The Miami connection
Friday, Aug 13, 2010
* As I see it, this is a very serious problem for Alexi Giannoulias…
Don Wade asked Giannoulias a direct question: “Did you lend any money to anybody who was controlling a nationwide prostitution ring?” Giannoulias answered “No.”
But that answer, as is so often the case here, is only partially true. Giannoulias’ family bank loaned money to Michael Giorango to buy the Lorraine Hotel in Miami. Giorango was busted for promoting (not controlling) that prostitution ring out of the very same hotel. And Giannoulias himself flew to Miami to “inspect” that hotel, and only admitted it after the 2006 Democratic primary when he defeated a Mike Madigan-backed candidate. From an April 27, 2006 story…
“Giannoulias declined to provide details of that meeting.” Classic.
This is what Giannoulias said before the 2006 primary…
This is the way it usually is with Giannoulias. Wait until after the next election to clear things up and then clear those “misstatements” up after the following election. He said he was a major player at Broadway Bank before the 2006 primary. Now, he says he was a minor player. He didn’t know Giorango before the 2006 primary, afterwards he admitted he knew him and even hung out with the guy in Miami.
He has said that if he and the bank had known about the dark history of Giorango that they wouldn’t have given him the loans. But his brother has said the bank knew at least some of what was going on and went ahead with the loans anyway.
The Miami trip is the closest connection that we know Giannoulias had to a criminal. Most of the other stuff hurled against him isn’t directly traceable to Giannoulias and is way overblown. But that Miami trip is direct. Now, it may turn out to be nothing at all, but Mark Kirk is right to press this issue.