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Durbin helping Giannoulias prep for Senate bid *** UPDATED x1 ***

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009

[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.

More

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.

* Related…

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:15 am:

    “Illinois State Finance Minister”? Little problem with the translation there maybe?


  2. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:18 am:

    Wow, sounds like a homecoming visit to me.


  3. - Pat collins - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:25 am:

    Sounds like getting ready to pump the fund raising to me.


  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:28 am:

    I’m sure Durbin is itching for payback on Burris for rolling him and making him look weak and foolish.

    Whether Alexi’s the guy is another thing. It would help him if his family’s bank can get back on solid footing.


  5. - Amy - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:37 am:

    politics by basketball….the Greece edition.


  6. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:40 am:

    I knew that once the “formidable” comment was released, that Durbin wanted someone other than Burris, and that someone might be Giannoulais.

    But that doesn’t mean that Giannoulais is Durbin’s pick - Durbin is too much a political Care Bear to be cornered without an escape hatch somewhere.

    Durbin is just saying, and Giannoulais is just going along the Greek trip - if we discover Alexi’s banking connections soil his candidacy.


  7. - Cosmic Charlie - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:43 am:

    Is it me or does Durbin’s eratic behavior in recent months make it seem like he is not running again after this term? I like Alexi, and agree with Durbin that he is very formidable candidate, but it seems that from DD’s position getting out front like this against the Senate’s only African American Senator, notwithstanding his current problems, is not a brilliant political move for him personally. He butchered the whole special election/seating Burris fiasco and now he is getting out front on this? Seems a bit strange to me.


  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Is it me or does Durbin’s eratic behavior in recent months make it seem like he is not running again after this term?===

    That decision is about five years away. Patience, please.


  9. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:07 am:

    “Senator Reid is reviewing the affidavit and will await any action by Illinois legislative leaders after they review the matter.”

    Senator Reid and our Senator Durbin should actually take a stand instead of passing this off to the Illinois House. They truly are pathetic and spineless. If they would have done what they said they would do in the first place they would have looked like heroes right now instead of hacks.

    BTW, did Alexi play basketball with the President this weekend or were they already out of town?


  10. - Anon, anew - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:13 am:

    Any idea who is paying for Alexi to go to Greece? I can’t imagine the good people of Illinois?


  11. - BehindTheScenes - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:37 am:

    So Durbin didn’t just take him along as an interpreter?


  12. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:48 am:

    Anon anew- I would guess he’s paying for it himself. No way he’d let his office or the feds pick up the tab. He’s not an idiot.


  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:51 am:

    Check the update. He’s paying for it out of his own pocket.


  14. - Cosmic Charlie - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    Rich, good point on the 5 years. Still weird behavior but oh well.


  15. - Lamballe - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 1:00 pm:

    Alexi would make a great senator and I believe that he would have huge downstate support, especially here in Springfield.


  16. - corvax - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 2:34 pm:

    Rich,

    I almost misspoke in referring to Honest Abe’s “thinking” behind his post above (as it’s evidently thoughtless), but, as difficult as it is for me to find any coherence in it, it seems consrtuable as racist and below the high standards of Capitolfaxblog. Could you consider removing it?

    Thanks

    BTW,Lambelle, i agree Alexi would be a great and deserving senator!


  17. - Theo Kojak - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 4:49 pm:

    Kojak thinks the “State Finance Minister” should spend a little more time on his current job before trying to line up the next one. “Bright Start” just lost $85 million in alleged “low-risk” investments, the fabulous Cash Dash program took out a full page ad in the C-U News-Gazette indicating, among other things, that “the University of Illinois” could not be found, and one of his Kiddie Korps of staff is rumored to be running a 5th CD campaign without having taken time off.

    Maybe his new interest will cause him to drop the DOA pension consolidation idea.


  18. - Honest Abe - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:25 pm:

    Corvax:

    My point was that Giannoulias really was not learning very much by visiting countries that he had already lived in.

    How is it racist to mention that Giannoulias once played professional basketball in Greece? That is a fact. Afterwards, he attended Tulane for law school and then accepted a job at his family’s bank. Mike Madigan supported another candidate for Treasurer and publicized some shady loans that the bank issued to criminals. Madigan kept him at arms length after the primary also. If there is anything untrue or inaccurate in the statements, please advise me. Is it now subtly racist to refer to the game of basketball? This fellow and his family showered Obama with campaign contributions otherwise he’d never been elected to a statewide office.


  19. - corvax - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 9:39 am:

    You suggested a connection between his Greek ethnicity and being “mobbed up” (with no basis in fact in his case)


  20. - Honest Abe - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 12:39 pm:

    Corvax:

    You are apparently ignorant of the loans that were made by the bank while Giannoulias was supposedly a senior loan officer. Some shady characters who operated brothels in Florida were approved for loans. As for not proving it, this news was published in many major newspapers and the best excuse that Alexi could offer was that he was not paying close attention to the loan applications.

    To refer to a Greek-American’s ethnicity as being Grecian is now racist? That is crazy.


  21. - jAXON - Friday, Feb 20, 09 @ 12:14 am:

    Little River SC, not NC– geesh, it’s late!


  22. Pingback "Dumb White People" - WhiteNewsNow.com - Tuesday, Mar 10, 09 @ 4:50 pm:

    […] "Dumb White People" I am amazed at the words I am reading here: Dumb White People | NBC Chicago First it was the city council’s black caucus that had it wrong. Going before the cameras on Thursday to show their support of embattled Sen. Roland Burris, caucus members complained that the scrutiny showered upon Burris from the media and investigators was not commensurate with that given to white politicians, and in particular, Mayor Daley. Defending corruption on the grounds that white politicians get away with it so black politicians should be able to as well is not exactly an advance in civil rights. The answer is more scrutiny of the Mayor Daleys of the world. Yes, by all means. But then it was the white pols to once again show how tone deaf they are. Michael Sneed reports today — presumably straight from the mouth of Bill Daley or someone he has authorized to plant the item — that the mayor’s brother is planning to run for the U.S. Senate seat Burris currently occupies. Between that and Sen. Dick Durbin’s ill-advised embrace of state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who also wants the seat, one might get the idea that the white guys want to take the black guy’s seat after all. Of course, that isn’t true — in a racial sense. The white guys are only doing what pols do — looking after themselves. But it’s totally the wrong move. As long as the United States Senate has only one African American, that seat should remain in an African American’s hands. Once the Senate has been integrated, all’s fair. But our dumb white politicians who don’t get it should make it absolutely clear that they aren’t about to turn the U.S. Senate all-white again. Let’s all agree that Roland Burris is a disaster who has to go. Let’s not apologize for his despicable and selfish behavior because he’s black. At the same time, let’s not turn back the racial clock. This isn’t about furthering anyone’s personal ambitions, be it Roland Burris, Bill Daley or Alexi Giannoulias. It should be about the best way for Illinois to be represented in Washington, D.C. It shouldn’t be hard to find a strong group of candidates who can fill the bill. Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review. You can subscribe to his NBCChicago.com RSS feed here. Copyright NBC Local Media […]


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