Monday, April 05, 2010

Alexi in Hot Water

Add jerk to the list. Chuck Goudie, Daily Herald:Politics at the podium just part of the plan or really party crashing? HT David Freddoso.

Latest Kirk fact-check of Alexi:


Giannoulias Response to Chicago Tribune Story on Organized Crime Loans Contradicts Candidate’s Previous Statements

Statement by Congressman Mark Kirk: “Since 2006, Alexi Giannoulias has falsely claimed that he and his family did not know that Michael ‘Jaws’ Giorango or Demitri Stavropoulos were organized crime leaders. Alexi Giannoulias misled Illinois voters to get elected State Treasurer and continues to mislead voters in an effort to win election as United States Senator. The people of Illinois have a clear choice in this election to change direction and restore integrity to the State of Illinois.”

Contradiction #1: Alexi Giannoulias now says that “in retrospect, I think the added security of a background check would have been good.” But his brother told the Chicago Tribune that the family did know about the criminal convictions based on a 2004 news report – and still moved forward with millions in loans anyway. Furthermore, in 2006, Giannoulias admitted he knew Giorango had “some legal problems.”

Campaign Response: “In retrospect, I think the added security of a background check would have been good…” (Chicago Tribune, 4/2/10)

Demetris Giannoulias’ Statement: “Demetris Giannoulias said the bank learned of Giorango's bookmaking and prostitution promotion convictions from a spring 2004 Tribune report detailing those cases... He said he asked Giorango about the convictions and Giorango said, ‘It's in the past. I don't do that anymore.’” (Chicago Tribune, 4/2/10)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: “Giannoulias insisted he only knew that Giorango had ‘some legal problems’ while he was servicing the loans, declining to say whether he knew they were criminal in nature.” (Chicago Sun-Times, “Giannoulias: I Take It Back,” 4/27/06)

Contradiction #2: The Giannoulias campaign now says Alexi had “no role with these two individuals.” However, in 2006, Giannoulias claimed he serviced the loans and met with Michael “Jaws” Giorango at Broadway Bank and at his property in Miami.

Campaign Response: “Giannoulias spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said he had ‘no role with these two individuals...’” (Associated Press, 4/2/10)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: “Giannoulias said he traveled to Miami ‘about a year or two ago’ to inspect property the bank had financed for Giorango and met with him there. Giannoulias declined to provide details of that meeting.” (Chicago Tribune, 4/27/06)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: “But Giannoulias said that since he became a full-time senior loan officer, he has met Giorango at the bank ‘a few’ times.” (Chicago Tribune, 3/15/06)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: Giannoulias said he didn’t negotiate the loans for Michael Giorango, a convicted bookmaker and prostitution promoter, but he is responsible for servicing nearly all of the loans at his family’s Broadway Bank. ‘So I am involved, and I do take responsibility for the loans that the bank makes,’ said Giannoulias…” (CBS 2 Chicago, 4/26/06)

Contradiction #3: Alexi Giannoulias now says that “in retrospect, I think the added security of a background check would have been good.” But in 2006, Giannoulias questioned whether Michael “Jaws” Giorango was really a criminal and defended the loans as sound business decisions.

Campaign Response: “In retrospect, I think the added security of a background check would have been good…” (Chicago Tribune, 4/2/10)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: “He described Giorango as ‘a very nice person’ and questioned whether Giorango actually was a criminal. ‘Is he a crime figure?’ Giannoulias asked. ‘I don’t know what the charges are that makes him this huge crime figure.’” (Chicago Tribune, 3/15/06)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: “‘If every time someone got arrested the bank threw them out, I think it would be a problem,’ Alexi Giannoulias said. ‘We look at the commercial viability of loans, and that’s where we make our credit decisions.’” (Associated Press, 4/8/06)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: ‘From a commercial standpoint, it looked like a loan that should be made,’ Giannoulias said, adding he was unaware the marina was used to dock a SunCruz Casinos riverboat.” (Chicago Tribune, 4/9/06)

Contradiction #4: Alexi Giannoulias now says he was “one of” several senior loan officers at Broadway Bank. Previously Giannoulias had suggested he was the most senior loan officer at the bank.

Campaign Response: “Alexi Giannoulias, who started his professional career at the bank in 2002, said in his statement that he was ‘one of’ the senior loan officers at the bank and was not a member of the loan committee that approved the financing for Giorango.” (Chicago Tribune, April 2, 2010)

Demetris Giannoulias Statement: “Alexi Giannoulias' role was limited to ‘getting the appraisals ordered, getting the loan documents prepared, coordinating with attorneys, getting commitment letters prepared. All that kind of stuff,’ Demetris Giannoulias said. Chicago Tribune, April 2, 2010)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: “State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Kirk's Democratic opponent for U.S. Senate, has said that as chief loan officer of his family's bank from 2002 to 2006, he did not check loan applicants' arrest records.” (Chicago Sun-Times, 3/13/10)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: “You have to understand that it was the family business – I did everything there.” (Chicago Reader, 12/2/09)

Previous Giannoulias Statement: “Prior to taking office, Giannoulias served as vice president and senior loan officer at Broadway Bank…” (Official State of Illinois Biography, Current)

Previous Media Reports: “Broadway Bank is trying to recoup $12.9 million from two Chicago crime figures, rekindling a controversy as the bank's former chief loan officer, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, gears up to run for the U.S. Senate.” (Crain’s Chicago Business, 7/13/09)

As the Chicago Tribune put it: “When the family bank was flying high and Giannoulias had his eye on the treasurer's office, he was the senior loan officer, but when the tough decisions were made or the questionable characters came to call, it was almost always Alexi's day to empty the wastebaskets.”

Unanswered Questions:

1) Why did your campaign just say you had “no role with these two individuals” when you have previously admitted that you did?

2) Why did Broadway Bank continue to loan money to Michael “Jaws” Giorango and Demitri Stavrapolous after the Chicago Tribune identified them as organized crime leaders in 2004?

3) Why did you meet with Michael “Jaws” Giorango in Miami after the Chicago Tribune identified him as an organized crime leader?

4) If you are now downplaying your role at Broadway Bank, does that mean the cornerstone of your 2006 campaign for State Treasurer was baseless?

1 comment:

Reaganite Independent said...

Great post Anne, I am enjoying your site here- also linked you today at the Reaganite Republican:

Keep up the Good Fight!