Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Afternoon campaign roundup: Giannoulias questioned, McKenna backtracks, Hoffman endorsed, Hynes wants ACT adjustment for vets, New Hamos ad
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Afternoon campaign roundup: Giannoulias questioned, McKenna backtracks, Hoffman endorsed, Hynes wants ACT adjustment for vets, New Hamos ad

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2009

* Democratic US Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias unveiled his financial services reform plan today and, as expected, was peppered with reporters’ questions about his own family’s bank

But he immediately was hit with questions about Broadway Bank, which faces huge defaults on loans for high-profile real estate deals, many of them out of state, even though Broadway is considered a neighborhood institution.

“You saw greed everywhere,” Mr. Giannoulias said in response to a question about Broadway. A moment later, he conceded that he personally approved loans for projects in Florida, New York and other states. But “hundreds” of community banks are dealing with similar woes that have driven many of them to insolvency, he added.

“I don’t think anyone even as smart as you could have foreseen” the near-total collapse of the economy and real estate market, Mr. Giannoulias said.

Mr. Giannoulias did not directly talk about what will happen to Broadway. But he said his brothers who run it are “concerned about the future. . . .I hope they can make it through.”

That forecast doesn’t sound good. I’m a bit surprised that the banking stuff didn’t find its way into the AP story. Then again, the AP didn’t even bother to cover the banking reform stuff, focusing instead on Blagojevich. Progress Illinois has a summation of Giannoulias’ plan

…the application of commercial banking regulations to non-bank lending institutions (think mortgage brokers and payday lenders) and the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a public exchange on which derivative transactions would be conducted, and an emergency bailout fund bankrolled by firms deemed “too big too fail.”

David Hoffman’s campaign responds…

Mr. Giannoulias continues to tout his experience as a banker, but based on his record he has no credibility. As Vice President and Chief Loan Officer of Broadway Bank, he was directly involved in several questionable loans. Further, he and other owners of the Broadway Bank received $70 million in dividends, just as the financial collapse was taking place, which has left the bank on the edge of insolvency.

Rather than offering warmed over proposals, he should come clean and let voters know whether he intends to put his portion of the $70 million back in the bank to avoid it being taken over by the FDIC.

That’s not as hard of a hit as I expected.

*** UPDATE *** From a press release…

Statement from Tom Bowen, campaign manager for U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias:

“The only candidate who is funding his campaign with bank money is David Hoffman. His holdings in JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were protected by the very TARP money and system Hoffman rails against. Now Hoffman has put $500,000 of that money into his campaign. Bailout dollars saved Hoffman’s investments and now he’s using that money to fund his campaign.”

[ *** End of Update *** ]

* Like Congressman Mark Kirk before him, Republican gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna is also backing away from his earlier over the top remarks on the proposed sale of Thomson prison

He said when it comes to turning northwestern Illinois’ Thomson Correctional Center into a federal prison he is not certain that either Quinn or President Obama have “explained the betterment of this move.”

“I see it as it being appropriate for it to be used as a federal prison but so much is being made of what prisoners be going to it that nobody is focusing on the jobs that would be created and how many,” McKenna said.

When the story first broke, McKenna sent out this statement

“As governor, I would not support this extreme plan and I call on the General Assembly to act swiftly and decisively to put a halt to Governor Quinn’s attempts to put terrorists in our neighborhoods.”

Quite the sea change in attitude.

McKenna also stressed his outsiderdom in a recent visit to Pontiac

McKenna, the former state Republican Party chairman, feels he will be bringing a new face to Springfield and by doing so can get a lot more done.

“I don’t have a crew that is already in Springfield with deals being made. There are a lot of good people in the race for governor but I, with no ties, can bring a new dimension,” McKenna said.

Um, Andy, didn’t House GOP Leader Tom Cross endorse you? Isn’t that a ready-made crew in Springfield?

* Speaking of Mark Kirk

A resolution that may come before RNC members in Jan. would have the effect of eliminating several prominent GOP recruits from receiving party money.

The resolution, offered by IN national committeeman Jim Bopp and nine fellow RNC members, would forbid the national party from spending money on candidates who do not meet at least 8 of 10 criteria set down as party principles.

Those principles include opposing abortion rights, opposing same-sex marriage, opposing the stimulus package and cap and trade bills and supporting surges in Iraq and Afghanistan and gun rights, among others.

Kirk would be excluded from being helped, but don’t expect that resolution to pass.

