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D-Day for Giannoulias

Friday, Apr 23, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The FDIC’s deadline for Broadway Bank to find $85 million in new capitalization expires today, so Alexi Giannoulias’ family bank could get “eated” later this afternoon

If a bidder has not been found for the Giannoulias family’s Broadway Bank, today could be the day federal and state regulators walk in and shut it down.

Nearly 90 days ago, the bank entered into a consent decree with government officials in which bank officials agreed to try to raise $85 million to recapitalize the bank. […]

It could be the FDIC found another bank willing to buy Broadway Bank. Broadway Bank officials won’t know until the regulators arrive.

Or regulators could wait another week past Monday’s 90-day deadline.

* If the seizure does happen today, you can expect a gigantified firestorm as hostile reporters and pundits try to force US Senate candidate Giannoulias off the statewide ticket. Politico set the tone with a story about how the White House refused to commit to getting the president involved in the campaign

At the moment, the White House seems open to the idea of losing Obama’s old seat rather than putting the president’s prestige on the line for Giannoulias, the brash and boyish Illinois state treasurer — and onetime Obama basketball buddy — whose campaign has been rocked by the financial meltdown of his family’s bank.

Durbin said Emanuel was sympathetic to his pleas but ultimately noncommittal, telling him that the White House was “considering the race, weighing their options and weighing a decision on what to do.”

Politico reports that Giannoulias wasn’t even told that President Obama could be visiting Quincy soon, although the publication noted that other congressional candidates are grumbling about the same lack of communication from the White House. The publication also claims that it’s an “open secret” that the White House is watching to see if a bank failure forces Giannoulias out of the race before deciding what to do.

Sen. Dick Durbin was the focus of the article, and he was clearly trying to call out Obama for his inaction. But Durbin, who is Giannoulias’ campaign chairman, wasn’t exactly a 100 percenter today either…

To an extent, Durbin’s political stock is tied to Giannoulias’s, Democratic insiders say. As chairman of the campaign, Durbin could take some blame for a Giannoulias loss — just as he gears up for a possible majority leader’s race against New York Sen. Chuck Schumer this fall, and just as Schumer could get credit for helping guide New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s path to a likely victory.

But Durbin dismissed such talk, saying he expects Reid to win his reelection in Nevada and continue as majority leader. And he distanced himself from the problems of the candidate.

“There’s certain things I can control, certain things I can’t control,” Durbin said. “I’m not the candidate; someone else is. I can give advice and try to analyze this as best I can. Ultimately, Alexi has to make these decisions personally.”

That sound you just heard was the thump of Durbin throwing his little buddy under the bus.

The Giannoulias people say that this isn’t the first time he’s been under pressure to drop out of a campaign. When he first ran for state treasurer four years ago, Speaker Madigan tried to force him out so that his own candidate could win unopposed. After Giannoulias won the primary, reporters and pundits took notice that Madigan still seemed rather hostile to Giannoulias (because of allegations about the bank) and was distancing the state party from him. Then, last year when the White House was openly courting Lisa Madigan and others to run, Giannoulias was pressured in the media to drop off the ticket.

Through it all, he has perservered, and the candidate believes that come election day six months from now the bank failure will be old news and not a big deal.

The problem with that theory is that the state’s political reporters and pundits are infinitely more hostile to Giannoulias than anybody currently running for office here. They don’t show any signs of letting up, either. And the fire-roasting they are preparing for Giannoulias today will be a sight to behold

Giannoulias’ campaign won’t talk specifically about the strategy for dealing with a bank failure. Spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said he will focus on the economy and creating jobs, arguing that the bank’s problems are not major issue for some people.

“We are going to keep talking to voters about what matters to them most,” she said.

Changing the subject won’t be easy.

“You can’t overcome that … especially Giannoulias, who four years ago ran for treasurer touting his experience and expertise. I mean, you can’t have it both ways,” said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. “This is going to be an indelible stain on him.”

* Also today, the Tribune published an op-ed by Giannoulias’ banker brother

Over the past few years, we made decisions that — though sound at the time — resulted in a high level of nonperforming assets. We have paid a significant price for those decisions, but we can survive and, given time, thrive. To do this, we do not need assistance from taxpayers; all we need is patience from regulators. Where big banks got a bailout, all we ask is to be allowed to live, with the capital we have, until the market turns around — as it already has for the big banks.

