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And still more trouble for Alexi

Friday, Apr 28, 2006

Tribune editorial #1:

Illinois voters are blessed with an excellent candidate for state treasurer.

No, not Alexi Giannoulias, the Democrat on the ballot. He has some serious issues to explain. They first surfaced March 15 in a Tribune scoop with a striking headline: “Loans to crime figure haunt state treasurer hopeful.”

Six weeks later, Giannoulias has only made matters worse. The more he tries to wriggle out of fully discussing the millions of dollars in loans his family’s Broadway Bank of Chicago gave to a convicted felon, the more questions he raises. Giannoulias, 30, is the senior loan officer and vice president of the bank.

Tribune editorial #2:

Imagine you’re Barack Obama, with enough charisma and political capital to make kings or queens of mere mortal Democratic candidates. Imagine the March 21 Illinois primary is approaching. Whom should you choose to endorse? Who should receive your coveted blessing?

Ah, perhaps your friend Forrest Claypool, who’s running for president of the Cook County Board? You’ve never been cozy with the incumbent, John Stroger. Why, Stroger backed one of your Democratic opponents when you were a little-known legislator running for the U.S. Senate in 2004. You tell people you like Claypool’s reform agenda. Your endorsement might well win the race for Claypool.

Or you could endorse Alexi Giannoulias, a candidate for state treasurer. He was one of your financial backers in 2004.

Sure, it seems odd that you, a U.S. senator, would care more about a state treasurer’s race than about who runs county government in your home county. But your endorsement might well win the race for Giannoulias. […]

Obama is free to endorse anyone he wishes or no one at all. But the Obama seal of approval means something. In this case it means Obama tied his tin can to what has become a very troubled candidacy.

UPDATE: A press release from Sen. Christine Radogno can be found here. (pdf file)

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - the Patriot - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 7:42 am:

    This is bad for Obama. Alexi has the power to win and the republicans don’t seem interested in mounting much of a charge. Not much press downstate on this. He will win which will put him under a microscope. Investigations are forthcoming. We voted for George and he was being investigated. This will be no differenent. The idiots in Chicago will do what the machine tells them too and we will again be the embarassment of the nation.

    The risk is higher when you are going to let someone who openly does business with organized crime in charge of all or our tax dollars. Somebody better watch him or this could get really bad for Obama and the D party.

  2. - Backyard Conservative - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 8:29 am:

  3. - Pat Hickey - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 8:40 am:

    Or, . . . Let’s Say Your Editorial Board Announce


  4. - corvax - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 8:46 am:

    there’s nothing to this other than Alexi’s inartful reponses to the initial story, which have been addressed and remedied.

    every article states the bank did nothing illegal. any financial institution with a loan portfolio of comparable size will have loans out to entitites which include folks who have committed crimes in the past. this doesn’t mean they’re in bed with criminals.

    Alexi’s just the victim of an unprecedented, and perhaps coordinated, effort of combine elements in both major parties.

  5. - cynthia - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 8:46 am:

    The idiots in Chicago will do what the machine tells them too and we will again be the embarassment of the nation.

    I was working in the primaries for someone who the machine didn’t want to win, so this remark however offensive, is on point. I believe many people do not understand politics and are being led to the slaughter by the current leadership and the rest are not voting. This has to change. I’m thinking about ways of doing this now. Maybe this is my naiveté talking, but change is needed never the less.

  6. - Ragin RINO - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 8:53 am:

    Great comeback Pat, you’re a clever one.

  7. - Pat Collins - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 9:29 am:

    Much as I would like this to cause the Prince some discomfort, I suspect nothing bad sticks to Obama. Maybe G did something bad, maybe not. As far as affecting Obama, it doesn’t. A year from now no one will remember.

    Pat G

    I think it was “DEWEY WINS”.

  8. - Wow - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 9:34 am:

    I love the Tribune’s attempt to morph the history of their non-stop, unethical promotion of the Claypool candidacy into a statement like “Claypool narrowly lost.”

    Only for romantics and political neophytes is a 53-46 loss “narrow.” Sure, it was a tough campaign, a tough race, but hardly a “narrow” defeat. Last time I checked, that’s still a solid win. And it the City, where Claypool’s time at the Park District was supposed to make him Daniel Burnham, he got thrashed! An old fashioned ass-kicking.

    Claypool Narrowly Loses?
    Dewey Defeats Truman, indeed.

  9. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 9:39 am:

    If you were the Republican party, would you throw a lot of money into this race? With the Democrat discrediting himself, you probably would like to keep your limited funds available for the governor’s race. Giannoulias is immolating himself, so the GOP shouldn’t waste a dime while he is self destructing.

    Blagojevich has to care. Blagojevich has to appear clean. Having this clumsy mope on the ticket with him is a burden for the Democratic ticket.

    No one is blaming Obama - yet. If this damage isn’t removed and there is a loss in November due to a successful exploitation by the GOP with this Blagojevich/Giannoulias combo, Obama is going to lose quite a bit of his lustre.

  10. - Wumpus - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 9:40 am:

    Well Cynthia, the person was not referring to you as one of the idiots in Chciago then…outside of your views on pastors being in politics…

  11. - Randall Sherman - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 9:43 am:

    To paraphrase the late Ricky Ricardo, we still have a major case of “Alexi, you got some ‘plaining to do.” The explanations given by Giannoulias have done been very adequate (even if you assume that the scoundrel involved in the bank loan made a point of behaving like a choir boy while in or dealing with Broadway Bank).

