[Bumped up, updated with “Related” links and comments opened for your enjoyment.]
*** UPDATE *** Giannoulias’ office just called and said that the treasurer is paying for the trip out of his own pocket, not campaign funds, not state funds.
[ *** End of Update *** ]
* Sen. Dick Durbin is on what had been billed as a government-sponsored economic development trip to Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Guess who’s traveling with him? From The Hill…
Durbin is traveling with Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a Democrat first elected in 2006 who has taken initial steps toward running for Burris’s Senate seat in 2010
A week ago, Burris said that Giannoulias would be a “formidable” candidate if he ran for Senate. Durbin also met with Giannoulias during the treasurer’s latest trip to DC to talk about building his possible Senate campaign.
* From Cyprus…
President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) met on Monday US Senator to Illinois Richard Durbin and Illinois State Finance Minister Alexi Giannoulias.
No statement has been released about the meeting.
Durbin and Giannoulias are currently in the island to have talks about the solution of Cyprus question.
US Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the “No. 2″ Democrat in the US Senate, will visit Athens next Wednesday for talks with Bakoyannis. He will be accompanied by Illinois State Treasurer Alexis Giannoulias.
The talks are expected to focus on Cyprus, the situation in the Balkans, Greece’s OSCE chairmanship and international issues, such as Middle East, Koumoutsakos stated.
“The visit is interesting and important, and takes place shortly after the inauguration of the new US President,” Koumoutsakos said.
The US delegation will also visit Nicosia, Ankara and Istanbul.
It seems undeniable that Durbin is now helping Giannoulias with his foreign policy chops. State treasurers don’t usually get that sort of experience on their own, of course.
* Dems hold breath on Burris
* US senator to have talks in Ankara after Cyprus visit
* “Fatal Wound” to Roland Burris Not Necessarily Good News for GOP in 2010; Is This Alexi’s Opening?
* Illinois 2010: A Political Odyssey, Part I