, Giannoulias now says he would support the agreement.
From Saturday’s Peoria Journal Star:
“He favors public ballot ‘card check’ for union elections and backs ‘free but fair’ trade, though says he'd be inclined to support the pending agreement with South Korea.”
Kirk Unveils New Ad: “Kidding”
Giannoulias Loaned Millions to Mobsters, Wiped Out College Savings in Bright Start and Now Seeks Higher Taxes and More Spending in the Senate?
You Must Be Kidding.
Northbrook, Ill. – The Kirk for Senate campaign today unveiled a new TV ad framing the obvious question facing voters in Illinois – after loaning millions to mobsters at Broadway Bank and then losing millions more in Bright Start college savings as State Treasurer, why would anyone send Alexi Giannoulias to the U.S. Senate to raise taxes and increase spending?
Last week, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board slammed Giannoulias “damning non-denial about loans to criminals” following his appearance on Meet the Press. The Tribune also published a front-page feature on the collapse of Illinois’ Bright Start college savings program, which reported for the first time that Giannoulias and his staff were aware of the fund’s increasing risk but “at each turn Giannoulias stuck with the firm's strategy, even as the housing market soured and losses accelerated.”
The ad, entitled “Kidding,” concludes with a reminder that Mark Kirk is the candidate who will spend less, tax less and borrow less to put Illinois back to work. “Kidding” can be viewed online here. A complete script and fact check appear below.
Ad Script and Fact Check: “Kidding”
Mark Kirk: I’m Mark Kirk and I approved this message.
AVO: What do you call someone who lent $20 million to convicted felons and mobsters? Senior Loan Officer… Alexi Giannoulias.
“The Family Bank Of Democratic Senate Candidate Alexi Giannoulias Loaned A Pair Of Chicago Crime Figures About $20 Million During A 14-Month Period When Giannoulias Was A Senior Loan Officer, According To A Tribune Examination That Provides New Details About The Bank's Relationship With The Convicted Felons.” (David Jackson, John Chase and Ray Gibson, “$20 Million In Loans To Felons,” Chicago Tribune,” 4/1/10)
“Alexi Giannoulias Took A Senior Position At The Bank At About The Same Time And Used It As A Launching Pad For His Political Career.” (David Jackson, John Chase and Ray Gibson, “$20 Million In Loans To Felons,” Chicago Tribune,” 4/1/10)
“Confronted with these embarrassing facts, the candidate has squirmed to put the best face on them. "If I knew then what I know now, these are not the kind of people that we do business with," he said Sunday. But when Gregory asked, ‘Did you know that they were crime figures that you were loaning to?’, Giannoulias couldn't fudge his way to safety. ‘I didn't know the extent of their activity,’ he said. That is a roundabout way of saying: ‘Yes.’” (Chicago Tribune Editorial, 10/11/10)
What do you call a man who lost $73 million in our kids’ college savings? State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
GIANNOULIAS TOLD ACCOUNT HOLDERS BRIGHT START WAS “WELL-DIVERSIFIED” EVEN THOUGH IT WASN’T
On October 29, 2008, To Bright Start Account Holders, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias Wrote: “What I can tell you is that the Bright Start College Savings Program is a strong and well-diversified program that is standing by its management strategies, which have helped generate solid long-term results for investors.” (State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Letter to Bright Start Account Holders, 10/29/08)
· But Giannoulias was contradicted by an Oppenheimer presentation to the Illinois Treasurer’s Office on September 16, 2008, that disclosed the Core Plus fund had 76.6% of its assets in mortgage-backed securities and junk bonds at the end of August, 2008. (“State Of Illinois 529 Plan,” Oppenheimer, 9/16/08)
