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Radogno slams Alexi, but Obama stands by his man

Friday, Sep 29, 2006

Not much in the way of print media on yesterday’s Chris Radogno press conference but Chicago TV did cover it pretty well. Let’s start with ABC7:

New questions were raised Thursday about a political candidate’s alleged connections to organized crime. Alexi Giannoulias is a Democrat running for Illinois state treasurer. His Republican opponent, Christine Radogno, is asking these questions. But she isn’t the only one.

Political newcomer Alexi Giannoulias is not only facing Republican Christine Ragogno in the state treasurer’s race, he is also battling with the chairman of his own Democratic party, House Speaker Michael Madigan, who agrees with Radogno that Giannoulias hasn’t provided the right answers to questions abut loans from his family bank to unsavory characters.

The Democratic candidate for state treasurer, Chicago banker Alexi Giannoulias, is still facing the same questions he has been answering for months about multi-million dollar loans from his family-owned Broadway Bank to convicted felons with mob ties. Some of the questions are coming from his Republican opponent, state senator Christine Radogno of southwest suburban LaGrange.

“Clearly, he is the banker for people with mob associations, and, yeah, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” said Christine Radogno, (R)-nominee for state treasurer.

Meanwhile CBS2 checked in with Sen. Rockstar.

We caught up with Giannoulias when he was shooting new political commercials Thursday. He wouldn’t say if Obama will appear in one. But a spokesman for Obama said Giannoulias has the senator’s full support.

Emphasis added.

And NBC5 got this gem of a quote from Giannoulias:

“I would love to sit down with the speaker and see if we could sit down and talk about how we could uh, you know work together,” he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 9:06 am:

    Has Radogno ever taken contributions from George Ryan, a convicted felon, or the Ryan campaign? Weren’t Radogno and George Ryan, a convicted felon, good friends and close political allies?

  2. - VanillaMan - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 9:32 am:

    Let’s drop the names and partisanship, and call them “Candidate A” and “Candidate B”.

    If Candidate A has a record of mismanaging bank loans for folks who turn out to be mobsters, should that candidate get elected as the TREASURER of the state?

    What do you think is important? Having a treasurer with a clean record, or one that has seems to have fudged things here and there?

    The world would not end if Giannoulais is not elected. Those willing to risk putting someone with his background in this elected state position at this time IS NOT THINKING. The guy is young. He can clear this up if there is nothing to discredit him. He can run for another office.

    You do not reward a political party that does not take the quality of it’s candidates seriously enough to pull support when this kind of crap surfaces. If you do, they will no longer consider it a problem with future candidates, and hence, you lower the quality and qualifications for all public officials.

    Demand better than Giannoulais!

  3. - toby - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 9:36 am:

    Did she hold a press conference just to slam Giannoulias? Is that her campaign strategy? That seems pretty pathetic.

  4. - Ray Coleman - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 9:45 am:

    VanillaMan, Alexi is a good human being. He has integrity, he is qualified. Also Alexi’s age is an asset for this race, his time is now. It is very weak to label him the way you are because a person got a loan with a shady background. You cannot conclude that Alexi is not a person of integrity because of this loan situation. If I thought Alexi wasn’t the right person for the Treasurer’s job, I would not support him. That is the very reason I can’t support Rod Blagojevich. It is not proper to paint Rod and Alexi with the same brush.

  5. - toby - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 9:46 am:

    Vanilla man,
    What do you mean mismanaged. No one has said the loans are in default. I don’t think they are. No one has said the loans are illegal or even for illegal purposes. I heard they are real estate deals. Happens that the borrower has a sketchy past. How does that make Giannoulias immoral. If Radogno was so experienced I think she would be able to talk about her record or ideas for the office. But she can’t. I would rather have someone from the private sector than those that only know how to play “insider baseball” any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

  6. - Leroy - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 9:57 am:

    Vanilla Man -

    Nice strawman.

    If the Feds do not have a problem with Alexi (they do not prosecute him) then neither do I.

    Want me to believe Alexi is crook? Indict him.

    Alexi may not be the better candidate for the job, that is another story. But to tear the dude down because of ‘mob allegations’ when he is running a bank that is being monitored by the Feds is silly.

  7. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 10:04 am:

    Toby, good point about the private sector.
    I have worked in the private sector my entire life. It is refreshing to be able to support and vote for a person who has made their living having to watch the bottom line and make a profit, not just say we need more money so lets raise the working men and women’s taxes.

    Radogno has fed at the public trough for her entire career. The bottom line for Radogno is if you don’t have enough money raise my taxes.

  8. - grand old partisan - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 10:17 am:

    This is a fascinating story on many levels, particularly the Obama angle. It’s a tough spot for him. And as it unfolds, I can’t help but continue to wonder why, in God’s name, he put himself in this position in the first place.

