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More trouble for Alexi, Part 623

Friday, Jun 16, 2006

Like I said yesterday, lawsuits can provide great fodder for campaign reporting.

Banker Alexi Giannoulias — the Democratic nominee for state treasurer — is accused of approving a $1 million loan to an 86-year-old mentally incompetent woman whose “business partners” have been suspected of fraud in the past.

A lawsuit filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court demands that Broadway Bank — run by the Giannoulias family — not hold Loren Billings responsible for the loan and interest.

Billings, who for years has run the Museum of Holography on the Near West Side, was duped by three Ukrainian businesspeople who convinced her to take out the loan in order to purchase shares in their own holography company, the lawsuit says.

Billings’ attorney says Giannoulias ignored her mental state and the histories of those with her and awarded her the loan in 2002.

Giannoulias campaign spokesman Scott Burnham called those allegations “groundless.”

Yeah, that’s good. Pick a fight with a little old lady. What a marvelous candidate we have here.

Billings invested $50,000 and after just eight months, they convinced her she’d made $993,343. That led her to ask Broadway Bank about a $1 million loan for more investments, the suit says.

How many more stories like this can he take?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


40 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 6:24 am:

    Ah, the Chicago Democrat Machine. We are so lucky this gang is in charge of all of State of Illinois government. Oops, not all of it. The one who is not a member of the Chicago Democrat Machine will be upgraded to Governor this Fall.

    November 7.


  2. - Come On - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 6:24 am:

    If Alexi is doing illegal things with his bank, why aren’t the Feds all over him?

    If the man is crooked, charge him with violating federal banking laws.


  3. - aidanquinn - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 7:40 am:

    As usual MJM had sound reasoning for not supporting this guy.


  4. - Disgruntled Alexi Contributor "DAC" - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 7:57 am:

    I agree with aidanquinn.

    There’s a reason why Madigan did not support this guy.

    I’ve contributed a few hundred bucks to this guy on a couple different occassions as I felt he deserved a hall pass on earlier accussations…BUT this is ridiculous…exploiting a little old lady!

    Gimme a break…or be better yet…

    Gimme my $$$ back! ! !

    DAC


  5. - Gigi - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:22 am:

    Dear Alexi,
    It is time to “grow up” and go to the party leaders and withdrawl from this race. I wonder how many commercials the “rock star”(Barack Obama) will do for the kid if he stays in the race. I am guessing he won’t come within a mile of the kid.


  6. - Beowulf - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:28 am:

    Poor Barack! I’ll bet the next book that he writes will include a chapter stating that, “and then, there was this time in my political career when I was asked by a large campaign contributor to endorse his son who was running for state treasurer. I didn’t know a thing about this kid but I felt beholden to his old man. How could I say ‘no’? I endorsed his kid and, Boy! Was that a mistake! I won’t do that again. My credibility was put on the line with all of my loyal supporters. Yep, from now on I only endorse individuals that I really know.”


  7. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:32 am:

    good one Beowulf! Saint Obama is gonna take a hit on this one, doubt anyone will notice though.

    Presuming Alexi drops off, who replaces him on the Dem ticket?


  8. - HeKnowsBarack - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:39 am:

    Come on Rich. Quit picking on Alexander
    This is just a loan from the little comunity bank.
    Well it was for a million buckaroos and it wasn’t in the community and well the recipient wasn’t all there and the “partners” were Russian outfit wise guys.
    Yikes this does look bad
    Looks like Scott will have a busy summer


  9. - HeKnowsBarack - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:45 am:

    Forgot to mention the silly SunTimes reference to the “second time loans have been questioned”. This is actually the millionth time loans have been questioned. Had the Sun TImes not been AATS (asleep at the switch),ignored all kinky deals and endorsed the muttth no on would have looked at the little community bank.
    Perhaps someone who has a legit loan from Broadway could stand up and vouch for Alexander
    Don’t rush.


  10. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:47 am:

    Hopefuly he will have to take a lot more of these between now and the fall…


  11. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:55 am:

    When Blgojevich is indicted, Hynes will be selected to run in his place. When Giannoulais steps down, he’ll be replaced with State Senator Meeks.


  12. - Capitol Dweller - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 9:14 am:

    You people are unreal. This is a smear campaign plain and simple. Banks are among the most regulated industries that we have in this country, yet NO allegations are any improprieties have been leveled by the feds.

