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*** UPDATED x1 *** Which Giannoulias do we believe? And Kirk takes credit for anti stim votes

Tuesday, Aug 3, 2010

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

63 Comments
  1. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    As I said yesterday, executing a $22M loan takes more than a couple of days. Indeed, I think it would take a couple of months, unless Rezko got favorable treatment. If the loan was processed normally, no matter what Alexi’s timeline was, he was probably working at the bank when the loan was initiated.

    So, the timeline might indicate an outright lie from Alexi. And he was probably embellishing his resume during the March interview.


  2. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    RE: Special Election

    Talk about confusing the voters! They will either fill out two ballots, or have two lines for the same candidate in the same race they will need to fill out. Will they check both the Special and Regular box for their candidate, for get one or the other, split their vote? I see recounts and lawsuits based on this.

    Now to Burris, I think he has a valid case to make for inclusion on the ballot (as do the several CapitolFax posters who want to run for the interim senate seat). More lawsuits are coming. I wonder if Sam Adam and Jr. will represent Roland?


  3. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    If Alexi left Broadway Bank in Sept of 2005, then how and why did he earn over a third of his VP/Senior Loan Officer salary in 2006 (2006 - $41,000)?

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2009/11/giannoulias-tax-returns-show-hefty-bank-income.html


  4. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    ===“why the stimulus won’t work.”===

    And yet it did work. The stimulus and TARP plans prevented a collapse of the global financial industry. And even though the recession lingers, most economists generally agree that in the absence of bold federal action, the alternative would have been far worse, with higher unemployment, more foreclosures and the end of the US auto industry.

    So like finding WMDs in Iraq, Kirk is wrong again. And he’s wrong on the really big issues facing this country.


  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:51 am:

    Giannoulais is guilty of campaign spinning, which is not a crime. He now wants to back away from the silly “Rezko loan”, and he ended up with this September 2005 gem.

    This stuff is complicated. When he is confronted by the fact that a successful bank loan included the dreaded Rezko, Giannoulias didn’t straighten out the assumptions behind the story. Instead he pandered to it and coughed up a lame excuse. Creating a fake excuse was easier than confronting the false accusations.

    Giannoulais did not publically announce a departure from his daily bank duties. He should have. He could have been hired back by his family if he lost. Instead he ran on his current resume in 2005 and 2006. He was what he said he was when this bank loan was crafted. The news story is right on this point - Giannoulias was in a position to be involved in this bank loan. The assumptions and implications, however are wrong.

    This is where Giannoulais failed and now looks like a liar. It is a kerfuffle, just like any other political spin that fails when confronted with facts. Most politicians are guilty of doing this.

    Kirk is still doing it. His claim that he somehow lead the Congressional Republicans into opposing the Obama Stimu-didn’t better be backed up by some credible folks, or Kirk looks again like a guy who just can’t help bloviating about himself. The Kirk campaign better have some Congressional heavy hitters backing him up on this, and better have them ready to confirm Kirk’s version of what went down.

    I don’t consider either issue as reflecting upon either candidate. Candidates spin. Candidates get lazy and spin lies. Candidates bloviate about themselves. Whether Giannoulais was claiming he was First Son at a powerful independantly owned community bank, or Kirk claiming he saved Lois Lane from the evil Cap’N Trade, candidates do this.

    All of them.

    Making an issue out of this when our state and country is bankrupted doesn’t put the focus where voters need these campaigns to be focused.


  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    ===hen how and why did he earn===

    They claim it was a paid leave.


  7. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    RE: Meanwhile, Congressman Mark Kirk is now taking credit for the Republican votes against the stimulus plan…

    In January, 2009, Kirk, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, created an analysis that was widely used by the Republicans. His were the arguments around which they based their objections:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/01/reasons_to_vote_against_stimul.asp


  8. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    Based on what the President and Vice President said was the criteria with which to measure the success or failure of the Stimulus - it failed.

    Obama and Biden set the goal posts. They fell far short of a touchdown. That is all we can expect. We allowed them to set the standards. We allowed them to spin what they wanted to spin. Yet they still fell short. Deal with it.


  9. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    Kirk is really setting himself up and coming across as poorly informed on critical policy issues.