There is little risk to such an approach and much to gain. Current regulators are relying on an outdated belief that a bank in trouble on some capital ratios should be shut down quickly as the most cost-effective solution. But most of today’s troubled institutions have low levels of capital because they are forced to value assets in the worst possible light at the worst possible time, and to realize these losses immediately. Given the global conditions, it is difficult to see how closing banks early is a lower-cost option. Why force a sale when the market is at the bottom? […]

We are not asking for a bailout, just time to turn things around. Our bank, our customers and our communities are all experiencing a great economic dislocation. Wall Street banks got taxpayer money to survive — all we seek is a chance to pull ourselves up.

We may not be too big to fail, but we shouldn’t be deemed too small to live.

The bank is currently turning a profit, so his ideas do make some sense. Lots of small banks are being gobbled up by the very same “too big to fail” institutions that got hundreds of billions in government bailouts - making them even bigger at a fraction of market rates because these post-seizure fire sales are quite yummy for them. But it’s highly doubtful that he has swayed the FDIC at all.


  1. - Tom B. - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 9:51 am:

    That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger.

  2. - well - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:06 am:

    ==That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger. ==

    Except when it kills you. Then you’re dead.

  3. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:06 am:

    Is that David Hoffman warming up in the bull pen?

  4. - Joe Kotlarz Fan Club - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:08 am:

    Would Hoffman be eligible to run? I thought there was an Illinois law forbidding someone who ran and lost for an office in the primary from running for that same office in the fall. Does this not apply to a federal race?

  5. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:10 am:

    Regardless of whether the bank fails, this year will be a difficult year to sell a young banker to the voters.

  6. - the Patriot - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:13 am:

    Mike wants him out, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is out. I am not convinced Lisa doesn’t take the seat.

    She can go to the Senate and if things turn around still run for Governor in 4 years. If they don’t she has 6 years to figure out what she wants to do.

    Lisa is a shoe in to beat Kirk. Hard not to take that job if you can get it with the uncertainty at the state level, not to mention the DNC would owe you for saving a seat for them.

  7. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:17 am:

    It seems the failure of Broadway Bank is a given. So fellow CapFaxers- What are the odds that Giannoulias will be on the ballot in November? My guess is he will be gone by June.

  8. - Independent - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:18 am:

    For those who think Alexi has no chance simply look back four years when Illinoisans re-elected another charismatic empty suit. I don’t think that lesson has sunk in.

  9. - Steve - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    In honor of Broadway Bank, here’s a flashback to Obama’s TV for Alexi.

  10. - AnonToo - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:23 am:

    Mike wants him out, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is out. I am not convinced Lisa doesn’t take the seat.

    She can go to the Senate and if things turn around still run for Governor in 4 years. If they don’t she has 6 years to figure out what she wants to do.

    Lisa is a shoe in to beat Kirk. Hard not to take that job if you can get it with the uncertainty at the state level, not to mention the DNC would owe you for saving a seat for them.

    This would be devistating. Not only would it significantly boost the chances of the Dems keeping the US Senate seat, the ILGOP put up a token candidate for AG this year. Joe Birkett declined to run because Lisa Madigan was going to remain as AG. There’s zero chance the GOP would be able to pick up the AG slot.

  11. - "Old Timer Dem" - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:24 am:

    Mike probably wants to see Alexi in Washington where he is out of the way. Lisa will never get involved in any race where there is even a remote chance she could lose especially this year. Remember, the main focus this year for the Madigans is retaining the majority and the Speakership.

  12. - Segatari - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:24 am:

    The Dems sure are overturning a lot of primary elections this year in their desperation to contain the damage of their looming landslide defeat with a lot of angry voters just waiting to give them the boot. Alexi should stay on the ballot and face the music.

  13. - fyi - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    Sure, Hoffman could be a ballot replacement for the same office he sought in the primary. You’re thinking of a different prohibition.

    Think Art Turner (2nd place finisher) who sought the Lite Gov spot after Cohen dropped out.

  14. - irish - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    Once again the mainstream media with an agenda is affecting the direction of the government. In deciding what to cover and what not to cover, and in deciding who to make look good and who to ostracize main stream media is most responsible for a lot of the failings of our sustem.
    What did this young banker actually do to cause the failure of his bank? What is he guilty of that is different from the CEOs of the Goldman Sachs, and AIG’s that we rewarded with billions of dollars they ended up taking and then later giving themselves bonuses with their profits?
    So the party line is that maybe he made some bad decisions in loans. The same thing was done by hundreds of other institutions all across the State. Has he tried to hire a friend at $85,000.00 to a newly created position at a time when people in real need are being ignored? Is his ignorance of the fiscal situation so great that he talks of eliminating the deficit by using the surplus?
    Has he worked to preserve jobs in this State? Yes! What is one of the most important things facing the State? Joblessness. So he appears to be doing more than most of the other candidates. Nuff said.