    Aidan, you’re right. The Speaker had a reason for not supporting Alexi, Alexi wasn’t his guy. And for the Speaker’s person not to win is unacceptable-to the Speaker.

    If many of the other Democrats were held to the standard that mere allegations should force them off of the ballot, most of them would have been long gone. When the IL House Dems were being investigated, there was no discussion about who should replace the Speaker on the ballot in his House district.

    And yes, there will be more allegations against Alexi. Because he represents a threat to the Speaker’s power. That’s what this is about to him, not winning the actual offices. Think back to the candidates that the Speaker ran in the past, McLaughlin, etc. They were about helping protect his majority, not about winning.

    If it was about winning, he would be stepping up to help the kid, but instead he won’t even speak to him.

    For the Democrats among you, to buy into this is to plead for the continuation of a one man party instead of a party based on ideals. Sad that you would buy into it.


  13. - Wile Coyote - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 9:25 am:

    What a clown! What a bank!


  14. - statehouse shark - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 9:50 am:

    Capitol Dweller —

    What a bunch of B.S. you are spouting this morning!

    The issue is not Speaker Madigan; the issue is yet another revelation about the Democratic candidate for State Treasurer. It’s amazing the sense of entitlement you folks think you have about a candidate. Seen through the normal lens of politics, the state treasurer candidate would be hanging on my his fingernails. But all you can do — you much be an amateur that’s all I can say — is try to turn this into an issue involving House Speaker Mike Madigan.

    Get over it. Face the facts. The party has a seriously flawed nominee. This stuff happens. Let’s deal with it. Let’s not blame Alexi G’s banking problems on Mike Madiga, though.

    Simply amazing.


  15. - just watching - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 9:51 am:

    Captiol, iteresting take but I really don’t think the speaker views anyone as a legitimate “threat” to his power.


  16. - Capitol Dweller - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 11:44 am:

    Shark,

    I assure you that I am far from an ‘amateur’. The Speaker used DPI resources to vilify a Democratic candidate during the primary with pieces that were more harsh than those usually used by the opposing party in a General Election. Conversely, he has spent millions over the years to prop up candidates far more flawed than Alexi, whose greatest weakness to date has been public relations. Wouldn’t common sense dictate that the State Party Chairman at least SPEAK with all of his statewide candidates?

    If there is any sense of entitlement involved here, it is coming from the Speaker, not from those of us wanting to back the guy who won the primary. If Mangieri had won, rest assured that he would be coming under fire, and you can also bet that the Speaker would ramp up efforts to help do damage control for Mangieri. But that’s because Paul was his guy.

    His ‘banking problems’ to date consist of smears and allegations. If I am wrong, please direct me to any finding of wrongdoing, and I will be happy to reconsider my position. Have a good weekend everybody.


  17. - bored now - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 12:56 pm:

    How many more stories like this can he take?

    depends on how strong alexi’s stomach is. while i have no doubt lord madigan isn’t keen on someone new arriving to his fiefdom, i just don’t think there’s much of a market for these kinds of stories. 0o0o0o0o, illinois’ corrupt! illinois politics are dirty!! fer shame!!!

    the eyeballs on this story are probably in the thousands. i happened to be at a meeting of obama people yesterday, and i was struck by how little they cared about the jihad against alexi. they weren’t moved at all (and we know how well hynes did against obama!). i haven’t talked to a *single* voter who cares about this story. no doubt, alexi will lose (BIG) in the 13th ward! i wouldn’t even be surprised by another dpi mailing against him. but it will fall on deaf ears, then, too.

    the only question is: can alexi be intimidated? and how much power and credibility does madigan lose if he can’t? it may be that madigan’s spent (although i’d bet this prediction has been made, and found wanting, before). he’s getting old and those 1970s tactics just aren’t as effective as they used to be…


  18. - Lovie's Leather - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 2:04 pm:

    Since elections aren’t a court of law, the people will convict Alexi. Prediction… Alexi loses in landslide as 3 Dems are reelected in a landslide (White, Little Miss Madigan, Hynes).


  19. - statehouse shark - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 2:33 pm:

    Hello “Capitol Dweller” –

    As the Statehouse shark, let me tell you that what I am sick and tired of is folks like yourself blaming Speaker Madigan for Alexi G’s banking problems that the Tribune and S-T have found to be serious enough to write about. I find that kind of blame-shifting offensive.

    And you know that politics is largely about perception. A candidate for State Treasurer whose sole experience is working at a bank now at the center of serious allegations — well, quit Blaming State Party Chairman Madigan for that.