· Giannoulias was contradicted again by another Oppenheimer presentation on October 20, 2008, that showed 87.4% of its assets were in mortgage-backed securities and junk bonds at the end of September, 2008. These asset concentrations were significantly in excess of Core Plus’ benchmark allocations. (“State Of Illinois 529 Plan: Core Plus Fixed Income Portfolio – September Review,” Oppenheimer, 10/20/08)
GIANNOULIAS TOLD ACCOUNT HOLDERS THAT BRIGHT START WAS GENERATING “SOLID LONG-TERM RESULTS” EVEN THOUGH INVESTMENTS WERE DETERIORATING
Giannoulias Also Told Investors That Bright Start Would Be “Standing By Its Management Strategies, Which Have Helped Generate Solid Long-Term Results For Investors.” (State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Letter to Bright Start Account Holders, 10/29/08)
· However, a September 24, 2008 Core Bond Competitiveness Chart provided by Oppenheimer Funds to the Illinois Treasurer’s Office that shows that as of August 31, 2008, Core Bond was the second-worst performing fund among its peers for the year to date, the worst performing fund over one year, the third-worst performing fund over three years, and tied for the second-worst performing fund over five years. By the time Giannoulias sent his letter on October 29th, Core Plus had deteriorated significantly further from its August 31st position. (“Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund: Competitive Report As of August 31, 2008,” Oppenheimer, 9/24/08)
BRIGHT START: GIANNOULIAS SETTLED, RECOUPED $77 MILLION AND LOST $73 MILLION
“Illinois' Bright Start College Savings Funds Lost Nearly Twice As Much As State Officials Have Previously Announced -- About $150 Million -- The State Treasurer's Office Confirmed Today As It Announced A Settlement With The Fund Manager That Will Recover About 50 Cents On The Dollar For Families Who Lost Money.” (John Chase and Ameet Sachdev, “Losses In Bright Start Are Nearly Twice What Treasurer's Office Announced,” Chicago Tribune, 12/22/2009)
· “The $77 million settlement with OppenheimerFunds Inc., announced today by Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and state Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan would partially reimburse about 65,000 account holders.” (John Chase and Ameet Sachdev, “Losses In Bright Start Are Nearly Twice What Treasurer's Office Announced,” Chicago Tribune, 12/22/2009)
LOSSES TWICE WHAT GIANNOULIAS ANNOUNCED
“Illinois' Bright Start College Savings Funds Lost Nearly Twice As Much As State Officials Have Previously Announced -- About $150 Million -- The State Treasurer's Office Confirmed Today As It Announced A Settlement With The Fund Manager That Will Recover About 50 Cents On The Dollar For Families Who Lost Money.” (John Chase and Ameet Sachdev, “Losses In Bright Start Are Nearly Twice What Treasurer’s Office Announced,” Chicago Tribune’s Clout Street, 12/22/09)
“The $77 Million Settlement With Oppenheimerfunds Inc., Announced Today By Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias And State Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan Would Partially Reimburse About 65,000 Account Holders.” (John Chase and Ameet Sachdev, “Losses In Bright Start Are Nearly Twice What Treasurer’s Office Announced,” Chicago Tribune’s Clout Street, 12/22/09)
“The Treasurer's Office Had Previously Said Bright Start Lost Only $85 Million In 2008. But As Part Of The Settlement Announcement Today, The Treasurer's Office Said That Only Accounted For Losses From April 2008 Through The End Of 2008.” (John Chase and Ameet Sachdev, “Losses In Bright Start Are Nearly Twice What Treasurer’s Office Announced,” Chicago Tribune’s Clout Street, 12/22/09)
“The Additional $65 Million In Losses Occurred From January Through March Of 2008 And In January 2009, Giannoulias Spokesman Scott Burnham Said.” (John Chase and Ameet Sachdev, “Losses In Bright Start Are Nearly Twice What Treasurer’s Office Announced,” Chicago Tribune’s Clout Street, 12/22/09)
What do you call someone who wants the government to spend more, and raise your taxes to pay for it? Senator Alexi Giannoulias? You must be kidding.