  15. - OneMan - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:31 am:

    ==We have paid a significant price for those decisions ==

    But you guys cashed out, so not as significant as it could have been

  16. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    If I were Obama, I would keep my distance from Illinois. There’s nothing good going on here for him.

  17. - OneMan - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    == This would be devistating. Not only would it significantly boost the chances of the Dems keeping the US Senate seat, the ILGOP put up a token candidate for AG this year. Joe Birkett declined to run because Lisa Madigan was going to remain as AG. There’s zero chance the GOP would be able to pick up the AG slot. ==

    Nothing says you couldn’t get the AG candidate to step down and put Joe in…

  18. - Brennan - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:35 am:

    The Giannoulias Family will gain from a failure of Broadway Bank. Alexi may not be much of a Senate candidate, but he does know how to profit from losses.

    Somebody page Sam Zell.

  19. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:38 am:

    What are the relevant facts here?

    1. Alexi Giannoulias is the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.
    2. Giannoulias owns 3.6% of his father’s bank.
    3. The bank invested heavily in commercial real estate.
    4. A national banking/real estate crisis hit the U.S. economy requiring massive action by the federal government.
    5. Hundreds of banks across the country failed.
    6. The crisis in banking and real estate is not over.
    7. To remain solvent federal regulators told Broadway the bank would have to be re-capitalized to the tune of $70 million.
    8. No investor(s) offered to re-capitalize Broadway.

    What aspects of the facts reflect negatively on Giannoulias? What decision did Giannoulias make that reflects poorly on his judgment? What did Giannoulias do that is unethical or illegal? How does this matter compromise Giannoulias future decisions?

  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:39 am:

    This, again, could be another example of the ILGOP out-smarting themselves;

    “Run some guys against Lisa and Jesse, we can give that up, and run real hard for Senate and Guv and take what we can get.”

    Well ….

    If the Dems get to 86 Alexi, and choose someone specifically geared to taking out Kirk, all the while, the ILGOP, basically, giving up Kirk’s congressional seat, giving the Dems ANOTHER win here in IL, and maybe even outflank candidate Kim for AG if Lisa takes that Senate nomination, giving the Dems a chance to bring someone solid against Kim and adding to the Dem stable, so …what has the ILGOP gained.

    The Dems have the possibility of:

    Marginalizing Kirk, and winning a seat that was seen as a loser race for the Dems.

    Strengthen the statewide ticket with LISA on top, (Remember the Madigan Rules), while saving the AG seat with a stronger candidate then the GOP Kim, which Kim is unknown even to some of his family for Cripes sake.

    Adding a downstate AG candidate, on its own as a plus because a downstater can help the overall ticket, something the Dems failed to do thus far …

    The ILGOP just can NOT win with Alexi out.

  21. - John Bambenek - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    If you lost in the primary, you cannot file petitions as a third party or indy for the general. But the party can slate you if there is a vacancy.

    The sore loser clause is for people who bolt the party after losing.

  22. - Desert Dweller - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:46 am:

    If somehow Lisa replaces Alexi on the ballot, Hynes would be a good choice to fill the AG slot.

  23. - well - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    Alexi hates Mike and Lisa Madigan. If you guys think he’s dropping out so Lisa can get in, you’re dreaming.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    Jack! Ryan says “Once you drop out, you should have a say who replaces you.”

  25. - OneMan - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    == The ILGOP just can NOT win with Alexi out. ==

    Yeah, keeping telling yourself that…

  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    OneMan …

    Be realistic, right NOW, the ILGOP have given up on AG and SOS (sorry to be so frank, but let’s lay some cards on the table if we are talking about the Alexi senerio)… the Kirk Seat is not specifically “In Play”, and the one of 2 races (Senate and Guv) that should not only be in play, but winnable by the ILGOP will be revamped by the Dems to take it to Kirk, without the Alexi baggage …

    Being realistic, means seeing what is really out there, not what you WISH is out there…

  27. - (Formerly) Angry Republican - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    Yes please force Alexi to drop out; that will guarantee a GOP landslide in November. First SLC, then Alexi G, then Quinn, heck why not replace all of your candidates? It’s not like the citizens of Illinois want any voice in government.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    Kirk Seat = congressional seat

  29. - A.B, - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    I do think it is safe to say that on an even playing field, Lisa Madigan vs. Kirk does not bode well for Kirk. However, in this situation, when Lisa would be a minimum of $3 Million behind and without an existing Senate campaign infrastructure it would be tougher.

