* This was not a good TV appearance for Democratic US Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias at all. And it was even a downstate market, where the questions are often “lighter.” Watch it [or click here since the video isn’t working]…
Crain’s Chicago Business [yesterday] reported the bank run by Giannoulias’ family is suing four companies for loan defaults.
But it gets trickier for Alexi Giannoulias politically because he was the bank’s chief loan officer at the time of the loans….and two of the companies’ owners were convicted felons.
We asked Giannoulias about the loans Monday on Live at Five.
“It’s become challenging for a lot of borrowers, a lot of bankers, a lot of financial institutions,” said Giannoulias. But when asked if he should have lent money to convicted felons, he said: “They were credit–worthy decisions, and again, it’s easy to look back and say if we would have known real estate values would plummet 40%…it’s easy to have 20–20 hindsight and make those decisions.”
Giannoulias also announced a long list of endorsements yesterday. Scan them here.
* Congressman Mark Kirk’s goofiness from the past week will likely blow over if he keeps silliness like that to a minimum in the future. But his flip-flopping over whether to run or not has some real damage to his image with the media. From Roll Call…
“I know the National Republican Senatorial Committee is very frustrated with Mark Kirk because he was being indecisive,” said a Republican source familiar with the situation. […]
“The other story coming out of this is the mismanagement of Mark’s rollout,” [a separate Republican operative from Illinois] said. “The NRSC is in a bind because this was a recruitment victory for them. They were saying all along that Mark Kirk was who they wanted.” […]
One county chairman from a rural part of the state requested a conference call with all of the state’s GOP county chairmen and the Congressman on Thursday. According to sources familiar with the conference call, numerous county chairmen throughout the state said they did not want to see Kirk run because of his vote for cap-and-trade legislation.
“I was not on the call, but my understanding was that it not go well,” an Illinois Republican said.
But Mr. Kirk is coming across as one big indecisive baby, who won’t run unless Lisa Madigan doesn’t, and maybe won’t run if Andy McKenna does. It’s all pretty inside stuff. But Mr. Kirk is going to have to show a more solid face — and quickly — if he’s to have any chance in what after all is a very blue state.
…Adding… And what the heck was this? Local blogger Eva Sorock attended a Mark Kirk town hall meeting over the weekend and posted this golden nugget…
During the health care discussion, Kirk did insert the news flash that American obesity is the result of our gluttonous English and German heritage.
The Illinois tax system isn’t fair. Illinois is among only eight states with a flat income-tax rate. Illinois residents are paying the lowest income tax but the highest property taxes in the Midwest. State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), Edgar’s former chief of staff, has said that he could support an increase in the income tax for education if it’s linked to property- tax relief.
Expect to see that one used in a GOP campaign ad in the coming months. The quote, by the way, was from March 21, 1994. Kinda ancient history, but quotes never die in campaigns.
* If you watched the “Chicago Tonight” clip below, you know that Comptroller Dan Hynes is unveiling a new legislative package today dealing with cemetery regulation…
Hynes’ legislative package, which he will unveil today, would significantly strengthen state oversight of cemeteries throughout Illinois beyond the current requirement that cemeteries only submit financial documents to the state comptroller’s office.
Hynes intends to call on lawmakers to give the state authority to oversee the maintenance and operations of cemeteries. That new power would rest with a state agency outside of his office, Hynes said.
Hynes hasn’t come close to putting this Burr Oak issue to rest yet, and the scandal will likely be in the news for a long time to come. The crass political questions now are: 1) Does it derail his gubernatorial bid? and/or 2) Can he fend off attacks on his record if he does run?
* Via Illinois Review, a new campaign video from GOP treasurer candidate Sen. Dan Rutherford…
…Adding… The governor’s campaign video team was at yesterday’s capital bill signing ceremony. Here’s a clip of Mayor Daley praising Gov. Quinn…
Whether a candidate survives depends on how the crisis compliments, confirms or supports a candidate’s image.
Kirk has two things going for him regarding his current race - the GOP doesn’t have anyone else they think can win statewide, and the silly nonsense Kirk has been experiencing isn’t powerful enough to overcome this. His public image doesn’t compliment the negatives.
Giannoulais has problems though. His youth, his family connections, his bank connections are part of his image, and the situation he is facing compliments the negative concerns voters were willing to overlook when he was first elected. This thing sticks more than the Ford Escape issue or the Bright Star fiasco. Also his party doesn’t need him as desperately as the GOP needs Kirk. Giannoulais can be replaced by Kennedy easily.
No one likes to think and discuss death, except those in the business. So, when Dan Hynes’ name comes up right now - voters think about death. Hynes’ image is one of competence and dullness. Having the stink of Burr Oak on him will be hard to shake off. Fair? Of cource not, but who says being in public office is fair? Mr. Hynes will have a life even when he is no longer in public office - we don’t have to worry about him. Hynes never got passionate support, and this Burr Oak situation is passionate. So it is going to hurt him.
- Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Jul 14, 09 @ 11:10 am:
Can Andy McKenna derail the Illinois GOP any further?
All in all, I’d say we’re looking at pretty weak offerings from both parties. Alexi is by no means a slam dunk…the GOP could win that one with the right person. But I don’t know if they have the “right” person. For that matter, I don’t think the Dems have the “right” person either. Brad Cole runs for Lt. Gov…weak. Topinka’s back…weak. Heaven help us!!
you know, you have to believe dan rutherford when he says that he’s going to be the state treasurer for “jobs, jobs and jobs.” it’s too bad he didn’t specify that he means patronage jobs for republican hacks…
No doubt Kirk has stumbled and some shine is off the rose among political insiders. But he hasn’t even started really campaigning yet. If he can get his team and message in place and point the ship in the right direction, he’s in a great position.
This last week does indicate that he needs to stop micromanaging his efforts and get some good advice.
What is the deal with Kirk’s comment about obesity and English/German heritage? Was it backed up with any sociological or statistical support or at least framed in some sort of rational context? What an odd statement to make–especially in a public forum.
- lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 14, 09 @ 11:27 am:
I agree with Vanilla — only us politco wonks (if I may be so bold as to include myself) care about the Kirk stuff. Kirk and Schakowsky have/had the same problem: whether to give up a possibly safe-for-life seat to go for the senate, but with Kirk, the potential upside is so great, his reluctance is telling. I mean, imagine if he wins: he’s instantly a rising young star in the GOP, the only “moderate” GOP senator who hasn’t been marginalized like Olympia Snowe, and I’d argue an instant veep contender (balances a conservative ticket).
Based on yesterday’s performances I would say Giannoulias is not ready for prime time. I heard a clip of him on WBBM-AM. He could hardly articlulate why he is even running. “The people of this state are ready for . . . someone who has been in this state” (or something like that).
In the 7 months+ that he has been fund-raising nobody bothered to give him some media and message training? wow, he was really bad yesterday. Maybe Robin Kelly should have done the announcement for him, she’s good on the air.
the link to Alexi’s tv appearance seems inoperable, but it hardfy seems like an entirely bad day when you announce the endorsments by 2 US Congressmen, Claypool, Suffredin, Rogers, Link, Houlihan, Raoul, over 20 courageous members of Mike’s House, county leadres from all over the state and a number of popular alderman.
adding: I think that the video clip you posted here of Daley praising Quinn is very nicely done. This is the kind of message that will get Quinn elected Governor. Non-partisan, positive, focused on practical matters of operating an efficient state government. No more “what’s he thinking” please.
That’s also a very serious warning sign to Dan Hynes that Quinn is going to compete for every Chicago voter.
Giannoulias brings a thorough understanding of policy issues (including global economic policy), an incredible energy level (I can’t recall a constitutional officer making so many great changes in her or his office in such a short time), high ethical standards (e.g., no pac money despite its legal acceptability–the bank innuendo didn’t work last time and it won’t work this time because there’s nothing there), and really good campaign skills and fund-raising.
Bring on Kennedy if you want. It’s just wasted time and energy when we could be working to keep this seat democratic.
Ayatollah Madigan can not be happy when he reads Alexi’s endorsement list. In addition to the usual suspects there are some real regular Dem stalwarts on there. Didn’t they know that they were supposed to get his permission first?
There will be great leadership coming out of Illinois 10th Congressional District from the democratic side. Senator Susan Garrett is a great leader in the district, and would be a fantastic candidate for U.S. Congress. Commissioner Michelle Feldman has shown her leadership at both the local and county levels. She would also be a great leader for the district, and would dedicate her full support to Senator Garrett if and when she decides to lead our congressional district into the future.
Garrett has a website that says 1998. Republicans will take her springfield voting record, find votes for blago’s agenda and rip her apart. Springfield is poison next year and she is clearly fruit from a poisoned tree.
=== Giannoulias brings a thorough understanding of policy issues (including global economic policy)====
Isn’t there a bunch of problems related to how he applied his “through” understanding of global economics to the edecuation savings fund program, causing it to lose millions more then it would have if invested more appropriately?
=== an incredible energy level (I can’t recall a constitutional officer making so many great changes in her or his office in such a short time)====
Like purchasing an SUV for himself using money generated by failed investments? Or his change in the bright start investments which increased it losses? making a sudden change is not woth as much as a good change.
Is he not in the center if litigation related to loans to known criminal figures? Not to mention his decision to purchase that new SUV for himself.
Roll Call reporting problematic, take this off the record quote in the story about Mark Kirk
“I was not on the call, but my understanding was that it not go well,” an Illinois Republican said.