* Democratic US Senate candidate David Hoffman scored a pretty big endorsement today

Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle said Tuesday the political climate for Democrats is rough and “it’s going to get rougher.” Del Valle says he supports Hoffman because voters want a fresh face.

Del Valle says Hoffman has the best chance of beating Republican Congressman Mark Kirk.

Hoffman says he supports comprehensive immigration reform “as quickly as possible.”

* Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Hynes has a new veterans education plan

Hynes said his proposed legislation would require public colleges and universities to admit veterans over other students, if all other factors are equal. And veterans would get a bump in their ACT scores of several points, though Hynes said he didn’t know exactly how many yet.

A bump in their ACT scores? That kinda rubs me the wrong way. I don’t think we should be messing with those scores. Give veterans some additional cash, pave the way a bit for their entry, but we should probably leave their entrance exam scores alone.

* State Rep. Julie Hamos has a new TV ad in her 10th Congressional District bid. Rate it

* Related…

* Chicago Democrat Doyle running for treasurer

* The challenge to Ill. Rep. Deb Mell’s petitions

* Foster talks jobs, economy while visiting Aurora’s Hesed House

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - I'm just saying - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:47 pm:

    I don’t think you should be bumping up ACT Scores, either you make it in or you dont’, some folks are made for Northwestern, some folks aren’t, and if you let in the tweeners who coudlnt’ make the grade w/o the bump, you lower the educational curve, it’s not fair as a whole…..

  2. - well - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:53 pm:

    Alexi’s just walking into David Hoffman’s punches isn’t he?

  3. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

    Adding points to the ACT score seems pretty stupid. Is that going to mess with the percentiles for everyone? I’m fine with veterans getting a few extra points in the admissions process, but don’t mess with an official exam score.

  4. - I'm just saying - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

    I dont’ think the college Board would appreciate it either.. They may decertify ya….

  5. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

    Ditto on the ACT scores. These men and women have been through enough, don’t set them up for failure once they get into college. Dumb idea. I’m sure the College Board is having a collective hernia over this announcement.

  6. - Sewanee - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

    A bump in ACT scores is ridiculous. You think the ACT administrators would ever allow that? There are 900 more reasonable ways to help veterans get a good education.

  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:11 pm:

    “so much is being made of what prisoners be going to it” - Andy McKenna

    Makes you wonder what Andy be getting on his ACTs.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:12 pm:


    I’m hoping that was a typo.

  9. - OneMan - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:14 pm:

    Why the bump is a bad idea.

    Simple, you will be setting some vets up for failure. Great they get into U of I, but if they can’t cut the mustard they flunk out vs. going to a different state school where they could be successful.

    Really a bad idea Dan

  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:15 pm:

    === Alexi’s just walking into David Hoffman’s punches isn’t he? ===

    I almost said Hoffman hits like a girl, but every girl I know hits harder than that.

    Alexi should “come clean”? Really?

    What a tough guy. No wonder he couldn’t bag any high-level convictions at City Hall.

    “Yes, um, Mr. Daley sir…I mean Mayor…could you come clean?”


  11. - Deep South - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:17 pm:

    The state’s universities are already picking up the tab for veterans. The state, over time, has gradually cut back its committment to zero dollars. And geez, don’t screw with the ACTs. That’s just asking for trouble.

  12. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:17 pm:

    === I’m hoping that was a typo. ===

    Well, it is the Pontiac Daily Leader.

    It at least deserves a [sic].

  13. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:17 pm:

    I’m sure every north shore parent is going to be thrilled that not only do their kids get rejected from u of i because they didn’t pay off the right official, their kids now have to get in the mid 30’s to beat out dumber kids because they didn’t serve in the armed forces. The private sector awaits, dan.

    I’m already sick of Hamos using the holocaust to pander to jewish voters. Her team’s record in springfield is awful and her inability to understand Iran is frankly disturbing for an issue that’s been front and center for a decade. Obama is also at a 4 percent approval rating from Israelis.

    Hopefully his 5th place showing in the gop primary will be the last we ever hear or see of mckenna.

  14. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    ===“I don’t think anyone even as smart as you could have foreseen” the near-total collapse of the economy and real estate market, Mr. Giannoulias said.==

    Really? I recall reading people like Krugman, Stiglitz, and Roubini and they saw it coming. But why would a reputable banker making large real estate loans waste his time reading about the economy and real estate? Frightening to think this guy will lead our country into the same place he lead his family bank and the Bright Star program?