    The sad thing is I htink Kirk is pandering more to the voter base on the right with his anti-stim/obama push. But in the process of concealing hismoderat self he is going to lose all those ind and moderate voters.


  10. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    Well that is settled. Kirk did do what he said he did. So, why am I so surprised?

    Sad.


  11. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    re: “The stimulus plan worked!”

    It’s easy to say something worked when you can’t prove what really would have happened if you didn’t do it in the first place. Yet again, political posturing crowds out actual thought in our policy making circles.


  12. - bored now - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:00 am:

    sorry, once again kirk is being a frickin’ hypocrite. the real question is whether alexi was involved in the day-to-day operations of the bank while he was running for treasurer, which would have been impossible with his schedule as a candidate. he may have retained the title, but so what?

    mark kirk LOVES to tell soldiers that he’s a u.s. congressman while he’s doing his reserve duty (at least, according to common acquaintances in afghanistan). but he’s not supposed to be there as a congressman.

    just more crap from kirk. i mean, what else can you say? what an idiot…


  13. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:04 am:

    47th Ward,

    You’re half right. In my opinion, the initial TARP at the end of 2008, proposed by Bush and endorsed by Obama and McCain, did indeed save the world financial markets. Several economists argue that the second part of TARP which was used to bail out non-financial firms (Chrysler and GM) may have affected the recession in the US (positively or negatively is still being argued), but not the global financial credit freeze, which had already been relieved after the Fed and Treasury poured money into the financial markets, along with the TARP funds.

    I have never seen an economics report linking the financial crisis to the stimulus plan, which was sold as a jobs bill. I’d like to read it if it exists.


  14. - Conservative Veteran - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    Although Kirk voted against the stimulus law, he doesn’t remind enough people that he voted for unconstitutional “pork barrel” spending, for his district, including spending for Metra, HUD, Headstart, and local police departments.

    Kirk says that he supports the Iraq war, but, in May 2007, when 11 republican congressmen told Bush that they opposed the Iraq surge, Kirk was the group’s leader.


  15. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    bored now - you aren’t helping your side with that posting.


  16. - someone else - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    So, basically what Kirk wants us to believe is that without his analysis, more House Republicans would have voted for the Obama stimulus package.

    Somehow, I have difficulty believing that. I don’t remember a single interview after the vote with a House GOP member saying, “You know, I was all set and ready to vote for the stimulus, but then I read Mark Kirk’s analysis and was so blown away I just had to vote no.”

    They were going to vote no regardless.


  17. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:11 am:

    Hm, Banker McBragg? Treasurer Joe Isuzu. He inflated his role during the treasurer race and now is backing away since he has gotten soem experience as treasurer.

    So we have two exaggeraters/liars running for senate…then We Have Wumpus, write me in!


  18. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:11 am:

    bored,

    As I pointed out above, it was actually quite likely the Alexi may have had some day-to-day responsibilities at the bank when the loan was initiated (we can give him the benefit of the doubt that he may not have been working at the bank when the loan was granted). Nothing he has said to date indicates anything otherwise. While we have seen his spokesmen talk, have we ever had an explicit personal denial that he knew absolutely nothing about the loan?


  19. - southwest sally - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:11 am:

    Looks like that stimulus comment is true. Politico wrote about it and another congressman talked about it.

    http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=102D0862-18FE-70B2-A8A71E31BE873F38


  20. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:13 am:

    You know things are bad for the Giannoulias campaign when his spokesperson is HAPPY to say the bank is out of business so you can’t get records.


  21. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:13 am:

    Well on one hand you can’t act like you are active in a role and then say you are not…

    It is a question? On one hand if you say I do this and that (in the active) and haven’t been doing this and that for months and then try to use the excuse (well you should have known I could have been doing this and that regardless of what I have said) it’s bs…


  22. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:15 am:

    someone else,

    It is highly likely that a few moderate Republicans (e.g. Cao) may have voted for the stimulus without Kirk’s analysis. Don’t forget that of the roughly 200 Republicans in Congress, not a single vote was cast for the stimulus. Kirk’s analysis probably did sway a few votes.

    Of course, we can not prove what would have happened if he did not write his analysis, any more than we can prove Obama’s claim of a “saved” job.