    Additionally, we all know that the Republicans would be hammering the message of “democrats taking away the rights / voice of the voter” and that message would do damage.

    I would not be willing to bet it would be enough for Kirk to win, but ultimately the state / national climate can have a heavy impact.

    One does need to consider the long term implications of moves like these. The Democrats are currently reeling from a long line of negativity in Illinois. It might be smarter to keep Lisa in the AG’s office for one more term, knowing that the political climate will be less toxic in 4 years, when she can be basically assured of the top of the ticket win for the Governor’s mansion. Her coattails in that race would be very powerful.

    If she runs for Senate and loses today, the one future rockstar for the Democrats might be damaged beyond repair and those afore mentioned coattails would be significantly shorter.

  30. - Former Card Carrying Repub - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    Senate seat.

  31. - Nikoli - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    Everyone is making the assumption that Lisa even wants to run for the Senate. I seem to recall a while back she laid out her reasons for staying at the Attorney General’s office.

  32. - Segatari - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    I’m amazed the people here actually believe with the Dems disaster of running government in the state and the nation that they are ready to keep and reward these guys with yet another term to continue to perform miserably. The logic doesn’t flow Willy.

  33. - siriusly - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:20 am:

    Hoffman would be a good candidate against Kirk (told you so everyone!) sorry, hate to do it again, and again, and again. He’d be able to easily jump into the race - having already campaigned for it this year.

    Even if Durbin / DSCC wanted someone with more star power - they have very few viable options. Art Turner? Raja? They can’t handle the Kirk.

    Maybe Claypool shouldn’t have jumped ship on his party. Oh well.

  34. - Just Wondering - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    I don’t think Lisa would lose. As for being behind in campaign funds…what does she have on hand now and can it be transfered to a senate race? I think she has the ability to raise significant money quickly.

    I don’t think the electorate, especially Dems will care that 2 primary winner got knocked off the ballot. In this case, voters get the chance to support a much better candidate and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

    Interesting scenerio but not so sure it will happen and I’m not so sure Lisa really wants it.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:21 am:


    Is Danny Hynes Dad STILL on the National DNC Leadership?

  36. - chuckT - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:23 am:

    Hey, just in time for the Greek Independence Day parade Sunday!

  37. - A.B, - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    My understanding is that state race funds cannot be moved to a campaign for a US Senate or House race.

  38. - well - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:33 am:

    ==My understanding is that state race funds cannot be moved to a campaign for a US Senate or House race. ==

    You understand correct.

  39. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:38 am:

    If the primary was held today, I bet David Hoffman would win by a lot anyway.

    There won’t be squawking from the Dem side when Alexi is replaced on the ballot. That sound you hear will be a sigh of relief from Dems, and a girlish shriek of fear from Mark Kirk.

  40. - Captain Streeter - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:44 am:

    somebody call Alan Keyes!!! Then Kirk can win, and become Pres like Oblago

  41. - Robert - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:47 am:

    While I think the dems would more likely win wiht another candidate rather than Alexi, I’m failing to understand the upside for Alexi of dropping out. Unlike SLC, where he might have been worried about tax investigation and criminal charges, Alexi’s worst worry seems to be humiliation, which he isn’t afraid of. If he drops out in disgrace, how does he have a future in politics? His only chance is to continue spending his millions in hopes that voters will choose a reliable democrat vote in the senate. So why would he drop out?

  42. - Fed up - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:54 am:

    Alexi might hate the Madigans but a phone call from Obama will get Alexi to step aside and do what’s best for the party.

  43. - ABCBoy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:56 am:

    ==As for being behind in campaign funds…what does she have on hand now and can it be transfered to a senate race? I think she has the ability to raise significant money quickly.

    No, she can’t transfer the funds. But the DNC would be so relieved that they’d rush in with a ton of cash. Not to mention Daddy’s ability to shake the money tree. The main down-side would be any in-state cash Quinn would be significantly dried up by a Lisa senate push. Might not need a big ground game. She has great name ID and could run an air-war of pure attack ads on Kirk. Then rely on the unions etc. to GOTV with the rest of the ticket. She could very well pick up the seat that way. But it wouldn’t be a lock given the mood this year–it would simply put the seat “back in play.”