Well if the person quoted was not on the call, the reporter should have asked for a source who was rather than rely on someone else’s interpretation since there may have been a biased on the part of the source. I wasn’t on the call either and I heard it was fine and ended on a positive note. I guess it is a matter of interpretation. The reporter should however do some reporting.
Kirk has always struck me as a politician that thinks in terms of the longer view and the broader electoral goal, which is why his current stumbling makes sense - he really does not care about goofiness and prima donna stuff in July 2009, at least not yet. Election Day is long in the future.
He also thinks in terms of general elections, not the Illinois GOP infighting, or ring-kissing with Illniois conservatives. Kirk selectively uses his votes to build a palette that he can use to manufacture a broad appeal, reaching outside of the “mainsteram” GOP (whatever that is).
He has plenty of conservative votes to point out for Conservatives, but they just don’t want to hear about it right now - bashing him as an exercise in identity politics is preferable to them.
His Cap & Trade vote may not please Conservatives, but Independent women and soccer moms will like it, and like it next November. That is the way Kirk thinks, and it has worked for him.
I think we just saw the ad the Quinn campaign will be using in the Chicago market. Quinn knows that these types of ads can do. He was actually leading in early polling for US Senate when he ran against Durbin, but lo & behold Durbin never looked back once the endorsement spot came out.
Rich my bad. I’ll take Kirk’s 8 years overseeing foreign operations funding, 5 years working on the house international relations committee 2 years at the state department, 1 year at the world bank and masters from the london school of economics over alexi’s minor league basketball career as a better grasp of foreign economic issues. That debate is going to be blowout city.
Garrett, Bond and any other democrat running next year is going to be instantly hung with the blago/springfield anchor so I am looking forward to seeing them spin their way out of that. The media came down REALLY hard on local congressional republicans for d.c. under bush and hastert and Republicans fully expect the same reprucussions in coverage for democrats, as you noted madigan is fearing on wttw last night.
I don’t think Progress Illinois gets to determine whether it is a bad day or not. I’d say it is a good day for Mark Kirk. He is running for Senate with a pretty clear primary. He has Democrats doing oppo research on eachother for him. And he has $1million+ in cash on hand before he even commits to running for office. And, unlike Giannoulias, he already knows how to communicate effectively–just ask Dan Seals.
Also, the Conservative Washington Times newspaper just wrote a favorable piece saying that with Kirk and Democratic Party misdeeds, this race has gone from safe Democrat to ‘toss up’.
Yes, this is a good day for Mr. Kirk from an objective perspective.
corvax, how does “high ethical standards” reconcile with collecting one of every five bucks raised from investment firms, brokers or their employees during a period of time when the Treasurer also was also touting the ill-fated IL-PERS state pension investment power grab?
His handling of Bright Start showed his lack of investment professional experience. His beating the dead horse of ILPERS even after objective third party consultants said it was a non-starter raises questions of both judgment and competence, let alone fitness for higher office.
Insider political baseball is still insider stuff. Period. County chairmen calls, waffling, announcement rollouts, blah blah blah…who cares? It’s become apparent the ILGOP county chairmen often worry more about “principle” than winning. If Dem county chairmen who are often pro-life and pro-gun can support Obama for Senate, Alexi for Treasurer and LMadigan for AG, the GOP should take a basic note out of the playbook.
Kirk miscalculated with his Cap & Trade vote. There was no upside for his senate run to vote for that bad piece of legislation which has now been killed by the senate. Independent voters were not behind it and that’s where the deciding votes are going to come from. The guy lacks sound advisors.
Giannoulias sure does have the skill wrapping up endorsements from elected officials. From what I know, he’s already moved on to building his campaign finance team.
I still think that when you examine his actual record he’s rather inept. Then there’s his political career. He’s surfing his way through the Democratic ranks via the failures of all the other candidates. If he secures an actual challenger with some sense of political savvy and the willingness to walk the race all over the State Giannoulias will lose.
There’s a good reason why the average age in the US Senate is 62 years old. Alexi would be 34 if he were to win in 2010. Not that the US Senate couldn’t use a young, fresh, do nothing for the length of their career face. They finally graduated this former seat holder in Joe Biden.
On Kirk, ehm, I hope that English and German gluttonous remark was just a bad joke.
==Independent voters were not behind it and that’s where the deciding votes are going to come from.==
==His Cap & Trade vote may not please Conservatives, but Independent women and soccer moms will like it, and like it next November.==
Anyone know how to square the “independents” in the C&T bill? My understanding was that they were polled as largely against it. Then factor in that most people polled don’t even know what the “cap and trade” legislation is and it’s giant piece of policy ready to be defined by the candidate with the tallest stack of chips.