  23. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    Cincinnatus - you are forgetting that Obama supported TARP as our senator too. As the front runner for the White House at that time, Obama’s support was crucial for it’s passage.

    If I sold you something and told you that it would do A, B, and C - yet after you bought it and discovered it didn’t do A, B, and C, so I told you it would instead do D, E and F - and it still didn’t do it, then I screwed up and owe you big time. By the standards set by this Administration, the Stimulus didn’t stimulate. By the standards revised by the Administration, the Stimulus didn’t stimulate. By the continuing spinning over this “Recovery Summer”, polls overwhelmingly show us that Americans questioned by the polls do not believe that the Stimulus stimulated.

    So, how many more subjective measurements do we allow these people? They failed both objectively and subjectively, so how about just admitting it and moving on? The what, 82% of folks who believe it failed, obviously won’t change their minds until things get better.

    A Trillion dollar waste? After Obamacare, a Trillion dollar waste of money is a drop in the bucket.


  24. - Mr. Cow - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:20 am:

    I will hold my nose and vote for Alexi, because Kirk is a liar AND an obstructionist.
    Alexi has some ethical challenges to be sure, but I think he understands what everyday folks are dealing with in the worst recession since the Depression.

    Case in point: Kirk would have voted against extension on unemployment benefits for those out of work. Alexi has publicly stated that no one wants to accept unemployment, they’d rather be working for pay. The jobs just aren’t out there to be had, and a minimum level of subsistence for those slammed by the policies/lack of regulation/war spending by the Bush Whitehouse and his Wall Street pals is the right thing to do.


  25. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:23 am:

    VM,

    The Congressional Budget Office disagrees with you. They found plenty of evidence that jobs were saved and created and GDP increased when it otherwise would have declined. Facts matter.

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/115xx/doc11525/05-25-ARRA.pdf

    If the stimulus in fact didn’t work as well as intended, the GOP and goofball Democrats like Ben Nelson can be blamed for not going far enough and not helping states weather the crisis.

    And Mark Kirk is still wrong on the stimulus.


  26. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:24 am:

    Folks,
    Fellow Congresscritters know what congressional district Mark Kirk represented when he took this public stand on the Stimulus. When a GOP Congressman from a blue congressional district publically comes out against any bill, other GOP Congresscritter are going to feel they can also safely come out against it.

    I do believe that a Mark Kirk public stand within Congress, does sway other GOP Congresscritters concerned about their non-GOP voting constituencies regarding legislation. I do believe that when you have a Congressperson from a bellwhether political district from the state the new ueber-popular President is from, taking this kind of stand, that stand will reverberate politically with similar Congresspeople.

    And it looks like we have more than one source confirming this claim. So Kirk gets credit on this one. He was right. The bill sold to us as a Stimulus, wasn’t.


  27. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:29 am:

    47th -
    With all due respect, there isn’t enough money in the entire world to accomplish what the Stimulus was supposed to do. Yeah - if it was several Trillion, we would see something in the market. But we didn’t have several Trillion. We didn’t even have one Trillion.

    As to saved jobs - that is one of those subjective measurements that a desperate Administration would cough up when we all clearly see that jobs were not created as originally claimed.

    The Stimulus wasn’t worth a Trillion anymore than spending a Trillion to win 20 million in lottery ticket winnings makes you a winner.


  28. - ZC - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:36 am:

    I do think it’s worrisome that Mark Kirk feels ready to run against the stimulus. In small part I blame the Chicago Tribune, for some of the oddest editorials it has run in recent memory. My favorite is the one where they implied that clearly the stimulus had not helped the economy - not because of an economist survey, or any stats offered (and there are at least a few Chicago-school economists they could have at least tried to cite), but because a -public opinion poll- said so. I look forward to the Tribune op-ed where we should decide whether or not the Higgs boson has been found, by conducting an opinion poll.

    OK, maybe that’s slightly elitist, but the fact remains, we know that people have absolutely =terrible= memories and perceptions about the past economy, and for partisans in the “out” party, it’s even worse; many Republicans in the electorate are now imagining narratives about how golden the economy was before Obama took charge. The #1 reason why people think the stimulus didn’t help any, in my opinion, is because they are already forgetting how bad the economy was, less than two years previous.

    There’s a silver lining for Obama, however. If the economy improves in 2011-2012, a lot of people will most likely have forgotten what they thought the economy was like in 2010.