    Be realistic, right NOW, the ILGOP have given up on AG and SOS… the Kirk Seat is not specifically “In Play”, and the one of 2 races (Senate and Guv) that should not only be in play, but winnable by the ILGOP will be revamped by the Dems to take it to Kirk, without the Alexi baggage …

    The AG seat and SOS will both be lost unless, as somebody said, the ILGOP were to stick Birkett in lieu of Kim. But that would erode their critique of the dems “ignoring the will of the voters.” To be fair the GOP SOS candidate Enriquez is a pretty strong candidate–immigrant, former marine, geat stump speaker. He’s vastly under-funded against Jesse White, but if he wants he’ll be a very credible candidate in future cycles.

    I think Dold has the edge in the CD10th vs. Seals. Seals is now a 3rd time candidate. Dold is a Kirk clone and has the ability to fundraise out of DC.

  44. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:58 am:

    A big D.C. appointment from Obama and Alexi suffers no shame.

  45. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 11:58 am:

    This is the ONLY way Alexi! mirrors Jack!, in so far as that they both were isolated and left to hang out to dry, and if Alexi! wants to spend all that Broadway Bank cash, on his own without any Dem help, and then get pummeled and be out the millions to run, and then possibly LOSE because he is using Broadway Bank money, then you stay in.

    Jack! had considerably more money, more “personal” embarrassment than Alexi!, for sure, and seen as sleezy on a personal level. The fact that both find/found themselves with cell phones not ringing from support from the national parties or senate campaign committees, there is your symmetry.

    At some point, this is a “financial” decision for Alexi! and the gamble of the $$$, along with zero support from the state and federal party and the White House being no help will make Alexi! think of this only as a money decision.

    At what point do you spend the Broadway Bank money to prove a point, even if that point is that you won’t go away… and then lose?

    Alexi!, like Jack! is a “financial” guy … if the dollars do not make “cents”, then Alexi! goes the way of Jack!

  46. - Robert - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:00 pm:

    @just sayin - Aside from being smart enough to keep Alexi as far as possible from a spreadsheet or a calculator, I don’t see Obama offering Alexi anything - this would look really ugly to Obama to offer Alexi a govt post in exchange for dropping out.

  47. - Abe Froman - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:01 pm:

    Political types mya be over reacting to this. The Giannoulias family telegraphed this pretty well months ago. It won’t be a big shock to the public. It won’t improve Alexi’s positon, but it’s hardly earth-shattering.

  48. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:02 pm:

    If Alexi Giannoulias hasn’t done anything wrong or his transgression is very minor, why would he drop from the race?

    Look at people who have been pressured to quit.

    Which one is Giannoulias analogous to?

    Scott Lee Cohen? Jack Ryan? Robert Toricelli?

  49. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:02 pm:

    ===To be fair the GOP SOS candidate Enriquez is a pretty strong candidate–immigrant, former marine, geat stump speaker. He’s vastly under-funded against Jesse White, but if he wants he’ll be a very credible candidate in future cycles.===

    Translation - Yeah, he, like Kim, is toast this time too.

  50. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    Who thinks it’s more likely Giannoulias will quit than stay on the ticket?

    Is there anybody with a track record on Capitol Fax Blog who thinks Giannoulias will quit?

  51. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:06 pm:

    Well of course Obama can’t be dumb enough to make it a quid pro quo. Alexi drops out. He then needs a job. The law doesn’t say you have to lose first.

  52. - Conservative Republican - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:11 pm:

    Press firestorm? I think Alexi helps stoke it, particularly with comments like the one last week in which he stated he wanted to serve on the SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE given (again!) his professional experience with the travails of smaller banks! All I have to say is, LOL

    The guy is an empty suit, just like Blago…

  53. - A.B, - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    Ok, but folks you are still missing the money issue.

    Kirk has $3 million on hand. Lisa would be starting at ZERO.

    The national Dems would bring money, but the GOP would as well.

    Being three million behind and needing to catch up in the next 90 days would be daunting at best. It’s not like Kirk isn’t known in Illinois or nationally. His fund raising efforts and support do make a daunting hurdle for Lisa. This would be a helluva a race with a ton of money spent.

  54. - Team America - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:26 pm:

    LM resisted the hard sell from the WH before the primary. What more can they say now that they didn’t say before?

    Alexi’s ego is plenty big enough to take this bruising, as he figures by fall the bank seizure will be old news. Heck considering everyone expects it, it will be old news by next week (assuming it happens today) and it’ll be all Blago, all the time, for the next few months.