    Should the state party try to help him. Sure, you bet. Should be withdrawn as a candidate for state treasurer, it’s worth some consideration if these problems snowball in the 90-degree heat of Solstice season.

    Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there.


  20. - zatoichi - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 4:30 pm:

    This seems to be a thre part issue.
    1. Is Alexi guilty of a legal crime? If so where are the Bank regulators and what have they found? Of course no other bank has made similar loans.
    2. Is Alexi guilty of immaturity? He comes across as a frat boy who was asked to run for this position and got caught up in the “coolness” whirlwind of the idea and how great it would look on his resume. Now comes the blades of the political fan and his lack of experience is showing huge. The Repubs gotta be salivating over this.
    3. Where are the political supporters who thought he would be a great choice before the primary vote? The lack of verbal support from any significant group screams pretty loud. Seems the “team” does not want him. His mouth is not helping his case. Get the feeling some back ground plans got crossed and now some people are not happy.

    If he or anyone else wants in the meat grinder they need to have the skills to survive. He is not showing the ability nor support.


  21. - bored now - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 4:42 pm:

    yes, because we all know the only way to get elected in illinois is to get down in the mud and play dirty! right.

    (i strongly suspect that, when faced with a dilemma, what alexi asks is, what would obama do? how many people think obama would “get in the meat grinder?” then why would you think alexi would? i know, i know, because that’s what you’ve been taught…)

    why do i always get the impression that alexi’s real opponents are the madigans (or his surrogates)??? i can’t wait to see the treasurer candidate reports.


  22. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 5:29 pm:

    does anybody even remember who lost to Judy last time? Nobody even pays attention to this office - until the holder runs for something else.


  23. - HeKnowsBarack - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 6:01 pm:

    Q. What would Obama do?
    A. The Senator and I have run the other way —- far, far away. Alexander is trying to get in line for a book signing now, but no one wants to release the location.
    BTW I am still waiting for a satisfied, non kink bank customer to jump uuup her on the blogbox and declare Alexander is da man!
    Happy father’s day Alexius; I am sure the cost of the clean up committee for this disaster won’t cut into the bottom line tooooo much.


  24. - SangoDem - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 6:02 pm:

    Sure, Madigan had a reason to not back Alexi. He wanted someone who would be in his pocket and owe his election completely to the Speaker. Too bad he picked a downstater so bad that even fellow downstaters couldn’t swallow it.


  25. - Mad as hell - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:52 pm:

    I agree wholeheartdly with Capitol Dweller,Mr. Madigan is the one smearing Alexi. Madigan who is leader of the Illiois combine, is trying to postion his Daughter,the do nothing Attorney General of Illiois,as the next Governor.
    He wants Radagno to win the Treasure’s position this fall, and will work to knock off Topinka,so that Radagno is the only Republican state elected official.In four years, Lisa Madigan will run for Governor and Madigan will put his puppet on the Republican side, which will be Radagno.Radagno will run an aweful campaign,and get trouced, and Madigan will take care of her on the backend.
    If you can’t see what’s coming, then get out of Illinois politics! Radagno is being backed heavily by Maureen Murphy,Liz Gorman,Eddie Vrdolak,Tom Walsh and Jim Durkin,along by Congressman Lipinski(a Democrat) and Mike Madigan.
    This Illinois Dictatorship,can only be stopped if The DuPage Republicans along with The Republicans from Will and Kendall counties,realize what is going on and pull there support from Radagno, who is a Cook County Democratic shill!!!
    Madigan fears that his Daughter might have to run again against a Joe Birkett in four years, or a DuPage Republican or Will or Kendall republican.
    Let’s stick together, all Illionoisians,Democrats and Republicans, and throw this Bum Madigan out.Let’s show him who the boss really is and that’s the voters.Enough of Soviet stlye Goverment and Corruption, were Americans and we will show all these so called British Loyalists, that we are patriots.


  26. - Minion - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 8:58 pm:

    to the above :

    dude, you’re wrong. Madigan did not want Alexi because the Democratic Party does NOT need another liberal Chicagoan on the ballot.

    I think the guy really could give a rats a$s who the State Treasurer is. He was looking for diversity on the ballot, a tried and true method that both Democrats and Republicans have been using since the state was admitted into the union.

    Now as for the quality of Mangieri as a candidate or “being so bad even fellow downstaters couldn’t swallow it” I have no idea if Madigan approached Paul or not. What I do know is that Mangieri had the testicular fortitude to appear at the slatemaking and put his name in the running when NO ONE else wanted to. Give the guy credit for that. All this “Madigan did not support Alexi because he could not control him” is a bunch of b.s. He did not support him because 1) he is unelectable (as we are now finding out and 2) because he is a LIBERAL from Chicago-the last thing we needed on the state ticket.


  27. - Minion - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 9:00 pm:

    (I was writing the above for Sango Dem, not Mad as Hell)

    Mad, you are correct that you are just that. You think Madigan is bad? Obviously you were never in DuPage County, especially when Pate was running things.


  28. - Way Northsider - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 9:03 pm:

    Capitol Dweller is right on the money. Banking is a regulated industry. Allegations are allegations. Please point me to regulatory action if Alexi has done something wrong. The machine is sore he won. They would like him to step aside and then them appoint a candidate. I hope he hangs in there. I am sick of seeing people steamrollered if they don’t kow tow to the powers that be.


  29. - Minion - Friday, Jun 16, 06 @ 9:08 pm:

    don’t you get it, Way? You and all the Alexi junkies keep to your talking points for sure.

    It does not matter if the regulatory agencies investigated or not. It is a POLITICAL problem in that it looks like this guy’s supposed strength is in fact his greatest weakness. VP of a bank, in charge, family banking experience, yet with all of this “experience” he made or approved questionable loans.

    You can bet that a campaign commercial will be coming regarding the elderly lady. And it will be devestating.


  30. - statehouse shark - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 12:09 am:

    Minion is right on target.

    Madigan didn’t want Alexi because the state party didn’t need another liberal from Chicago on the ticket.

    This is now a political perception problem and the TV commercials will be devastating.


  31. - T.J. - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 3:23 am:

    Alexi loses in landslide

    I admire your optimism; I do not share it.


  32. - Anon - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 4:50 am:

    Alexi wins by a landslide.


  33. - HeKnowsBarack - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 7:33 am:

    Memo to CliffDweller and ANON 4:50
    Alexander has been trying to hip hop into Madigan’s pocket since the moment the votes were cast.
    “Please, let me in Mr Evil Power Broker,” Alexander shouts in his night sweats.
    So much for all the new,independent f
    orce crap.
    At least Madigan has been smart enough to keep all the pockets buttoned…
    Meanwhile Alexander is still anxious to have anyone who got a straight deal from the bank and is not hooked with the outfit or some fast buck flim-flam to write to the blog pronto. The bank will give you a shiny, new toaster when you do.


  34. - bored now - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 10:17 am:

    hwkb doesn’t get it (which should be obvious from the nym): i wasn’t suggesting that alexi was asking obama what to do (although he may have), but that alexi seems to follow what he thinks obama would do. let’s be real here: obama has set up the most ineffective decision-making system possible, no one thinks that he can or will do something bold. one of the senators i’ve elected told me that obama was the most conservative member of the senate, and he didn’t meant ideologically. but, personally, i’m waiting to see if alexi runs the obama ads again.

    but hwkb is right about alexi seeking madigan’s and the party’s support. while i am no fan of madigan (in most cases — still got to admire that re-districting plan), i certainly understand why someone who won the primary (such as obama) would expect the party’s whole-hearted support. it’s also predictable, in this case, that it hasn’t happened…


  35. - Huckleberry - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 11:54 am:

    Dear Mad -

    You are insane in your comments about Senator Radogno. She’s a Republican, period. She’s no puppet for anyone, particularly the Speaker.
    The Speaker supported a downstater in the primary because his downstate members were ringing their hands about another “all-Chicago” Democrat ticket, and because the the Broadway heir is, by all objective measures, wildly unqualified to be both a statewide candidate and Treasurer. Now is undoubtedly enjoying Senator Obama take his much-deserved medicine, and as has been pointed out by others, the Teasurer’s Office is pretty far down on his priority list.
    Keep your eye on the ball - it’s about the Democrat majority in the House and ‘08 for the Attorney General. Mad, stop watching for the black helicopters coming over the ridge - there’s no conspiracy here, just power politics as only the Speaker can do in the Illinois Democrat Party.


  36. - Snidely Whiplash - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 12:38 pm:

    The Murphy, Walsh, Vrdolyak and Gorman support comments say mucho about Chris Rodogno … she will put herself into debt with Satan himself in order to advance her career. It’s pretty common knowledge that those four are machine D’s in R clothing.