  15. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:24 pm:


    So Kirk’s pandering to Jewish voters over Iran is better than Hamos’ pandering over the Holocaust? Is that what you’re saying?

  16. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    YDD, it only gets a [sic] from me if I know it’s a typo. Don’t know yet.

  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:26 pm:

    ===I’m already sick of Hamos using the holocaust to pander to jewish voters. ===

    Take it easy, dude. It’s a legit part of her bio. She has a right to use it because her parents lived it.

  18. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:29 pm:

    Why bump veteran test scores and not their HS GPA?

    I recruited for the Navy med school scholarship program. The Navy had a formula that crunched the undergrad grades and MCAT scores. For applicants who had prior military service there was a big add on factor. It didn’t directly change the applicants grades or GPA, but it made a big difference.

  19. - fedup dem - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:30 pm:

    I thought the Hamos ad sounded very effective to me.

  20. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:33 pm:

    I’m aware. Neither Kirk nor Porter had any family members survive in the Holocaust yet both were able to hold forth on issues important to Israel. She can’t and it’s embarrassing. She’s also going to have to explain to jewish voters why she’s so tied to obama when Israelis hate him so much-not an easy thing for a democrat president to do. On Israel, she’s on the fringe of 10th district jews which will be very good if we get a serious guy or gal through against her.

    Her ethics fight is also more worthy of 2nd city, she’s a former lobbyist, her husband is apparently BFF with the speaker, she worked for mayor daley and she endorsed blago, twice. This is like fat albert claiming to be a credible spokesman for weight loss.

  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:35 pm:

    shore, she’s Jewish. What you’re trying to do here is pretty transparent. Take a Jew and try to turn her into an anti-Jew. Weird. I’ve seen it happen before, but it can easily backfire in a district like the 10th. Tread carefully, dude.

  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:36 pm:

    Also, you’re basing this entire Iran rant on one statement that really doesn’t fit your thesis.

  23. - Ben S. - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    Shore, also most Israelis can’t vote in the 10th…just saying.

  24. - Suzanne - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:50 pm:

    Anon is right. A lot of people knew this was coming and it doesn’t take a superior intellect to understand why. Highly leveraged systems are highly vulnerable. No mystery.

  25. - TTL, III - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 3:52 pm:

    Since when is Miguel del Valle a big endorsement?

    Can’t imgaine that da Mare is too happy with Miguel today.

  26. - Responsa - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:02 pm:

    I would bet that most 10th district voters are not particularly suseptible to traditional and obvious identity politics pandering and in fact, find it offensive. The fund raisers for political candidates around here can be pretty “big tent”. Just because one happens to be a practicing Jew does not mean that you may not see your interests, the world, (and therefore politics) quite differently depending, for instance, on if you are a trial lawyer, a doctor, a limo driver, an educator, a musician, a recent immigrant from the former Soviet Union, or a small business owner.

  27. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:03 pm:

    I posted a statement. It didn’t go through.

    Ben S, you are right, dead goldfish do and apparently thanks to obama’s stimulus package we learned that 179 people that don’t exist in wilmette got jobs that don’t exist. However the district is militantly pro-Israel and very hawkish -much more likud than labor, and won’t stand for Hamos’s ambivalence.

  28. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:03 pm:

    YDD, for me watching politics is a hobby. But I truely scratch my head wondering who is running the Giannouias and Hoffman campaigns. Those two seem to step in it daily and are then so unprepared to get it off their shoes. Somehow they want me to believe they are Batman and Robin who can bet Kirk? They look more like pretzels with capes to me.

  29. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:05 pm:

    God Bless our veterans but Dan Hynes’ plan is nothing more than political pandering. With all due respect, every candidate constantly tries to come up with the newest idea for vets (i.e. lotto tickets).

    How about we honor them by showing up at Veteran’s Day parades, use GI scholarships, and work with employers who hire them.

    Changing SAT and ACT scores is ridiculous.

  30. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:13 pm:

    DOD spent something like 16 billion dollars in advertising to get recruits last year. they lop 50 million of that off-they could provide tutoring to veterans or active duty. that’s a better idea.

    This idea earns a nomination for dumbest campaign pledge of the season.

  31. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:15 pm:

    “I don’t have a crew that is already in Springfield with deals being made. There are a lot of good people in the race for governor but I, with no ties, can bring a new dimension,” McKenna said….
    Wow! First TugBoat Outsider cries, pouts and calls for Daddy’s help with the Trib.