  55. - Lefty in Wrigleyvillve - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    All the people crying for Alexi to drop out need to chill out– we all knew this day was coming when the FDIC report on Broadway came out. The only difference today is that Alexi is behind in all the polls (within the margin) and people are scared.

    There are two things still going for Alexi:
    Illinois is still a blue state and he’s got 6 months.

  56. - Grant 39 - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    TA makes a good point. Voters have short memories, and this will soon fade into the Blago circus. AG has taken a bruising, but unless there is a smoking gun, this is not fatal, especially in a pretty blue state. While not a fan, people underestimated AG to their chagrin in ‘06 in both the primary and the general.

  57. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Lefty …

    I hope you are right. Kirk winning will only help the GOP win the Guv’s Mansion and the Trasurer and Comptroller race …

    If Alexi! stays, Kirk should have a 30 second spot, with a black and white shot of cars passing by an empty Broadway Bank across the street. Alexi! speaking about how he worked hard at Broadway Bank and all his “best” quotes about being a part of Broadway Bank. The camera gets closer and closer, focusing on the sign “Bank Seized” on the front door in the last 5 seconds of the ad.

    Broadway Bank will never go away. Do you think the depositors will just “forget”? You think Kirk won’t find any that will be willing to talk about Broadway Bank?

    I can only hope you are correct Lefty.

  58. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===Do you think the depositors will just “forget”?===

    Any depositor who still has more money in that bank than the FDIC will cover is a complete fool. I’m figuring the depositors will be fine.

  59. - Living in Oklahoma - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:56 pm:

    I dont care who runs on the Dem ticket. As long as Kirk Loses. Someone get Hoffman on the phone.

  60. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:56 pm:

    just sayin’ at 11:38. “…girlish shriek of fear…” is a sexist
    statement. please don’t make such statements.

  61. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 12:57 pm:


    All true … the hyperbole of “my bank failed” and putting a face to it is the spin, that was my angle, not the anger of money that was NOT lost due to FDIC insurance. Looking at it in just a political spin viewer

  62. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:00 pm:

    All you armchair propagandists are either lying or engaging in wishful thinking.

    Giannoulias ain’t quitting. And none of you think he is quitting.

    You’re just being part of the noise machine because you want your Kirk points or for whatever reason you do it.

    Not one person here thinks Giannoulias is quitting the race. It’s just noise manufactured by political partisans.

  63. - Squideshi - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    It’s funny how corporations are considered legal persons and people say they–the corporations themselves as persons–have rights; but when they make mistakes, these are somehow “people” who aren’t responsible for their own actions–we now need to blame someone else–the real living breathing people BEHIND the legal fiction.

  64. - Logical Thinker - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    Let’s look at it another way: WHY WOULD ALEXI STAY ON THE BALLOT?

    After you finish typing your answers, read them to yourself and ask “is this any different than the rationale given for Scott Lee Cohen staying on the ballot?”

    When you answer “NO” to yourself, you’ll delete the post and realize that Alexi has as much of a chance of being the nominee in November as I do.

    He’s through. And he probably knows it.

  65. - Living in Illinois - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:12 pm:

    I don’t think Alexi is going to drop out. Afterall, he still has $1mm + in his campaign fund and there would be a terrible fight to replace him on the ticket. I think he will weather this storm and we will see him on the ballot in Nov.

  66. - Brennan - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:17 pm:

    =Alexi drops out. He then needs a job. The law doesn’t say you have to lose first.=

    That ship ain’t sailing. Not after the news of the offer from the White House to Joe Sestak in the PASEN race and Andrew Romanoff in the COSEN race.

    Obama won’t be able to buy Alexi out of this race.

  67. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:17 pm:

    Logical thinker, that was truly silly. Scott Lee Cohen allegedly knifed a woman and beat his wife. You’re comparing that to what, exactly?

  68. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    Logical Thinker, are you predicting Giannoulias will quit?

    And when did you start posting on Capitol Fax Blog as “Logical Thinker”?

  69. - 71 - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    I wonder if Chris Kennedy is looking in the rear-view mirrow with any regret at this point. He could have put together a very formidable statewide candidacy, and I’m sorry he didn’t.

  70. - 10th Indy - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    Alexi isn’t going anywhere. If stays in and loses he can regroup, run again, get an appointment in the administration, all of the above. If he drops out he confirms he is tainted - much harder to recover from that than a loss. And then again, he just might win, although I doubt it.