  29. - Fan of Cap Fax - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:36 am:

    Vman, How do you know what I’m thinking? I love that you so eloquently fight the battle for those of us that can’t write as good. Thanks, Vman!


  30. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:37 am:

    VM,

    Did you even read the CBO report? And do you really believe Kirk’s analysis, which included a claim that, since porn was not specifically banned in the bill, it could be funded via the stimulus, stands up as principled reasons to vote No on the bill?

    Jobs were saved. New jobs were created. GDP increased instead of declining. Simply put, the stimulus worked, no thanks to Kirk and the GOP.

    Mark Kirk and his “analysis” represent the triumph of party over country. That is what is wrong with our politics. It exists to serve itself, not America, just like Kirk.


  31. - ZC - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:40 am:

    One quick follow-up since this is a state blog: I’d like any anti-stimulus, state budget wonks to explain briefly how much better off, or at least the exact same, Illinois would have been this past budget year, with no stimulus spending from D.C. If we’re taking the line that without the stimulus money Illinois would be in the exact same position, or better. Can anyone tell me that narrative?


  32. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:48 am:

    Sorry Alexi,

    But I find it impossible to believe that a huge loan like that to a controversial prominent political player under fed investigation wouldn’t be run past the owner of the bank who is currently running for statewide office.


  33. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:53 am:

    VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 11:17 am:

    “Cincinnatus - you are forgetting that Obama supported TARP as our senator too.”

    I gave credit where credit was due!

    From my earlier post:

    “You’re half right. In my opinion, the initial TARP at the end of 2008, proposed by Bush and endorsed by Obama and McCain, did indeed save the world financial markets.”

    Furthermore, I prefer CongressWeasels to CongressCritters. I think it is more descriptive.

    Never think I am defending the Porkulus package. This package, at best, has not lived up to the expectations provided by Obama. I think that future analysis will show that the package did live up to the expectations of the Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partiers, and me.

    To -47th Ward’s comment. This whole analysis is based of the multipliers used by the CBO. In there analysis, they say that a dollar spent by the government provides an effect greater than a dollar spent by an individual. Firstly, a dollar spent is a dollar spent is a dollar spent. It matters not who spends it. So if the government had not taxed/borrowed that money, it would have been spent in the private economy, and provided the same multiplier.

    Now we need to look at that dollar a minute. In fact, a dollar spent by the government comes with an overhead component not considered by CBO. That overhead comes from the inefficiency of government, manpower costs to administer, etc. SO, a dollar spent by the government is actually less than a dollar spent by the private sector because of the overhead.

    Let’s also remember that Obama’s own economic team said that the stimulus would keep the unemployment rate under 8%. So I guess I could argue that unemployment rates of 9.7% are a result of the stimulus (just kidding).

    To Mr. Cow,

    If you took a moment to look at Kirk’s position on the unemployment extension (the same as most if not all Republicans), all he wanted to do was reprogram either unused TARP funds or unused stimulus funds. Democrats would not allow this, so the money for the extension will not come from already appropriate, non-earmarked funds, but from new additional borrowing which will add directly to the deficit.


  34. - A.B. - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:01 pm:

    Just a quick point on the stimulus that many appear to be forgetting.

    The President defined how the stimulus would succeed by how it would stop the climbing unemployment. Unfortunately for his supporters, the President said unemployment would peak at 8 percent. Clearly that wasn’t even close to reality.

    Therefore, by the President’s own criteria, the stimulus program FAILED.

    If you throw a bunch of money at an economy, of course there will be some benefit, the question is how much benefit and at what cost. Because it was so much money, it needed to have some significant benefit and the program clearly didn’t meet the expectations Obama defined.


  35. - A.B. - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    Of course the IFT endorsed Giannoulias! That’s about as surprising as Jan Schakowsky supporting him!


  36. - ZC - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:08 pm:

    This is fast not becoming a state blog thread (tried with the IL reference above), but if we’re talking unemployment rates, take a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics chart of the unemployment rate in America, going back to 2000: http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?data_tool=latest_numbers&series_id=LNS14000000 .

    Keep in mind 2/09 is when the stimulus bill is passed, the effects phased in then over time.

    I don’t know about you, but I look at that graphic of unemployment and say, “Something sure happened around 2-3/09.”


  37. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:16 pm:

    ZC-

    It’s even worse than that when one includes discouraged workers:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/economy-watch/2010/07/behind_the_unemployment_report.html


  38. - Passing Through - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:22 pm:

    Yes, unemployment shot up to 10% in 12/09, then started dropping to a reasonable 9.5% in 6/10 - largely due to people dropping off the unemployment rolls - August it will drop to @ 8%, then in September, October, expect it to spike up to @ 10% again due to more people collecting unemployment after recent congressional action. Percentages mean nothing. The meaningful stat is raw job creation - which if thought of that way, means we need 400,000 jobs / month / 4 years just to get to 5% unemployment range from pre-recession days - which were being howled about at “disastrous” at the time.


  39. - Going nuclear - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:25 pm:

    I believe our country would be much worse off without the stimulus. It’s going to be a long, hard road to get our economy back on track. However, it looks to me like Kirk is trying to shore up support among the conservative base of the Republican Party after all of his “misrememberings.” I think he would do better to tell us what he plans to do in terms of policies and programs to help restore economic growth and make it more sustainable over the long term.


  40. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    For the wonkish people, here is a relationship relating changes between GDP and unemployment, Okun’s Law:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okun’s_law

    It is a rule of thumb.

    But it is safe to say that we will need several consecutive quarters of 5% real GDP growth to reach full employment anytime within the next few years.


  41. - Sue - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:40 pm:

    For those with short memories- the geniuses at the IFT also endorsed Blago not once but twice


  42. - MikeMacD - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    Mr. Blagojevich was elected Governor not once but twice.


  43. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 1:01 pm:

    The real truth is that IL corrupt politics stimulated the economy to a recovery. All the political machinations in IL appear in the cap fax. In order to follow whats going on more and more people signed up for subscriptions. Rich earned extra money and used it to buy things and stuff (like video cameras and web sites). Thus we need corruption in IL to help further stimulate the economy and the recovery.


  44. - (618) Democrat - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    @southwest sally 11:11

    =Looks like that stimulus comment is true. Politico wrote about it and another congressman talked about it.=

    Kirk says about his stimulus memo “Every Republican voted against the stimulus off that.”

    Every means all.

    That is just ridiculous.

    In the article you cite it says Another moderate, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), also said that he opposed excessive spending in the stimulus, though a provision increasing Medicaid funding could win him over.

    “It’s going to be a tough vote for me. There is too much spending in it. In principle, I’d say I’d vote against it,” said King. “But if I vote for it, it will primarily be because of the Medicaid funding, which I’ve been a leader in the House fighting for.”

    The positions staked out by both Kirk and King are notable since both are considering Senate runs in 2010 in solidly Democratic states.

    Kings position is different than Kirks and King says nothing about Kirk’s memo.

    There is no mention by King that he will vote against the stimulus bill because of the Kirk memo and King is just one of many republican congressmen.

    The embellishments by Kirk just go on and on but why would that suprise anyone.


  45. - ZC - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 1:22 pm:

    Though if we are talking “raw job creation” … how many private sector jobs, on net, were created during the Bush administration? We’re talking from January of 2001, to January of 2009.

    For a party that is basing its 2010 midterm credentials on its competency at creating private-sector jobs, I don’t think the record from the 2000s is impressive. And to bring this back to Illinois, one reason I don’t support Bill Brady is that his economic message reminds me too much of George W Bush’s.

    Cannot continue any more replies on this thread - real work calls - but I will certainly concede, the public sector or government cannot solve our nation’s jobs problem. The argument from the Obama administration, as I understand it, is that government has a role to play during these stopgap years, until business gets its confidence back to start hiring. In the long run we need private sector job growth, not recurring government stimuli. But, as FDR’s advisor Harry Hopkins noted, “People don’t eat in the long run.”


  46. - Berkeley Bear - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 1:32 pm:

    I don’t feel like debating the stimulus personally, but Kirk is perpetuating a twofer whopper on healthcare. He claims health facilities are shutting down over a cut to Medicare Advantage, one that has nothing to do with the money facilities receive.