GIANNOULIAS SUPPORTS HIGHER TAXES
Giannoulias Opposes Extending The 2001 And 2003 Tax Cuts:
· Giannoulias: “Those Tax Cuts Were Unnecessary And Irresponsible, And I Would Allow Them To Expire.” (“Giannoulias Tribune Endorsement Questionnaire,” Chicago Tribune)
Giannoulias Supports Generating Revenue Through Tax Increases:
· Giannoulias: “I Have Said From Day One, As Your State Treasurer, That, While Politically It’s Not The Smartest Thing To Say, We Need An Income Tax Increase.” (Alexi Giannoulias, 3/20/10)
· “[Giannoulias] Does Answer The Tax Question Clearly, Arguing An Income Tax Increase Must Be Part Of The Solution With State Government Drowning In Red Ink.” (Christopher Wills, “Some Illinois Officials Avoid Tax Debate,” The Associated Press, 6/9/09)
· Giannoulias: “I Don’t See Any Other Way Than New Revenues.” (Ryan Keith, “Giannoulias Not Always In Lockstep With Obama’s Policies,” The State Journal-Register, 12/14/09)
GIANNOULIAS CALLED FOR MORE SPENDING
Giannoulias: The Stimulus “Should Have Been Even Bigger.” (“State Treasurer: Stimulus Won't Fix Budget,” Bloomberg, 2/23/09)
Giannoulias Vows To Create “Progressive Caucus” If Elected To The Senate:
“Illinois Democratic Senate Candidate Alexi Giannoulias Announced On Friday That If He Wins In November, He Will Immediately Spearhead The Creation Of A Formal Progressive Caucus In United States Senate.” (Sam Stein, “Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois Senate Candidate, Pledges To Create Senate Progressive Caucus,” The Huffington Post, 9/27/10)
· “The Illinois Democrat's campaign told the Huffington Post that the objective is to provide a philosophical counterweight to the sway that conservative Democratic members often have over legislation.” (Sam Stein, “Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois Senate Candidate, Pledges To Create Senate Progressive Caucus,” The Huffington Post, 9/27/10)
GIANNOULIAS COULDN’T NAME ONE THING HE WOULD VOTE AGAINST
“Giannoulias Stumbled When The Tribune Reporter Again Asked What Spending He Would Have Voted Against.” (Adam Zielinski, “Giannoulias Duffs Interview On Federal Spending,” WLS-890 AM, 10/5/10)
“Whether He Was Dodging The Question Or Just Didn't Have A Good Response, Democratic Senate Candidate Alexi Giannoulias Couldn't Seem To Find The Words In A Recent Interview With The Chicago Tribune.” (Adam Zielinski, “Giannoulias Duffs Interview On Federal Spending,” WLS-890 AM, 10/5/10)
“In A Video Posted To Youtube By Mark Kirk's Campaign, Giannoulias Was Asked By A Tribune Reporter What Federal Spending In The Last Two Years He Would Have Voted Against Had He Been In The Senate.” (Adam Zielinski, “Giannoulias Duffs Interview On Federal Spending,” WLS-890 AM, 10/5/10)
“Giannoulias Dodged The Question, And Rather Gave Credit To Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates' For Non-Discretionary Spending.” (Adam Zielinski, “Giannoulias Duffs Interview On Federal Spending,” WLS-890 AM, 10/5/10)
“Giannoulias Stumbled When The Tribune Reporter Again Asked What Spending He Would Have Voted Against.” (Adam Zielinski, “Giannoulias Duffs Interview On Federal Spending,” WLS-890 AM, 10/5/10)
Giannoulias: “Voted against? Um…specifically? You’re talking specifically, or…?” (Adam Zielinski, “Giannoulias Duffs Interview On Federal Spending,” WLS-890 AM, 10/5/10)
“Ask Giannoulias What Federal Spending Bill Of The Last Two Years He Would Have Opposed And, After Some Painful-To-Watch Evasion, He Cannot Name One.” (Editorial, “Mark Kirk For Senate,” Chicago Tribune, 10/7/10)
“Ask Him Where He Most Strenuously Disagrees With His Party's Policies And Watch His Intellectual Gears Grind As He Grasps For Anything Controversial On Which He Disagrees At All.” (Editorial, “Mark Kirk For Senate,” Chicago Tribune, 10/7/10)
Mark Kirk will spend less, tax less and borrow less.