  71. - 71 - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:37 pm:

    Is Kennedy warming up in the bullpen? I hope he at least throws a few pitches.

  72. - jaded voter - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    Alexi G is dead in the water. Mark Kirk is a real candidate whether you like him or not. [not keen on him] Alexi is a liteweight joke. It is ridiculous that this is what the DEMs saw a their “young up & comer”.

    Alexi G is a blank slate, a rich kid who knows how to wear a fine cut suit. We are up to our eyeballs in these types. We need much more substance in the US Senate. Perhaps you haven’t noticed that our State and our country have real problems. We are in trouble and need thoughful men & women of heft to get a handle on things.

    Alexi G, the weak swimmer was in way over his head and in trouble BEFORE the banking scandal. David Hoffman was a legitimate candidate. He could have won the seat in Nov.

    Remember, garbage in garbage out.

  73. - "Old Timer Dem" - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    Alexi is not going anywhere unless Obama or Axelrod ask him to drop out. Broadway Bank was failing was factored into the equation in his campaign long ago. They only hope it happens sooner rather than just before Nov. 2nd. Even if Alexi did leave Lisa is not replacing him on the ballot. No way. Not now. Puts too much spotlight again on Dad when he needs less scrutiny by the media not more in order to maintain his Democratic majority.

  74. - Adam Smith - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:42 pm:

    It’s a no-win for the Dems. Trying to replace Alexi would be a PR disaster for the Dems. There is no clear alternative and infighting would ensue. Also, unless you have personal money, no one can wave a magic wand and raise $3 million, especially to try to mount a late, come-from behind race against a solid candidate. Anyone thinking about the race would have to remember that it will take place in the shadow of Blago’s trial and with the state in disasterous shape.

    Alexi has been spinning this story for over a month and while it has certainly hurt his campaign, I don’t think he’s dead yet.

  75. - Bubs - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:52 pm:

    I think “Old Timer Dem” has it about right. Alexi stays unless the WH intervenes.

  76. - Logical Thinker - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 1:55 pm:


    You used the word ALLEGEDLY in your response about Cohen. You’re right; he was found guilty of nothing. It was all the perception of possible wrong-doings that did him in.

    Compare that to Alexi: In a political and economic climate that is very anti-bailout and very acutely aware of the ALLEGED ills of the banking community, you have a candidate on the ticket who is the very example of poor decision making. It is hypocritical of him to stand up and say that he is going to take on Washington insiders and the banking community and then profit to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars from a failed bank. Broadway Bank took $147 Million in dividends over the past several years. At best, this shows very poor judgement.

    One more thing: perhaps the reason Obama and the people around the state aren’t running to Alexi’s defense is that maybe they know a lot more of the real story and they don’t want anything to do with it. I suspect that we’re just at the beginning stages and people like Emanuel, Axelrod, and Durbin know it.

  77. - fed up - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 2:17 pm:

    What aspects of the facts reflect negatively on Giannoulias? What decision did Giannoulias make that reflects poorly on his judgment? What did Giannoulias do that is unethical or illegal? How does this matter compromise Giannoulias future decisions?

    Carl, Alexi was the person making these loans that failed. Alexi was making loans to convicted members of organized crime. Alexi has made millions from this bank while knowing full well the bank would fail and others would get stuck with the tab.

  78. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 2:24 pm:

    fed up, put up or shut up.

    Do you predict Alexi will quit the race?

  79. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 2:25 pm:

    For all the people running there mouths, not one of you has been able to say, “I predict Giannoulias will quit the race.”

    You know why no one has said it?

    B/c it ain’t gonna happen.

  80. - fed up - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 2:48 pm:

    No he is staying in and losing Carl, I was just mentioning what you forgot to mention in your so called facts.

    P.S. like everthing else in politics it can change quickly. When the FDIC takes over Broadway and is looking at the books maybe somethings will come out that will help Alexi return to the private sector or want to spend more time with his family. Once the Bank fails and is no longer controlled by Alexi’s family it might be easier to get an idea on who is at fault and what role Alexi had in this meltdown.

  81. - A.B, - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    Let me get this straight, everyone one making their comments on this blog are somehow wrong because they won’t make a prediction? However, we are all commenting on post which states:

    “If the seizure does happen today, you can expect a gigantified firestorm as hostile reporters and pundits try to force US Senate candidate Giannoulias off the statewide ticket.”

    Therefore everyone is stating their beliefs, their hopes, their fears, their strategic hypothesis, etc. Seems completely logical to me.