    The 500 billion in Medicare cuts is overwhelmingly driven by scaling back the premium private insurers get (and don’t pass on to either facilities or enrollees) for offering MA plans. When the Bush Adminsitration and the then GOP controlled Congress passed this expansion of Medicare, they decided that we should all subsidize the private corporations who would, by offering these plans, get access to millions of new customers. They also decided there was no need to provide funding for this give-away. That has resulted in a system where the insurance companies get paid by the government to offer the exact same services the government does, only with a higher cost margin and guaranteed profits and no incentive to compete through cost savings. Not satisfied with just pocketing the government’s subsidies, though, the insurers chronically engaged in upcoding or rate inflation, which had resulted in CMS (the Feds, not the State) cutting their reimbursement rates even before healthcare reform was passed. You’d think cutting fat like this would be praised by every “fiscal conservative” who recently wanted to get rid of Medicare entirely and still wants to privatize Social Security, but apparently Kirk would rather misrepresent the savings as a bogeyman for old people.

    Plus, at least around Springfield, hiring at medical facilities in all sorts of areas has continued unabated. This is despite huge funding problems by the state (particularly to SIU) and the fact that this region has what seems like way too many doctors for such a relatively sparse population. If hospitals are in fact contracting, it isn’t because of a cut to payments they don’t get.


  47. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    ZC-

    George W. Bush R 2001-2005 132,469 132,453 -0.02 -0.003%
    George W. Bush R 2005-2009 132,453 133,549 +1.1 +0.2%
    Barack Obama D 2009- 133,549 130,470 (Jun. 2010) -3.1 (Jun. 2010) -1.5% (Jun. 2010)
    *In Thousands **Approximate


  48. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 1:49 pm:

    Cincinnatus, try looking at this instead… http://cohort11.americanobserver.net/latoyaegwuekwe/multimediafinal.html


  49. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 2:10 pm:

    Rich,

    I am familiar with that visualization. I was just trying to answer ZC’s question by showing that over Bush’s term, there was net positive job creation, even with the 2001 recession and two wars. While Bush left about $1.4T in deficit, Obama has tripled the deficit in 18 months with little to show for it.


  50. - Hurricane Bob - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 2:21 pm:

    For those who can’t distinguish between political talking points and reality…obama hoped to keep unemployment at 8.2% based on the gdp numbers at the time. Since the stimulus was passed the gdp numbers for the Bush years have been revised downward and job loss revised upward. Unless the stimulus could time travel that wasn’t reality. Cutting taxes for 95% of people, speeding up public works projects, and aid to states doesn’t hurt the economy when your near Depression levels, continuing trickle down economics does. By the way Bush said his tax cuts would have us back to surplus by now when he signed the bill does that mean they were a complete failure? If you set aside 911,two wars,medicare part d, the economic collapse and reality I guess so. I wish Mark Kirk would have read the bill and warned us.


  51. - downhereforyears - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    I just don’t believe him. I think he’s lying!!


  52. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 2:37 pm:

    Cincinnatus the majority of growth under bush was psurred by the building industry and the explosion of new home construction, new office building construction etc all writen on bad loans, bad appraisals etc from an unregualted banking industry. Not to mention the high levels of govt spending to fund the wars. Bush lack of regualtion of banking and starting wars to increase govt spending are a major part of the current problem with the economy and the current deficit.


  53. - Hurricane Bob - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 2:46 pm:

    Cinci,
    The deficit is supposed to increase 60 billion this year compared to 1 trillion in Bush’s final year and the national debt doubled with “nothing to show”. Other than the stimulus the entire deficit is made up of Bush policies/actions some like afghanistan/tax cuts under $250k are supported by Obama. Which Bush policies need to go to lower the deficit? Keep in mind too Bush wanted 2.6 trillion more borrowed for SS privitization and 700 billion more for tax cut extention for upper income. Spell it out for us.


  54. - bored now - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 3:06 pm:

    Cincinnatus: if you can find alexi’s fingerprints on that particular loan, then you’d have a point. otoh, rezko had a history with the bank (iirc), and undoubtedly met the financial requirements. i think rezko is scum, but i find scum at my little local bank, too.

    Phineas J. Whoopee: we can only chuckle at the stupidity in calling alexi “the owner of the bank” during a period while his dad was alive (although i guess you could argue that i own nbc, abc and microsoft, if you were so inclined; i wouldn’t, but it appears you would!). i’m pretty sure you were laughing when you wrote that. really, really funny, dude.