KIRK KNOWN AS A FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE DEFICIT HAWK
“He'll draw you a chart graphing how and when he believes the Democrat-sponsored bills will break the federal budget. He is a deficit hawk.” (Editorial, “Republican Endorsement: U.S. Senate – Kirk,” Peoria Journal Star, 1/22/10)
“Kirk is all about fiscal responsibility. He wants to reduce the national debt, balance the budget and stop the disgraceful practice of earmarking billions of taxpayer dollars for politicians' pet projects.” (Editorial, “Kirk For Republicans,” Chicago Tribune, 1/12/10)
“He is a self-described fiscal conservative and that’s what we think Illinois and the country needs as we face a soaring federal deficit and a national debt of an astounding $13 trillion. He lays out a plan to curb out-of-control spending while also helping small business owners in particular get back on their feet.” (“Kirk is our choice for U.S. Senate,” Daily Herald, 10/12/10)
“We want the most capable senator protecting the U.S. from its enemies abroad and its unsustainable finances at home. Mark Kirk will be that senator.” (“Mark Kirk for Senate,” Chicago Tribune Editorial, 10/7/10)
“Kirk is a fiscal conservative, and his leadership would serve Illinois well.” (“U.S. Senate: Mark Kirk,” Northwest Herald, 10/6/10)
“Kirk understands that putting people back to work is the nation's top priority at this time, and that fiscal discipline is critical to sustaining a vibrant economy long term.” (“Kirk would be best for Senate seat,” Quincy Herald-Whig, 10/9/10)
WITH AN AMENDMENT, KIRK WORKED TO STOP THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE
“In Another Minor Victory, On June 6 The Appropriations Committee Of The House Of Representatives Passed A Spending Bill That Could Ensure The Bridge To Nowhere Never Gets Built.” (Ed Feulner, “After Lots Of Heavy Spending, Maybe Congress Sees The Light,” Chicago Sun-Times, 6/14/06)
“Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) Added An Amendment That Would Ban The Spending Of Federal Money To Design Or Build The Bridge, Or Even To Reimburse The State For The Project.” (Ed Feulner, “After Lots Of Heavy Spending, Maybe Congress Sees The Light,” Chicago Sun Times, 6/14/06)
· “‘My amendment sends a strong signal to the American people that the time for this expensive style of federal spending has passed,’ Kirk said.” (Ed Feulner, “After Lots Of Heavy Spending, Maybe Congress Sees The Light,” Chicago Sun-Times, 6/14/06)
KIRK VOTED AT LEAST 40 TIMES TO CUT TAXES
KIRK VOTED AT LEAST 40 TIMES TO CUT TAXES. H.R. 3, 3/8/01; H.R. 6, 3/29/01; H.R. 8, 4/4/01; H.R. 10, 5/2/01; H.R. 586, 5/15/01; H.R. 1836, 5/16/01; H.R. 622, 5/17/01; H.R. 1836, 5/26/01; H.R. 7, 7/19/01; H.R. 2563, 8/2/01; H.R. 2884, 11/13/01; H.R. 3090, 10/24/01; H.R. 3529, 12/20/01; H.R. 622, 2/14/02; H.R. 3090, 3/7/02; H.R. 3762, 4/11/02; H.R. 586, 4/18/02; H.R. 4626, 5/21/02; H.R. 4800, 6/4/02; H.R. 4823, 6/4/02; H.R. 2143, 6/6/02; H.R. 4019, 6/13/02; H.R. 4931, 6/21/02; H.R. 5063, 7/9/02; H.R. 1307, 3/20/03; H.R. 2, 5/9/03; H.R. 2, 5/23/03; H.R. 8, 6/18,/03; H.R. 7, 11/17/03; H.R. 4227, 5/5/04; H.Res. 637, 5/12/04; H.R. 8, 4/13/05; H.R. 4297, 12/08/05; H.R. 5970, 7/29/06; H.R. 5638, 6/22/06; H.R. 4297, 5/10/06; H.R. 5140, 1/29/08; H.R. 5140, 2/7/08; H.R. 6081, 5/20/08; H.R. 6275, 6/25/08; H.R. 7005, 9/24/08 (Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives)