* The Sun-Times has now changed the wording of its reporting on yesterday’s testimony by SEIU Illinois honcho Tom Balanoff. Yesterday’s post read…
[Balanoff] says Alexi Giannoulias, a friend to then President-Elect Barack Obama, asked him to ask Blagojevich about a possible appointment for him.
But that’s now been deleted after the campaign raised a question about its accuracy. Live-blogging is extremely difficult, especially during long, drawn-out events like trials, so these things happen. The story today reads…
Balanoff also testified that Giannoulias helped arrange a meeting of Jarrett, Balanoff and Giannoulias to discuss a Blagojevich appointment of Jarrett. Balanoff called Giannoulias to tell him Jarrett was dropping out. “In passing, he said: ‘Maybe he’ll appoint me,’ ” Balanoff testified.
Balanoff testified that he told Giannoulias he would run it by the then-governor.
Blagojevich, in a Nov. 24 meeting, bristled at the thought.
” ‘That motherf - - - - -, I wouldn’t do s - - - for him. Every chance he got he took a shot at me,’ ” Blagojevich said of Giannoulias, according to Balanoff.
So, it’s not nearly as bad as I thought yesterday. Time to move on.
* Speaking of moving on, a day after Mark Kirk apologized again for embellishing his record, he has launched two new TV ads. Let’s rate them.
In the first commercial, titled “Risky,” Kirk’s campaign shows a picture of a young-looking Giannoulias and then notes he is 34 years old. It then goes on to describe controversial loans Broadway Bank made to men with ties to organized crime while Giannoulias worked there, showing black-and-white pictures of the loan recipients. It also criticizes Giannoulias’ performance as treasurer when a college savings program run by the office lost $73 million.
“Alexi Giannoulias: Trust him with your money?” the announcer asks.
The other ad is called “Stand.” From the Sun-Times…
“Stand,” portrays Kirk as a more committed environmentalist than Giannoulias because Kirk spoke out against BP’s plan to discharge more into Lake Michigan while Giannoulias has a top aide who worked as a lobbyist for BP.
Environmental groups The Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, both have endorsed Giannoulias in this race, saying Kirk exaggerated his role in stopping BP’s proposal to dump more discharge into Lake Michigan.
The new ad buy starts on broadcast television in the Chicago area today and cable television Thursday.
From what I’m hearing so far, these are not huge ad buys. But they are getting wide publicity. WaPo…
The commercials are evidence that Kirk is following a “your best defense is a good offense” strategy, seeking to use his press conference and these ads to shift the focus in the race back to Giannoulias after a month of questions about the veracity of his military resume.
Kirk is also trying to exploit his financial edge over Giannoulias by beginning to define the race in the costly Chicago media market over the summer — typically a very quiet time for politics.
* Also, the troubles with posting the full Kirk press conference video continued late yesterday when I posted only his speech and not his media Q&A. Here’s the Q&A…
*** UPDATE 1 *** Giannoulias is responding with his own ad. So far, this is Internet-only. But the campaign claims they will make a buy. No word on how big that will be. This is a one-minute ad that slams Kirk. Rate it…
Alexi has taken no money from BP, from its lobbyists or executives. Mark Kirk is paying for this ad with BP money: he has taken more than $120,000 from the firm that is making millions representing BP in the aftermath of the spill, $2,500 directly from BP and its executives, $4,750 from its corporate lobbyists, and another $8000 from Representative Joe Barton, who infamously apologized to BP executives on the House floor last week. [FEC; Center for Responsive Politics; Chicago Tribune, 5/18/10]
FACT: KIRK LOST KEY ENVIRONMENTAL BACKING FOR SIDING WITH BIG OIL
Congressman Kirk’s record on the environment has cost him the endorsement of the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters. They chose Alexi because Kirk has continually sided with Big Oil by voting to protect tax breaks for big oil companies, to expand drilling throughout America’s coastal waters, and to allow drilling in prohibited areas. He even stood with Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin in 2008 to overturn the moratorium on drilling off the Florida coast. [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/8/10]
KIRK AD LIE 1: The Sun-Times said Kirk, quote, “fought hard to stop BP from dumping more waste into the lake.”
TRUTH: Jack Darin, who heads the Sierra Club’s Illinois chapter, called this claim “another case of Mark Kirk exaggerating his resume… He took a boat trip and held a press conference, but I think for him to say he stopped BP is clearly wrong. Unfortunately, Indiana went ahead gave BP the pollution permit for the pollution we were all so upset about, and still are. So BP in fact has not been stopped.”
KIRK AD LIE 2: Alexi says higher energy taxes are on the table.
TRUTH: Alexi has never pushed for higher energy taxes. He supports a market-based system that puts a price on global warming pollution, reduces our dependence on oil and spurs investment in renewable energy and new clean energy jobs. Numerous independent studies have shown that his transition can occur with minimal cost to consumers, and help make America more competitive in today’s global economy.
KIRK AD LIE 3: Alexi Giannoulias’ top aide was a longtime BP lobbyist.
TRUTH: Alexi’s unpaid advisor was never a lobbyist for BP. He was a real estate attorney who worked on zoning cases for BP-Bovis, the construction and development joint venture that converted existing Amoco stations into BP stations. It is required by the City of Chicago that real estate attorneys handling zoning cases register as lobbyists. He never advocated for BP and has done no work on oil and drilling issues.
KIRK AD LIE 4: Now running for Senate, Alexi supports higher taxes to fund billions more in spending.
TRUTH: Every proposal outlined by Alexi includes a counter-part offset to ensure that it is deficit neutral. Alexi also supports pay-as-you-go federal budgeting rules, which Congressman Kirk voted against. It’s no wonder — Kirk voted for every Bush budget and tax cut for the wealthy that tripled our national debt, took us from record surpluses to record deficits, and put the global economy on the precipice of collapse. [HR2920, Vote 612, 7/22/09; HJR45, Vote 48, 2/4/10; HCR353, Vote 79, 3/20/02; HCR95, Vote 141, 4/11/03; SCR95, Vote 198, 5/19/04; HCR95, Vote 149, 4/28/05,; HR4241, Vote 601, 11/18/05; HCR376, Vote 158, 5/18/06; SCR 21, Vote 377, 5/16/07; HR3, Vote 45, 3/8/01; HR6, Vote 75, 3/29/01; HR8, Vote 84, 4/4/01; HR1836, Vote 118, 5/16/01; HR1836, Vote 149, 5/26/01; HR3090, Vote 404, 10/24/01; HR3529, Vote 509, 12/19/01; HR586, Vote 103, 4/18/02; HR2143, Vote 219, 6/6/02; HR4019, Vote 229, 6/13/2002; HR2, Vote 182, 5/9/03; HR2, Vote 225, 5/23/0 3]
KIRK AD LIE 5: As Treasurer, he made risky investments that cost families $73 million in lost college savings.
TRUTH: Even Congressman Kirk has admitted that the problems experienced in one of Bright Start’s 21 funds was the fault of Oppenheimer, not the Treasurer’s office. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, “Kirk addressed a controversy involving Giannoulias’ stewardship as state treasurer of the Bright Start college savings program-and appeared to take Giannoulias’ side… Kirk went after “a state bureaucrat that has a bad record.” Asked by a reporter who that bureaucrat was, Kirk replied it was the person who ran the Oppenheimer “core plus” fund-who is not a state employee.” [Chicago Tribune, 10/12/09] In fact, under Alexi’s stewardship, the Bright Start program went from one of the worst in the country to one of the top five, according to several independent analysis.
KIRK AD LIE 6: At his father’s bank, Alexi made tens of millions in risky loans to convicted mobsters. Then, the bank collapsed.
TRUTH: Because of banking regulations that were strictly followed by the bank, all of these loans were legal and reviewed by state and federal regulators. Any suggestion that these few loans had any relationship to the bank’s financial problems is a lie.
I would actually think that the Blagojevich’s quote about Giannoulias being a “mother f****” and how the Treasurer always took shots at him would actually demonstrate that Giannoulias was as separtate from the Governor as he could be. They clearly weren’t friends or allies. I would think that is a positive for Giannoulias.
Mark’s a little bit hokey
Alexi’s a little bit bankroll
Mark’s a little bit of military hero fake
Alexi’s got a whole lotta daddy’s dough
I don’t know if that’s good or bad
But they’re the nominees, so
I’m a little bit grossed out, ‘cuz Illinois a hellhole
Mark’s a little bit mental,
Alexi’s a little bit empty style
Mark’s a little bit a liberal,
Alexi’s thinks he’s Obama’s child
Don’t know if I’m happy or sad
Both should end up behind the woodpile
Both are a little bit phoney
And both have too much guile
I like that peaceful easy feeling of a Senator who is strong
And when I see them in the Senate, I see that they belong
I love my country with all my heart and my soul
I vote on Election Day for a leader, not a troll
I know I’m goin’ to feel really sick
No matter how I vote
Between a little bit of crazy Kirk
Or a little bit of Giannoulais shtick
I love my country with all my heart and my soul
I hate to see our taxes thrown into every black hole
So, I know I’m goin’ to have to vote
For one of these stupid Pols
Between a guy with his eye on his memoir
And a guy who lends felons dough
Both of these guys have taken hard, self-inflicte d hammer blows to the head. One more to either could put him down for the count. Still more than four months to go.
- Windy City Mama - Wednesday, Jun 30, 10 @ 10:58 am:
Mark might want to also add Alexi’s PR guy came from Blago. As for Blago swearing about Alexi ? Rod and Alex were great friends. But like everyone else. Alexi only started kicking Rod when he was down. That took alot of courage.
the kirk q and a was some of his best most forceful stuff that I’ve seen from him in a long long time. He used to be a very confident energetic politician, that has gone away in recent years a bit but it’s good to finally hear he will be running downhill.
the alexi ad is awful, he has settled on a strategy of muddling the message against kirk. One day kirk is a bush republican, the next day he’s a flip flopper, the next day he’s a liar, the next day he’s a dc insider. When you say 5 different things to voters it cancels them out and leaves you with nothing which is what he’s done.
Will the press examine either of Kirk’s or Alexi’s voting records, job performance, or positions as public servants during this so called campaign?
Kirk and Alexi gave the press too much ammo to facilitate their proclivity to be lazy conformists and follow only the latest buzz hitting the 24 hour media and internet. Sadly, the least informed and/or most misguided will probably once again decide this election.
Both of these guys, but especially Kirk, are making ol’ Roland look like statesman of the year. Kirk is now eligible for membership into the Pat Quinn Super Buffoon Society. It really is a race to the bottom in Illinois. What’s next? Can they get any more stupid? Why do we have to choose between two morons for both of the two top statewide offices. It is quite revealing that the first 8 links of this post are about Kirk and the next 8 are about Blogojevich. Nothing like bi-partisian mopery!
=…and follow only the latest buzz hitting the 24 hour media and internet….=
I was kind of under the impression that all this bad stuff started when the campaigns tried creating their own news and/or “sensationalizing” stuff that didn’t pan out as quite so newsworthy.
Almost like they believed that flooding the press with “red herring” data and then asking tons of questions would generate “publicity” for weeks and maybe, if they were lucky, even kick off a few “investigations” based on a “whisper”.
If nothing panned out after that, it seemed as if they thought the previous two-week period’s damage would have been worth it and no one would remember they started the “buzz” in the first place.
Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what I saw.
- Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jun 30, 10 @ 12:21 pm:
“Any suggestion that these few loans had any relationship to the bank’s financial problems is a lie.”
So all of those loans paid off handsomely for the bank? Not a single one of those questionable loans defaulted?
- Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jun 30, 10 @ 12:23 pm:
He was a lawyer but not an advocate? Aren’t lawyers supposed to be advocates? And he registered as a lobbyist against his will to take that BP cash to serve as a mere real estate attorney and not an advocate?
Louis, in Chicago, zoning lawyers must register as lobbyists.
- Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jun 30, 10 @ 12:25 pm:
“Alexi has never pushed for higher energy taxes. He supports a market-based system that puts a price on global warming pollution, reduces our dependence on oil and spurs investment in renewable energy and new clean energy jobs. Numerous independent studies have shown that his transition can occur with minimal cost to consumers, and help make America more competitive in today’s global economy.”
So he is advocating “service fees” on the price of the product instead of taxes?
The thing that I find even more interesting, though, is that one of the campaigns has been “whisper attacked” several times, but somehow the damage wound up being controlled fairly well–through sheer luck for all we know.
But that’s the same campaign that for some reason thinks everything has legs, or should be perceived that way by the media. Go figure.
Halperin’s quote at the end sums up how I think many voters are reacting to Kirk’s “misrememberences” but are afraid to actually say it. He said “people who know him think there is something wrong in his head.”
I just pretty much assume that anything that comes from Mark Kirk now is untrue. That’s the safe bet. The truth just isn’t in Mark Kirk. He can’t seem to help himself. Something just not right about that guy.
I don’t think the clip is all that brutal for kirk. Like every other neutral and even liberal commentator has said, Kirk has an oustanding resume for this job, which is true, and this is not louis or team america saying this, it’s everyone from anne marie cox-no fan of republicans to steve chapman at the trib to these folks. Comparing Mark Kirk to roland burris is a joke.
As carol marin notes, this issue is over. We have really issues to discuss in this campaign like corruption, like alexi’s failed bank, like 8 years of broken promises.
The last time this issue was raised I liked to the wttw video of mssr giangreco gushing all over blago, there may be some berkowitz tape of him from earlier in the decade too. The democrats have played 8 years and longer of guilt by association and I look forward to team america linking alexi, blago and giangreco and asking voters how this is not more of the same.
- Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jun 30, 10 @ 1:49 pm:
“If the law required the guy to register as a lobbyist then Kirk is essentially whining that the guy followed the law.”
Lots of laws in lots of places that require lobbyists register as lobbyists. Didn’t Giannoulias claim he was going to shy away from Washington, D.C. lobbyists (except for that infamous rooftop function in DC that was caught on tape) and proclaim them all as evildoersl? And one of his best buddies and “senior advisor” is a . . . lobbyist! In this area? His backyard? The horrors! :-)
The embellishments in the Giannoulias campaign press release response are kind of cute in they way they split hairs and try to dance away from such issues.
Since Kirk has been pounded upon for weeks over splitting hairs and dancing, perhaps the Giannoulias campaign would have learned their lesson and avoided the extended Tsamiko dance in their embellished “response” press release. I guess not!
- Bring Back Boone's - Wednesday, Jun 30, 10 @ 1:53 pm:
You can’t accuse someone of being a washington insider and then hire the karl rove of the corrupt ex governor on trial. Not that alexi ever had any credibility on anything but hiring blago’s go to guy is something that should be played up more and further diminishes his campaign.
Soapbox time. I’m not crazy about either of the ads. If Alexi and Mark had respect for themselves, their parties, and for the State of Illinois and its voters they would take a deep breath, lay low for a couple weeks, save some media money, and rethink their whole strategy. They both have damaged themselves. Both have way too much Samsonite to carry for this early in the campaign. Except among their most ardent supporters both have completely lost the aura of the boyish charm and charisma they once seemed to have. Normal, non-hack people are already sick of the whole darn thing. If Mark and Alexi go “at each other” over the airwaves non-stop for the next four months it will be a horrific mistake.
I realize many on their staffs–both candidates’ staffs–will champion and enable continuing the assaults upon the voters. They think they are assaulting and bruising the other guy, but it’s really the voters who are getting the beating. I’m old enough to know that 2010 is a different kind of election in the shadow of the economy and the Blago trial. The mood of the electorate is really dicey this summer. Politicians in general are not trusted and admired.
I don’t know that most of the campaign managers and media gurus have ever dealt with something quite like this political climate before no matter how much experience they have. Yet they somehow seem to be too close to the situation and to their candidates to recognize that, and see it clearly. The old Illinois ways of campaigning and operating are exactly what the citizens of Illinois do not want to see. But that’s what we are seeing.
Responsa says, “Normal, non-hack people are already sick of the whole darn thing. If Mark and Alexi go “at each other” over the airwaves non-stop for the next four months it will be a horrific mistake.”
Randy Stufflebeam and LeAlan Jones hope your advice is not heeded.
On other Senate news, I just noticed Sweet’s blog entry about a possible special election to fill the last month of Obama’s Senate seat before the regular replacement election takes effect. The operative quote from her blog was “Today, in the same building where Blagojevich is being tried, lawyers will gather in the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge James F. Grady to deal with a June 16 decision handed down by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, written by Judge Diane Wood.”
My apologies if this was posted elsewhere on cap fax already.
Alexi says he’s the outsider then hires blago’s guy. One of blago’s guys was hired by mayor bloomberg and the village voice there wrote a long nasty piece on him. Yet here Alexi brings this guy into his campaign and calls himself and outsider. Does not pass the smell test.
=The old Illinois ways of campaigning and operating are exactly what the citizens of Illinois do not want to see. But that’s what we are seeing. =
Nope. I disagree with that, too. Seems to me that this has much more of a “DC spin” to it–and that’s going to hurt everyone in Illinois (including Rich in a sense because he’s going to get even less sleep than usual in the upcoming months).
Democrats take a 1,000 contribution kirk (out of 5 million kirk gaised) gets from a prolife member of congress and put $100k of mailers to 10th district families telling them Mark Kirk is prolife-despite 10 years of pro-choice votes. Alexi hires blagos political aide to run his campaign and all of the sudden who you keep political company with is no big deal.
Louis G. Atsaves @12:25pm does make a valid point, as Giannoulias raised an issue that he should have avoided.
In the “Kirk ad lie #2″ response, Alexi backs “a market-based system that puts a price on global warming pollution”. But the only way to add “a price” on pollution is to impose a tax or fee on it. “Minimal cost to consumers” is still greater than zero. On this one point, I think Kirk wins.
n the “Kirk ad lie #2″ response, Alexi backs “a market-based system that puts a price on global warming pollution”. But the only way to add “a price” on pollution is to impose a tax or fee on it. “Minimal cost to consumers” is still greater than zero. On this one point, I think Kirk wins.
I agree completely, Any carbon based fee is just a value added tax on the consumer. There is no way companies will not pass it on.
To say that man-made CO2 emissions are causing global warming is a highly disputed issue. Be prepared to back your support of taxes on CO2 emissions with undisputed facts, especially in light of all the controversies surrounding the science. Obama’s and Biden’s and Gore’s claims that “the science is settled” is far removed from the truth of the matter.
If Alexi were proposing a straight up carbon tax, he would be on much better footing.
- Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Jul 1, 10 @ 9:48 am:
- To say that man-made CO2 emissions are causing global warming is a highly disputed issue. -
Wrong. Even the American Association of Petroleum Geologists agree that humans are increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere while they still aren’t all in agreement as to how much this impacts climate. They were the last major scientific body to accept the IPCC’s general findings on the issue. Very few scientists offer any resistance to the theory that humans are causing climate change. Calling something “highly disputed” doesn’t make it so, even if Glen Beck says it does.
===To say that man-made CO2 emissions are causing global warming is a highly disputed issue===
Most scientists don’t dispute the impact human activity has on carbon in the atmosphere, but politicians sure do. Most politicians in this country who deny the science are from oil/gas producing states like James Inhofe. That’s where most of the noise and disputing originates.
Even conservative publications like the Economist support government creating a market for carbon. If you want to call it a tax, fine. Cap and trade is another name for it. Carbon emissions have a cost, why shouldn’t we pay for the cost of our emissions?
The science is pretty clear. The politics are not, thanks to idealogues like you.