  55. - A.B. - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 3:36 pm:

    @Hurricane -
    Talking points or not, the President defined what was success and what was failure.

    If a CEO says that this new product line is going to produce growth at a rate of XXX percent and it fails to meet expectations, then it is deemed a failure and stock values suffer. The same holds true here.


  56. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 3:46 pm:

    Ghost,

    Bush inherited a faltering economy from Clinton, resulting from the dot-com bubble collapse. During Bush’s years, the economy grew at a 1.1% annualized rate over the previous three quarters from March 31 of the first year of Bush presidency Bush had his tax cut plan approved by Congress in June, proposed early as a response to the economic decline and, despite the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

    Overall real GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.5%. Between 2001 and 2005, GDP growth was 2.8%. The number of jobs created grew by an average of 6.5%. The growth of average salaries was 1.2%. Growth in consumer spending was 72% faster than growth in income. Investment in residential real-estate soared, growing 26% faster than average, Overall, the US economy outperformed all of the large developed countries.

    In 2003, the Bush Administration attempted to create an agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill never made progress in Congress, facing sharp opposition by Democrats.

    The part of the housing bubble that caused the recession was equity extraction, not new home construction, as homeowners cashed in on their house values and spent indiscriminately.

    In 2006, Democrats assumed control of Congress. At that time, Bush and the Democratically controlled Congress tried tax rebates, which I have already said are not conducive to long-term economic growth.

    This study shows the history of revenues and spending in the US:

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf

    It is my contention that there were sufficient revenues coming into the government Excessive spending by both parties is inhibiting what would be a normal 18 month recession recovery. The overspending seen in Congress was shared by the state legislature who furthered the problem by spending employee pension fund money for general operating expenses.


  57. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 4:43 pm:

    Which Giannoulias to believe?

    He sold himself as a hot-shot banker to get elected in 2006. Now that the bank has become a liability his time and duties there are becoming more and more minimal.

    The more problems that surface with Broadway, the less involved Alexi seems to be. One has to wonder whether he ever held any real job at the bank.

    But since he worked for Daddy no one can verify.


  58. - Hurricane Bob - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 5:20 pm:

    AB,
    The previous CEO and Board were fired and you want to bring them back based on your anology. Numbers are revised based on data and unemployment is actually lower now than what private econmists and THE FED predicted does the new CEO get credit or do you want him to travel back in time to hold unemployment to 8.2%?


  59. - BH - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 5:22 pm:

    Rich,

    Bless you.

    This is one of the points I’ve been trying to make about Alexi and how is truly unvotable for (and I’m a loyal Democrat).

    In 2006, he basically said: “I’m this great banker, I learned the biz from my family, I helped it grow and it is now one of the best performing community banks in the country.”
    He HAD to say that because he was 29 at the time, went to college, vacationed in Greece to play basketball, went to law school, befriended Mr. Obama and now wanted you to vote for him for Treasurer.

    Fast forward to 2010. The bank has gone under taken over by the FDIC. BTW, only 4% of community banks went under so Broadway was doing something very bad unlike the 96% still in business. The bank had an extremely close relationship with Rezko and some truly horrible individuals (Jaws). It was the bank to go to if there was something in your past that would prevent you from getting a loan from a respectable bank (Chase).

    Now Alexi says “I didn’t do anything at the bank.” Outside of trying to figure out which statement is true, what else has Alexi done?

    He lost 50% of Bright Start and lied about it.

    That’s it. That’s the record of our 33 year old State Treasurer. And now he wants us to vote for him for Senator?

    Yes, I understand Kirk has lied and embellished a great deal about his service to the country (again, Giannoulias supporters like Bored Now, how do you square Giannoulias criticism of Kirk while saying silent about Blumenthal who outright lied about being in Nam while never leaving the country?). But I don’t think people doubt that Kirk is a bright man, that he understand policy — even if you disagree with some portions, that he did serve in the reserves, that he was a chief of staff for Porter for a decade, that he could be a Senator.

    What about Alexi? What has he accomplished? On his own without daddy’s or Mr. Obama’s help? He is a great banker (who ruined the family business) or just a gofer? If he was just a gofer, why did you vote for him for Treasurer?