    To me, there’s only three possible explanations:

    (1) He really did think that Giannoulius would be the most capable person in the state to be Treasurer
    (2) He owed Giannoulius and his family big time for their support in his Senate campaign
    (3) He wanted to take the opportunity to assess his strength against that of Madigan’s.

    I’m guessing it’s some combination of 2 & 3

  9. - Centrist - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 10:29 am:

    If it’s some combination of 2 & 3, he’s not as smart as many thought. Don’t take on the Speaker. The Gov learned the hard way. Watch your back Alexi. I’m predicting that Alexi gets the fewest votes of any statewide Democrat, by far.

  10. - Anon from BB - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 10:43 am:

    I find it fascinating for a different reason.

    All these Dems coming out to downplay Alexi’s dealings with the mob, yet these same people probably have spent as many hours as L. Madigan beating up Rosemont and Rosemont’s mayor for alleged mob ties (and that’s all they are. Alleged. Nothing has ever been proved, in years and years and years of hearsay and investigations).

  11. - Way Northsider - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 10:44 am:

    If anyone has any credible information about illegal doings they should put it on the table and work towards getting Alexi indicted. I don’t believe he did anything illegal. The bank is supervised, audited, follows the rules. If this is the best Ms. R can come up with, it isn’t hard to see why the Republicans are in disarray. As for Madigan, he’s a sore loser. As a rank and file Dem voter it makes me support Alexi even more.

  12. - alexi fan - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 10:56 am:

    grand old partisan. even if it is number 2, i think it says something good about both alexi and barack. about alexi: that he had the forsight and the passion to get behind a person that everyone now recognizes as the real deal before it was in vogue. at the time he was clearly supporting barack because he believed in the man and his vision, not because he was looking to cash in when barack won (no one expected barack to go anywhere back when alexi was helping him out). and it says a lot of good things about barack that he would support a friend even if he has nothing to gain from it. i know way to many politicians (our governor is one) that would sell a friend fown the river if there was nothing in it for them, and there is clearly nothing for barack to gain by supporting alexi. i really think the cynics are wrong on this one. alexi is smart and idealistic, and he has a bright future. i really think that barack both likes him and believes in him an dthinks this is the case.

  13. - Cassandra - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 11:07 am:

    Dan Hynes may be scared to run for governor post-Blago (if there ever is a post-Blago) but I bet if Alexi wins this one he won’t be. He’ll have
    Senator or even President Rockstar in his corner plus oodles of money and how many times can his opponents bring up the mob. Actually, what with terrorist and corrupt politicians, the mob has sort of disappeared these days as a public interest issue.

    Poor Dan. Poor Lisa. Hoist on their own petards of money and influence and retro Machine daddies.

  14. - Lovie's Leather - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 11:13 am:

    Made his living in the private sector?! He was a silver spoon. He made no money. His dad might have made money in the private sector… but so did Ws dad. Are you gonna now give wicked props to George W for making money in the private sector??? The real problem for Alexi is his own mouth. First, he said that he is qualified to run for Treasurer because of his banking experience. And then he said that he had absolutely no knowledge of loans to organized crime figures. As vice-president of a bank, it is either one or the other. You either know about everything that goes on (or almost everything), or you’re a symbolic turd of a vice president that wants to play politician…

  15. - Wow - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 11:15 am:

    Alexi is an empty suit. 30 years old, VP of family bank??? Great resume!

  16. - Proof - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 11:24 am:

    Wait, did someone say Mike’s Mad-again?
    I’m no banker, so I don’t know the criteria for accpeting or denying loans, but I do know that no one has shown credible evidence that Alexi did anything wrong. I’m sure that if they had the proof, the Madigans would have the Feds all over him. This is politics at its finest. I wouldn’t be surprised if Madigan is helping Radogno under the radar and that he helps her with a nasty attack in the coming weeks. In fact, I’d expect it. Thats the family, er I mean party, chairman for you.

  17. - Ellie - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 11:38 am:

    alexi fan, do you really think ALEXI supported Obama way back when? Best I can tell, he was trying to play pro ball in Europe when Obama was getting started, and even in 04 he’s was still finding himself in law school or whatever, right? Please, please, please, drop the Alexi as the man of the people schtick. Just like Lisa & Dan & W, he’s using his daddy’s money & influence to get ahead in politics. He’ll win b/c of the dough factor, but please let’s see how he does b/f we go anointing him a serious 2010 guv candidate. Dems, did we learn nothing from electing/supporting a white ethnic midly attractive fundraiser type who was supposed to be this big change? Sadly, I think Alexi’s a bigger dope than GRod.

  18. - anon - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 11:40 am:

    I believe Alexi when he says he didn’t know about the mob ties. But that also shows that he wasn’t really in charge at the bank. And if he wasn’t in charge of at least a neighborhood bank, then he is not qualified to be treasurer of this state at age 30. The only reason he made it this far is his family money and the Obama connection. This dem is crossing over for someone I have actually worked against numerous times in her legislative races. At least she has experience of some sort to bring to the office.

  19. - alexi fan - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 11:47 am:

    W was a political insider, and to the extent that he ever operated in the private sector he used his government ties to cheat his state out of money. comparing alexi to him is preposterous (W was a drunkard until he was 40) alexi has worked with his family in a business that has nothing to do or to gain from government, and they are clearly successful. i think that lovie and wow like radogno/madigan because she/he is mean spririted like them.

  20. - Hawk - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 12:02 pm:

    Get a clue people. Alexi brings NOTHING to the table and even having any ties to the mob…directly or indirectly cannot be another “reputation” the people should elect to such a high office in Illinois. What, is he now going to have a ad defending himself and his families wrongdoings? He should talk about his experience and what he can bring to the table. Oh wait….HE HAS NONE.

    And about Ryan money? Has she taken any??? If so, I’m sure (like half of the Republican caucus’ and any legislaor on both sides of the aisle…) he wouldnt be able to pick out of a crowd [Senator Radogno or half the people he has or has not financially supported.]

    Hawk, Chicago

  21. - Thor - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 12:24 pm:

    Radogno was actually on Ryan’s “Favors” list. They certainly worked closely together. Its really hypocritical for her to talk about associations with criminals.

  22. - Kane Radogno supporter - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 12:30 pm:

    It is clear the democrats are desparate trying to cover Giannoulias unethical behaviour.
    Even Michael Madigan agrees that Giannoulias hasn’t provided the right answers to questions abut loans from his family bank to “unsavory” characters.

    If he has nothing to hide, why doesn’t he speak up?

    Instead, he sends his supporters to attack Christine, the future Illinois Treasurer.

    She has no ties to Ryan, NONE.

    Democrats new criteria to define “mean spirited” is: Speak the truth and demand answers.

    Democrats are so predictible, if they are loosing, they play the martir card… CLASSIC!

  23. - HeKnowsBarrack - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 12:31 pm:

    It appears some are missing the point
    Poor Mayor Stephens is getting roasted because he knows outfit guys and they became investors in the boat.
    Alexander does not seem worried/concerned/interested that the place that gives him a paycheck & an inheritance does business with and makes money from convicted outfit guys.
    He pretends the bank does not do background checks when every loan app asks about arrests and convictions. The Tribune has been writing about this guy for 10 years. It is painfuly clear he and the bank knows they are doing business with outfit guys.
    That does not seem like a credential Illinois voters would want for the next chief banker.

  24. - Thor - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 12:48 pm:

    Hey Kane,
    Isn’t Madigan a Democrat?
    Last I checked, it was Radogno that was down in the polls.
    It goes like this: when you are down in the polls and no one cares what you have to say, start throwing mud. And when you get called on it, tell your opposition that they are acting like a martyr. Funny.

  25. - Ann O'Namus - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 1:57 pm:

    The feds do keep an eye on Giannoulias. An old friend is FBI, formerly of Illinois. G’s bank is known as “the mob’s bank.”

    Sure, he seems like a nice guy. You might even say a good fella. It’s OK to like him, just don’t vote for him. Vote Green if you can’t bring yourself to vote Republican.

  26. - Centrist - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 2:14 pm:

    It appears Thor is aptly named since he/she seems to be spreading the Greek mythology.

  27. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 5:30 pm:

    Kane Radogno: “She (Radogno) has no ties to Ryan, NONE”. Give me a break. Has Radogno ever been to a fund raiser for him? Has she ever taken campaign money from him or his campaign? Did she go to his inauguration, or his inauguration ball? Did she ever talk to him on the phone? What is the favors list thing?
    I think Ms. Radogno needs to answer some questons about her involvment with George Ryan, a convicted felon.

  28. - Cassandra - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 9:23 am:

    Is there really any evidence that Radogno had anything to do with Ryan other the occasional handshake at mass events. After all, most state legislators don’t hang out in the exec office, only a favored few, and there is no evidence that Radogno has ever been one of the favored.

    Senator Rockstar’s approval is likely going to get Alexi through despite Radogno’s obvious seniority as a candidate and Madigan’s opposition.

    That is unfortunate, because Radogno is clearly the superior candidate. I plan to vote for her for that reason, and also because I don’t like Senator Rockstar’s attempts to manipulate the voters in his support of a clearly flawed candidate.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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