  37. - bored now - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 12:43 pm:

    dear huck,

    any chance you made that same criticism about the speaker’s daughter when she ran for ag? because others certainly did.

    i’m just sayin…


  38. - annoyed - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 6:22 pm:

    This is really such B.S. Alexi is in involved in a business. Every Bank has problem customers, problem loans, and unfortunate situations…it doesn’t mean the whole ship is rotten. Maybe no one wants a businessperson or a banker to ever run for political office, because that’s surely the message. If Alexi had 20 times more experience, he would have 20 times more embarrassing lawsuits and what not. That’s business. It doesn’t mean someone has no ethics or that they are incompetent. It would be a lot better if people could focus on what Alexi or Radogno actually plan to do in office, and use that to judge them instead of this silliness. This country is so messed up because everyone just wants to take each others legs out instead of actually having some public discourse. It would be really nice to see bloggers discussing the best the use of public capital or something positive, instead of hating on people and speculating about who Barack or the Speaker should or shouldn’t hug in public. Come on.


  39. - Disappointed - Saturday, Jun 17, 06 @ 9:19 pm:

    I generally love MJM. I supported the governor and will vote for him again, but I love that MJM rakes him over the coals every couple of weeks for being too slick. And I love that MJM takes the details of the job seriously, listening (usually) to both/all sides of an argument and seeking facts instead of rhetoric. There are too few legislator s like that.

    But I think it’s a crock that the head of the state democratic party is calling people telling them he’s supporting Radogno, or at least blocking people from helping gianuoulis. I’ve heard that from two different, completely unrelated sources.

    Contrast his behavior with George Dunne and even Richie Daley, who supported Harold Washington after he won the primary. I have no problem with individual Democrats crossing party lines. But when the alleged head of the party does it, that’s an insult to the voters who took the time to pull a dem ballot.


  40. - GJB.@YAHOO.COM - Wednesday, Nov 8, 06 @ 10:06 am:

    GO ALEXIUS, YOU DESERVE IT DESPITE THE LIES, THE TRUTH ALWAYS PREVAIL,

    GAIL
    CHICAGO


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* Statehouse Insider: Do we hafta put all of that money into pensions?
* Their View: Fair maps shouldn't be victims of partisanship
* Raising awareness to end domestic violence
* Mom's legacy lives on through fund
* Despite budget warnings from Rauner, TRS board votes to lower investment estimates
* Progress on U.S. 67 sputters due to lack of funds
* New law makes insurance companies find, pay beneficiaries
* Charles Krauthammer: The bribery standard


* Log throwing, music and dancing all highlight this year's Erin Feis
* PBL football wins rivalry game with GCMS
* Saturday's highlights: Watseka football surprises B-H
* Poulter settling in to starter role
* Cubit: 'I want to work'
* Illinois football's 2016 two-deep
* Sunday Special: AP voters on Lovie Smith
* Tate: Good vibes start with 'D,' recruits
* Illini legends, lists and lore: Defensive debuts
* North Dakota State beats Charleston Southern 24-17 in OT


* Images: Bears struggle with Chiefs in preseason game
* Girls volleyball scoreboard: Saturday, Aug. 27 results
* College football Down Under attracts 61,000 fans at Sydney
* Friends, colleagues to remember slain Mississippi nuns
* Sanchez hits another home run, Yankees rout Orioles 13-5

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Des Plaines Gets $11.4 Million To Purchase......

* Says they're all orphans and widows becaus......

* Rauner Signs Sportsmen Bills Aimed at Conservation and Investing in Young Hunters
* John Oliver’s smack-down of charter schools.
* Keeping retirement weird. Learning theory and the ukulele.
* Back To School Picnic On Wednesday
* Even nonpartisan attempt at redistricting reform was partisan effort
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Person Shot At Wilson/Hazel Friday Evening (Updated 3x)
* Person Shot and Killed At Wilson/Hazel Friday Evening (Updated 4x)
* Person Shot At Wilson/Hazel Friday Evening
* Judge Orders Release Of Additional Clinton Emails


* Statement on Redistricting Referendum
* Rauner Administration Takes Action to Help Illinoisans Find Lost Life Insurance Money
* Illinois Residents Encouraged to Register for ‘The Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill - 'Drop, Cover and Hold On’ Drill Set for October 20
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Seeking Flexibility to Improve Delivery of Behavioral Health Care




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