* The Alexi Giannouolias US Senate campaign insists that their candidate left the daily operations of his family bank in September of 2005. That’s now an important claim because the Sun-Times reported this yesterday...
On Feb. 14, 2006, newly obtained records show, the bank made a $22.75 million loan to a company called Riverside District Development LLC, whose owners, it turns out, included Rezko.
Giannoulias couldn’t have known about the Tony Rezko-related loan, the campaign insisted to the Sun-Times, because he wasn’t part of day-to-day operations…
Through a spokeswoman, Giannoulias says he knew nothing about the $22.75 million loan to Riverside District Development until reporters contacted him.
“Alexi left daily operations of the bank in September of 2005, months before this loan was made,” says Kathleen Strand of his campaign staff. “He had no knowledge of it, and his name is not on any documents related to the loan.
“This guilt-by-association story is an unfortunate and failed attempt to link Alexi to Mr. Rezko.'’
* The trouble is, which Alexi Giannoulias are we to believe? The current Giannoulias, or the one who was interviewed in March of 2006, a month after the Rezko-related loan was made? From a March 15th, 2006 article in The Windy City Times…
WCT: What’s your biggest advantage and your biggest disadvantage?
AG: That’s easy. My biggest advantage is that this is a fiscal office and I’m a banker and a financial manager. The state treasurer is responsible for investing $12 billion—and you want someone who’s [invested] before. My opponent may be a nice guy, but he’s more qualified to be an attorney general.
My parents founded Broadway Bank; over the past four years, we’ve more than doubled in asset size. I’m senior loan officer and vice president, so I oversee a $600 million loan department. I’m also chief investment officer and invest about $150 million. [Emphasis added]
That doesn’t sound like past tense to me. “I’m senior loan officer,” “I oversee,” “I’m also chief investment officer…” All present tense - and a month after that Rezko-related loan. And it’s not the only article out there. The Kirk campaign has pointed to a December 20, 2005 SJ-R story…
Giannoulias noted that he currently serves as vice president and senior loan officer at the four-branch Broadway Bank in Chicago.
* When asked yesterday whether the candidate has any paperwork verifying that he actually left daily operations, a campaign spokesperson said she didn’t. Besides, she said, the bank is now closed, so accessing paperwork would be practically impossible. And she continued to insist that Giannoulias left daily operations in September of 2005.
It’s not clear exactly what day Giannoulias was interviewed by the magazine, but it was definitely after March 1st of 2006…
Windy City Times: At the Stonewall Democrats Illinois forum [on March 1] , you sounded off on [main primary opponent] Paul Mangieri.
Again, March 1st would be after that Rezko-related loan was granted.
So, either Giannoulias was not telling the truth back in 2006, or he’s not telling the truth now. Which is it? The campaign response…
It was a passing reference to his position at the bank. He didn’t resign or quit. He took leave and if he lost his election he would have resumed his job at the bank.
So, I’m guessing that means he was lying back then, but not now. I’m also guessing that they’re right and that Giannoulias didn’t have much to do with the bank during the heat of the March primary. He was busy getting thwacked pretty much every day by the Democratic Party of Illinois. Then again, he could’ve saved himself some grief in ‘06 by just announcing that he had stepped aside. So, my guesses could be wrong.
* Meanwhile, Congressman Mark Kirk is now taking credit for the Republican votes against the stimulus plan…
Kirk said that on the day of Obama’s inauguration, Pelosi introduced a bill for the stimulus package. He said he canceled his plans that day, “pulled an all-nighter” and read the bill. The next day he issued a memo to Republicans of “why the stimulus won’t work.”
“Every Republican voted against the stimulus off that,” he said.
Kirk also claims that Illinois hospitals are laying off people because of the health care bill…
He said hospitals are generally the number-one employer in communities, but that the $500 billion in cuts to Medicare in the health-care reform legislation have required hospitals to stop hiring or to layoff staff and to stop all expansion programs.
“And so not only do we see the problems of our own health care being created by this law, but we’re also seeing the number-one employers in many Illinois communities beginning to contract because of the details of this legislation,” he said.
More on that another time.
*** UPDATE *** The Illinois Federation of Teachers has endorsed Giannoulias. From a press release…
Citing his commitment to quality public education for all students, the Illinois Federation of Teachers has endorsed Alexi Giannoulias for the United States Senate.
“Alexi Giannoulias will fight for our children and their education,” said IFT President Ed Geppert. “He understands the needs of public schools and he has the leadership ability to continue the fight for those schools as a member of the United States Senate.”
“I believe that a strong, vital system of public education is essential to our future. Our public education system is the key to opportunity for millions of children and families. And a quality system of higher education is essential in today’s knowledge-based economy. I’m honored to receive this endorsement from the Illinois Federation of Teachers,” said Giannoulias .
* Related and a roundup…
* GOP criticizes Giannoulias for bank loan
* Ground rules set for special Senate election
* Judge Decides Senate Special Election Ballot
* Judge confirms same ballots in Ill. Sen. elections
* Special election could create headaches - Local election officials say separate Senate ballots may bring costs, confusion
* Kirk Tours Southern Illinois During Tight Race