    Maybe you need to step down off your holier than thou soap box and actually read the initial post, followed by the line of comments, rather than attacking people like Fed Up.

  82. - Conservative Republican - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    The Politico story says that Broadway Bank has been “hit with allegations that it made loans to mobsters and felons.”

    LOL. At this point, they aren’t just allegations. And Alexi’s story now is he was only just a “clerk” on one of the loans.

    To those Alexi partisans who say he isn’t going to quit the race, how compelling will the repeated news lede be that Alexi is “wrestling” with ongoing calls to quit the race or “questions” about whether he will resign? That will be the story regardless of whether he quits.

  83. - fed up - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 3:07 pm:

    Carl you appear to have you “facts mixed up in your little rant.
    The loans Alexi made to members of organized crime were not repaid and Broadway is sueing to try and recover “some” of the monies owed.
    From Carl Blog “4. Alexi Giannoulias was the loan officer for one loan to two guys convicted of crimes who were part of a larger criminal organizations.
    4b. Since the loan got repaid, it was a good loan from the point of view of the bank.”

    From Tribune:
    Stavropoulos was sentenced in 2005 for 2 years following a felony conviction for running a multi-state bookmaking ring, while Giorango would serve six months intermittent confinement on a felony for promoting a nationwide prostitution scheme as Broadway financed their land deals from downtown Chicago to Florida, California and South Carolina.

    Alexi Giannoulias took a senior position at the bank at about the same time and used it as a launching pad for his political career.

    Broadway is now suing to recover millions of the pair’s delinquent loans as the bank struggles to avoid a federal takeover.

  84. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    Alexi should not drop out I don’t even think it should be thrown out there. Illinois needs to cme together and remember that it is the citizens who are concerned with taxes, health care, education, etc… I am a mother of 2 young children and all these stories over the…bank…is annoying. i’m voting for alexi so that my children will live in a state where I know there is someone out there (Alexi) looking out for them!

  85. - Bubs - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 4:17 pm:

    One thing I have been impressed with by Alexi is his verbal agility. He’ll come up with something for cover.

    Mind you, I doubt most will believe it, but it will be good enough to make him competitive.

  86. - Fed up - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 4:38 pm:

    ANON i’m voting for alexi so that my children will live in a state where I know there is someone out there (Alexi) looking out for them!

    You must not be planning on sending your kids to college because Alexi screwed all of us that expected him to keep an eye on the Brightstart funds.

  87. - jaded voter - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 5:10 pm:

    Carl N.

    Who gives a rat’s ass whether Alexi G stays in the race or leaves it. Either way he is done which is fine because IL does not need some young rich empty designer suit representing us in DC.

    As long as Alexi is out we, the people, are better off.

    Now if you want a competent DEM in the office, as someone said earlier, get David Hoffman on the phone. A little discretion would have elected him back in Feb anyway.

  88. - Bill - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 5:15 pm:

    Fed up, Alexi didn’t invest your money in a bad fund. You did. If you were too stupid or too lazy to do due dilligence then you deserved to lose your money.
    Alexi has no reason to quit or even take any blame. The bank was in decent shape when he left and was one of the most profitable in Illinois during his tenure.
    Forty banks have failed over the past couple of years due to the failed Bush economic policies. We need someone to support the President’s agenda. Alexi won’t drop out and will win by 5.

  89. - jaded voter - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 5:15 pm:

    Soundbites are all the rage in politics the last 30 years:

    For US Senate, Alexi G. the liteweight is deadweight.

  90. - jaded voter - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 5:35 pm:


    Boy that Alexi cool aid has really got you buzzin’.

    Your simpleton logic is music to the ears of every corrupt, self dealing CEO and hedge fund manager.

    All the profit and none of the pain. A good deal if you can get. Being rich means never having to say you’re sorry — or pay the price for your actions.

    That’s rich Bill, actually priceless.

  91. - jaded voter - Friday, Apr 23, 10 @ 7:24 pm:

    Fed up

    ==Alexi helped run his family bank into the ground. Now taxpayers will be on the hook for around $70 million.

    ==Alexi mismanaged Brightstart College funds for IL kids, losing $75 to $100 million, half the fund value.

    Hey Fed up isn’t pointing this out just nitpicking?

    Alexi’s got a bright future. Looks like he is gonna to fail his way to the top like another “up and comer”, I’m sorry a “Uniter not a divider”.

    Ah yes, another young George W. in the making.

    Cheer cheer. Good times ahead !!!!!!

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