    Now he slaps StateWideTom, Skipper, Princess Rosemary and the rest of the crew across the schnooze.
    Not very Thanksgiving-like Tugboat. Maybe Daddy should keep Tugboat’s TV allowance for awhile.

  32. - Ben S. - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:18 pm:

    Shore, you assume that every Jewish voter in the district is a single-issue voter…which they are not. Your spinning doesn’t change the fact that every candidate in the race, with the exception of the white supremacist Mayers, will be a reliable vote for supporting Israel. To pretend otherwise is foolish if not blatantly dishonest.

  33. - Reformer - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:25 pm:

    After that dramatic flip on Thomson, I hope Andy never criticizes Quin for changing his mind.

    Julie’s commercial does a good job of introducing her as an active and effective Democrat, just what primary voters are looking for.

  34. - grand old partisan - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 4:57 pm:

    Re: McKenna on Thompson: I don’t believe any of the people who came out against the idea of using Thompson for Gitmo detainees are categorically against selling the facility to the feds (as long as we get a good deal for it, of course). Granted, it’s a pointless distinction to make, since the feds aren’t going to accept a deal with pre-conditions on what they can do with the facility. But that’s the whole point. They could have just made a straight, relatively uncontroversial bid for Thompson and then brought in whoever they wanted after the fact. But then they would have had to deal with the political backlash without the shield/bludgeon of job creation to use against their opponents next fall.

  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 5:07 pm:

    I bet there are a few Dems who are kicking themselves for not getting in the Senate race (Sheriff Dart?).

    In this winter of economic discontent, banks are bad news, and sketchy banks are even worse news. I don’t think the public has locked in on Broadway Bank, but I think they will before it’s all over.

    Hoffman reminds me of guys I used to work with from Accenture. Highliy-focused, engergized, rational and methodical. But retail politics? Not so much.

    Jackson, to me, would have been a heckuva candidate without the Blago connection. If she can get over that, and get televised debates, she might make some noise before it’s all over.

  36. - walter sobchak - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 8:52 pm:

    I bit late in the day I know to comment on Hamos’ add, but here goes: I, and most voters, are sick of these cookie cutter ads. They are all of the same cloth. If they are designed to put everyone to sleep and encourage low turn out so interests groups influences are what elections are all about then full marks to her. I personally will never vote for anyone who uses ‘fighting’ ‘fight’ in an ad or speech. A pox on all who use such words to gin up the gin up-able.

  37. - Displaced Chicagoian - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 9:38 pm:

    Alexi Giannoulias is not a viable option for Illinois. He is the definition of unelectable in the fall. Illinois wants to put the Blago/Rezko era of politics in the past, and Alexi Giannoulias has family ties to Tony Rezko. Illinois Dems do not need to nominate another Democrat whose name can even be mentioned in the same breath as the former Governor and his cronies. The only way to defeat Mark Kirk, and keep Illinois as the Democratic stronghold that it is, is to nominate the sensible candidate, the breath of fresh air in this state, David Hoffman. Hoffman, a corruption fighter in his many years of public service, is the only one who can beat Kirk, and is the kind of Democrat and Senator that this embattled state needs. The support of City Clerk De Valle speaks volumes, as De Valle is the second highest elected office in the city government. Take a look at David Hoffman, and let’s send this great man to the Senate!

  38. - Garp - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:01 pm:

    I think Hynes got a bump to his head before he concocted his bump to vets ACT scores idea. Maybe all their test scores should be graded on a curve throughout their entire stint in college? That will produce some fine graduates.

    I know Quinn is ahead on veteran issues but at least think before pandering. Maybe Hynes could offer free public transportation rides?

  39. - Downstate - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:53 pm:


    I don’t know if you have checked into this or not, but the information last week about the 340 former Gitmo detainees supposedly in Bureau of Prison facilities is total crap.

    There aren’t 40 former detainees at Marion and never have been. I checked.

    I’m totally opposed to giving constitutional rights to battlefield detainees including criminal trials. Obama will live to regret this (hopefully just politically, and not through more acts of terrorism).

    Having said that, once they’re in the system, or at least in the country, I’m inclined to buy the arguments of bringing them to Illinois.

    However the so-called “facts” our state administration is using in its arguments are false. This is too important a matter to get the details wrong.

  40. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 09 @ 11:55 pm:

    ===340 former Gitmo detainees supposedly in Bureau of Prison facilities is total crap. ===

    Um, no. That’s terrorists, not Gitmo detainees.

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