  60. - bored now - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 6:40 pm:

    BH: giannoulias isn’t running against blumenthal. the general rule of thumb is to stay out of other people’s races unless you have the power to influence them. does alexi have the power to influence a connecticut election? of course not, so there’s no point in saying anything.

    that you could overlook mark kirk’s record of failure suggests that you aren’t exactly objective here. mark kirk participated in the american military’s greatest intelligence failure. if you believe him (which i don’t, and i don’t think *anyone* should), kirk ran the command center at the time!

    what’s worse is that kirk lied to his fellow members of congress and used those lies to bully them. think what you might of democrats in congress, but kirk’s vision of being bipartisan or even influential in congress is about as valid as his winning the rufus taylor intelligence award.

    there’s one thing about someone running for office being stupid — and mark kirk exemplifies this perfectly — but it’s quite another if voters are that stupid. mark kirk hasn’t done squat in d.c. and that’s why people IN THE MINORITY think he’s a lightweight.

    say what you will about alexi, but he has much more potential of doing great things in washington, d.c. mark kirk doesn’t. that ship sailed in 2002 — and mark kirk was at the helm. we can have two senators who can help us, or we can elect another roland burris, because that’s what mark kirk will be. a lightweight that make people wonder about illinois.

    surely we are smarter than that…


  61. - BH - Tuesday, Aug 3, 10 @ 8:25 pm:

    Bored Now,

    Not to get into a yelling match but I’ve lived in the 10th for most of my life. I have voted FOUR times AGAINST Mark Kirk so please don’t question my objectivity. I did vote for him once. I think you know who I supported in the primary.

    Bored, Alexi is the most ethically challenged candidate I’ve ever seen from Illinois. Period. My vote is not one necessarily in support of Kirk — he’s not a right wing Republican, he’s views are tolerable for this voter. I’ve never seen a candidate (Alexi) with a thinner resume run for anything more than dog catcher let alone Senator. He’s 1/10000 as bright as the President.

    You mention Kirk’s failure but he got 54% of the vote in 2008 whereas our President got 65% in the same district — and I voted for Seals. Stupid? The 10th is the most educated district in the country– whatever that means but for the most part people here listen and are moderate.

    I bring Blumenthal up only because although it is a great tactic for Alexi, it certainly doesn’t morally square away. I know there’s no morality in politics or government. But it shows Alexi’s character. Only smear those who are in the opposing party rather than looking at the person.

    Roland was never elected Senator. We Democrats didn’t have the balls to stop Blago in 2006 even though everyone knew the crap was hitting the fan. Same thing with Alexi. Bored Now, there will be more Rezko-type loans. I’ve heard it, I’ve seen it — from Democrats and Republicans. I don’t want Alexi to be the Blago of 2010.

    Depending on what story Alexi is telling us as to his experience at the bank or his relationship with Jaws, he too is lying to us, the voters. Not once but many times over.

    This is the same guy who didn’t want to talk about Broadway until after the primary. This is 100 percent INDEFENSIBLE. Unfortunately, my guy Hoffman lost.

    I will not support or oppose a candidate based solely on their race, sex, religion, AND the letter D or R besides their name. I hope you join me.


  62. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 4, 10 @ 6:45 am:

    Clinton paid off debt. Bush II launched two wars while cutting taxes, something that’s never been tried before, with good reason, while also pushing through massive Transportation and Farm Bills, plus prescription drug entitlements.

    Massive increases in spending coupled with tax cuts. The word conservative means nothing any longer in American politics.


  63. - A.B. - Wednesday, Aug 4, 10 @ 8:58 am:

    @BH -
    0ne correction, Mark Kirk was not Porter’s chief of staff for a decade. He was a staffer for about 3 years and chief of staff for about 3 years.

    @ Bored Now -
    Kirk “the lightweight” was the first sophomore congressman named to the appropriations committee in over 2 decades. He was also the head of the Tuesday Group. Stop trying to make crap up about him being a lightweight, when the simplest look at his resume CLEARLY shows that he is respected in Congress and a leader on the hill.

    As far as Giannoulias is concerned, really all you have is speculation because he hasn’t succeeded in his career.


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