    As for the impact this may have on Obama, one should remember that Senators serve six-year terms, and that length of time between elections goes a long way for allowing a Senator to absorb the political fallout from an occasional slip-up.

  12. - Just Observing - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 9:49 am:

    Since before the primary… I’ve been thinking that very same thing — he endorses Alexi but not Claypool?? This one move may not hurt Obama tremendously, but the aggregate of several stupid moves will.

  13. - Lovie's Leather - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 9:58 am:

    Wow, Stroger didn’t win 53-46. According to the Suntimes, he won 51.6-48.4… that is a much closer election than you have led others to believe. Maybe next time, you should do a little research….

  14. - anon1 - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 10:07 am:

    Guys maybe we have it wrong. Maybe Obama picked Alexi to endorse because he knew he was a winner. His opponent, Paulie Walnuts, has not one a contested race in almost a decade, has dropped out of any potential tough race he was in and quite simply was a put up job by the speaker to give JBT friendly fire in November if she would run for reelection. When she made her move for Guv all bets were off. Jeeze the Trib wanted the candidate who with full support of the state party was able to muster a third of the vote?…imagine that.

  15. - anon1 - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 10:09 am:

    not one a contested race in almost a decade

    should have read “has not had one contested race…”

  16. - Unreliable Sources - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 12:43 pm:

    Some bad ink for Alexi, but there’s not even an inkling about this downstate. If that press release from Radogno is indicative of her campaign, then Republicans ought to be concerned. Any political consultant could have written a better release than that when this story first aired before the primary. If she was running a good campaign, she’d have a quote in every story. I don’t know that her name has even been mentioned in a story.

  17. - stateelm - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 1:32 pm:

    Time for Alexi to start thinking about pulling the plug on this thing. He is done.

    It is only a matter of time before someone in the Democratic Party says it is time to go. John Fritchey? Jay Hoffman? Lou Lang? Susan Garrett? anyone want to be a leader? Anyone?

  18. - anon123456 - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 2:39 pm:


    I couldn’t agree more. This guy and his staff make me embarrassed to be a Democrat. I hope someone steps up and takes charge.

  19. - anonymous - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 2:56 pm:

    I think Stateelm is right, the Democratic nominee for state treasurer is toast. For the good of the party, and I’m a Democrat, he should withdraw. The sooner the party finds a replacement the better.
    Lou Lang would be excellent; he almost ran back in 1998. Perhaps St. Clair County Treasurer Bob Suarez. Perhaps State Sen. James Clayborne.

    There is too much baggage with this young candidate. And the way he’s handled matters shows he way too young and inexperienced.

  20. - Wow - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 3:23 pm:

    Lovie’s Leather - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 9:58 am:

    “Wow, Stroger didn’t win 53-46. According to the Suntimes, he won 51.6-48.4… that is a much closer election than you have led others to believe. Maybe next time, you should do a little research….”

    Gee, still trying to win that election?

    Chicago Board of Elections
    Stroger 232067
    Claypool 143137

    Cook County Clerk
    Stroger 86567
    Claypool 133545

    Total Countywide
    Stroger 318634
    Claypool 276682

    Total votes 595316

    Stroger 53.5
    Claypool 46.4

    Next time, maybe YOU should do some fact checking. As they say, “you could look it up.”

    Lovie, don’t believe everything you read in the paper.

  21. - truth squad - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 4:12 pm:

    Um, Wow, winning 47 percent of the vote in an election in which you are opposed by virtually the entire Chicago Democratic machine, Mayor Daley, Governor Blagojevich, major unions, and even Bill Clinton, running against a candidate with twice the money, is nothing short of miraculous.

    And after 4 more years of machine rule of the County, you can bet that 46.4 percent you so condescendingly added up will be even higher.

    The County will almost certainly have to raise taxes in the next budget (since the administration and its allies have shown so little willingness to cut the cronies off the payroll), and you can sure as hell bet there will be some buyer’s remorse. Actually no, maybe not–can you have buyer’s remorse on a candidate who wasn’t elected, but rather selected by 80 committeeman? (And if you think John Stroger is coming back as president, have another glass of koolaid. It ain’t gonna happen.)

  22. - truth squad - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 4:13 pm:

    Excuse me, I meant 46.4 percent, not 47. Spare me the condescension, wow.

  23. - HeKnowsBarack - Sunday, Apr 30, 06 @ 4:25 pm:

    Speakin of dopes, the AP sends a reporter to A Crock of Barack and files this gibberish

    Obama uses town hall meetings to connect as a regular guy

    Associated Press Writer
    Published April 30, 2006, 12:47 PM CDT

    CHICAGO — U.S. Sen. Barack Obamarama works the audience with the ease of a seasoned talk show host.
    He prowls the stage with a microphone in one hand, keeping the other free to make his points. He draws laughs from the crowd with well-placed quips.
    Obama is holding court at Loyola University, at one of the almost 50 town hall meetings he’s held in Illinois over the last 16 months. The meetings are a way for the A-list celebrity to show voters he is indeed the man he constantly claims to be in speeches — a regular guy, low on the Senate totem pole, humbled by suggestions that he should run for president in 2008 or beyond.
    “I just got into my new job here and I like it,” he told the cheering crowd of about 2,000 inside a Loyola gym. “I mean look how much the current president, how much fun he’s having. It doesn’t look like that much fun of a job, but I’m flattered by the request.”

    I would say the loans are about as legal as George Ryan not be a target

  24. - Wondering - Tuesday, May 2, 06 @ 6:40 am:

    Dump Alexi and put in Halvorson!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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