Are you calling me a partisan, Rich? I never. I defer to your objectivity, sir. By the way, PI wasn’t the only news outlet talking about Mark Kirk. Case you missed it, the conservative Washington Times wrote an article that provides that this former Dem safe seat is now a toss up with the entrance of Mr. Kirk.
Objectively speaking, at this point in the election, a leading conservative paper heaping praise on Kirk is certainly a good thing for him, no?
==Insider political baseball is still insider stuff. Period.==
Yeah, that’s probably the end of it. The media will undoubtedly give him a do-over and the other campaigns will shrug their shoulders and sigh, lamenting, “that stuff was all inside baseball…what can we do?”
The only way to describe Kirk’s conduct over the past 7 months is “hinky.” As in: just not quite right; just slightly not focused; just mildly uncomfortable to watch; and most importantly, just not quite electable. His divorce, his weird comments, his Cap & Trade vote, his spoiled brat approach to this senate race, and the effect of his long delay on the GOP’s contender in the 10th look more floundering than forward-looking.
With Kirk (supposedly) running for Senate now, that makes Dan Seals the de facto frontrunner in CD/10, if he decides to run again. Mostly because Seals has the best name recognition. This can change before the Feb primary. But the more names on the primary ballot the more likely the Dem nomination goes to Seals.
…Good thing he doesn’t care about goofiness after telling Republican grassroots precinct captains that he was waiting for Lisa Madigan’s decision before making his own decision… and then calling around to say he was running for Senate within hours of her decision… and then calling the Washington Post last week to tell them he wouldn’t run if the Illinois Congressional delegation didn’t back him… and then walking that back… and then telling all who would listen that he wouldn’t run if Andy Martin didn’t step off…
It may ‘inside baseball’ but it’s the Republican insiders who are going to walk their precincts next January in the dead of winter who are watching the game; not to mention his Cap & Trade vote is causing no end to the angst among the litmus testers in the GOP.
You are taking a very short view, wouldn’t you say?
Too often in Illinois blogs we all live in the last 15 minutes. It results in a kind of suspension of disbelief, where we think Election Day is next week. Many voters in Illinois have repeatedly shown that they can’t remember stuff that happened last week, much less last year. So Kirk is going to break a sweat?
If the RNC decides to go for this seat, Kirk will have advertising dollars like you would not believe, and he can spend many months refining his image by pointing to better accomplishments than the silliness of the last week.
The whole thing between Kirk and McKenna was ruse designed specifically to smoke out Roskam; determine his commitment of support, and assess whether indeed he would succumb to the pressure to step into a primary to challenge Kirk.
Rich, Giannoulias had an awful day? Where do you come up w this stuff sometimes? Are you just going off on another one of your jags again? Alexi has a very good shot at locking this race down in the next week to ten days. He is rolling out new endorsements daily while both quivering knees Kennedy and Cheryl “Blago flack” Jackson sit on the sidelines waiting for the right moment. News to first time candidates, there is no right moment. You just have to do it. This will be the third race that Kennedy backed out of. Cheryl would be smart to just take a walk. It looks like Alexi is going to save himself several million dollars by avoiding a hotly contested primary. Yeah Rich, sounds like he is having an awful week. When are you going to stop doing the Speaker’s bidding?
The General election is almost 1 1/2 years away; that much is true.
The Primary is also about a 1/2 year away.
But petition gathering begins in about a month.
While it’s generally easy for even any given statewide candidate to gather enough signatures for ballot access, my point was that the people who will do such things (and those are the same people who will then go door-to-door when it’s 20° instead of 80°) are paying attention right now.
And I’m not sure where you think all those ad dollars are coming from. There are a whole slew of Republican Senate seats that need defending because they’re no longer safe. Then and only then it’s on to spending money for potential open seat pick-ups.
Will there be money? Sure. But part of Kirk’s own self-admitted strategy with regards to removing serious primary competition is to avoid spending money now.
If you look at the last few cycles’ worth of primaries, competitive primaries seem to end up helping the eventual nominee more than hurting due in part to the increased attention given to the policies and themes the primary candidates present through the media.
Kirk may think he’s saving money in avoiding a primary battle, but there may be a hidden cost to it as the Dems potentially have a chance to hold debates and increase name recognition (and take potshots against Kirk) ahead of their primary.
(And my completely uninformed guess is that the fewer candidates there are, the more likely Kennedy gets in, thereby instantly making it a competitive primary for Giannoulias.)
I beg to disagree. Seals may think he has a claim on the Dem nomination, but most Dems were totally disappointed with his second run. I think his time has passed and he’d be doing himself a favor by not running and losing in the Dem primary this time around. I don’t know who the front-runner is, but I think Bond and Garrett would both be strong candidates. Chris Kennedy would be too if he decides to pass on the Senate.