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Unclear on the concept?

Tuesday, Dec 1, 2020

* A press release handed to you in advance is not really a “scoop,” but whatever

SCOOP: Watch former Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias make a run for the Illinois Secretary of State position that will open up with Jesse White’s retirement in 2022.

“Secretary White is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. His shoes will be near impossible to fill, but if I run, I would work very hard to try and continue his legacy of caring and principled leadership,” Giannoulias, a Democrat, said in a statement to Playbook. “If this [2020] election has shown us anything, it’s that democracy is under siege and Secretaries of State across the country are on the front lines, ensuring that everyone can participate freely and fairly in elections.” […]

Giannoulias hasn’t formally announced but he’s laying the groundwork by gathering support. A source close to him said he met with White recently to seek his endorsement. Giannoulias also has a head start in fundraising with $750,000 in his Citizens for Giannoulias account, and he’s lining up Democratic donors to commit to what could be an $8 million to $10 million campaign.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (2nd), who was Giannoulias’ chief of staff in the Treasurer’s office, is already nudging him to run. “I’m encouraged that he is thinking about running for statewide office,” she said in a statement. “I witnessed his leadership and commitment to public office firsthand. He is progressive, ethical and reform minded.”

Ariel Investments Co-CEO John Rogers Jr. and Tom Balanoff, the president of Service Employees International Union Illinois Council, are also supportive of Giannoulias, who was seen as a protege of Barack Obama. […]

Giannoulias left public office to work as a senior director at Bank of New York Mellon Corp. in Chicago. It was a nice landing spot given his family history. His late father founded Broadway Bank, a community bank that closed in 2010 in wake of the financial crisis.

It’s of course not noted in the story, but Illinois has long given most responsibility for running elections to the State Board of Elections. The SoS has a limited role, like Motor Voter and mailing out the explanation of constitutional amendments and vote by mail applications.

Just before I hit “publish” on this piece, one of Giannoulias’ people called to talk and said Alexi was referring to things like Motor Voter. Um, OK.

Also, I’m soooo looking forward to a reshash of all that Broadway Bank oppo.

…Adding… From comments…

Which Democratic constituency is pining for the return of the banking heir? Rep. Kelly and John Rogers notwithstanding, I think there are a lot of Democrats that would rather keep an African American on the statewide ticket.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

68 Comments
  1. - Gravy Bond - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:36 am:

    Alexi? Was Pat Quinn not available?


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:41 am:

    Alexi should stay “retired”

    The Broadway Bank issue during these times won’t play well.

    Not for nothing, I always found it a bit more than interesting that when President Obama looked back home for his administration, it was Arne Duncan who got the call, and Alexi was still back here… and not there.

    I just find that interesting.


  3. - City Guy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:43 am:

    Do we really need another white man born into wealth running things? (I give Pritzker a pass because his life was shaped by family tragedies that give him a more complexed and sympathetic viewpoint.)


  4. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:44 am:

    Which Democratic constituency is pining for the return of the banking heir? Rep. Kelly and John Rogers notwithstanding, I think there are a lot of Democrats that would rather keep an African American on the statewide ticket.

    This trial balloon isn’t going to fly.


  5. - Captain Obvious - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    Principled leadership? Thanks for my laugh of the day. But this is Illinois, so he could still win.


  6. - Practical Politics - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    The Illinois State Board of Elections was created because a former Secretary of State routinely conducted elections in a less than impartial manner.


  7. - Red Ranger - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    I couldn’t tell if “It was a nice landing spot given his family history” was a back-handed compliment or her actual feeling on Alexi getting that job. Hard to tell with that one.


  8. - Hard D - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    Well he can dream all he wants.


  9. - fs - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    What’s the average lifespan of a shark? Just curious.


  10. - Gravy Bond - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    I was hoping for a few more references to Michael “Jaws” Giorango in my life.


  11. - Amber Ale - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    Will we see a resurgence of low-rent “Jaws” street theater? Yes please!

    https://youtu.be/ybDGureYdnE


  12. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    GOP should be thrilled. If he wins the primary, this would give them an excellent opportunity to take at least one state office.

    Then again, if they couldn’t beat him, well….


  13. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:48 am:

    As a lifelong Goo-Goo Democrat, I look for the chance to vote for the occasional honest, sane Republican for statewide office. If Alexi somehow makes it through the primary, I hope the GOP puts up a first-rate candidate. He or she would win.


  14. - Bigtwich - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    –Alexi should stay “retired”==

    Probably will.


  15. - Roman - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    Get in line, Alexi. A very, very long line.


  16. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    Remember when Alexi endorsed a statewide GOP candidate?


  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    === GOP should be thrilled. If he wins the primary, this would give them an excellent opportunity to take at least one state office.===

    Don’t forget Mike Frerichs.

    The Frerichs Tax won’t play well, and should lead to another pickup… as seniors can’t trust someone who sees taxing retirement income as possible.

    Could be a disaster of a ticket, good news for the GOP


  18. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:54 am:

    Rep. Kelly stumping for her old boss is expected, but what’s the excuse for Rogers, Jr and Balanoff? Is there not enough video of pickup basketball games with Barack coming out of SOS for their tastes?


  19. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    Astroturf.


  20. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:58 am:

    I understand that Alexi wants to get back into politics after an embarrassing Senate loss, but this race is not going to do that. Progressive forces will hammer him and there will be a strong push to ensure an African American maintains this office. If he loses this one, that’s the ball game.


  21. - AC - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:58 am:

    Is Jack Ryan available to run against Alexi Giannoulias?


  22. - shocked - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 9:59 am:

    Showing that you don’t exactly know what the job entails is a great start to any casual campaigning. /s

    That said, maybe rolling the board of elections into the SOS would make some sense. Let the appointed politicos decide campaign finance violations and such, but leave the bigger issues of cyber security and shifting to a top-down voter registration to a larger agency that can actually handle it


  23. - McGuppin - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:00 am:

    I think he would be very tough to beat in a primary (and in the general unless the Speaker stays to tank the ticket). I’m guessing he raises a ton of money and works his politics the right way. And I get that there’s a loooong list of people who want to be the SoS….but who you got? I’m having a hard time coming up with even a short list of candidates who are more formidable.


  24. - low level - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:00 am:

    Noted

    (Seriously. The comment about which Democratic constituency is clamouring for his return is spot on. Alexi wants a return. Big deal)


  25. - RealisticDem - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:04 am:

    Brightstart … Failure
    Broadview Bank … Failure
    Tony Rezko loans … Fraud & Money Laundering
    Michael Giorango loans … Convicted for bookmaking and mob ties.

    Looking forward to watching the Democratic bench take him head on & Alexi’s failure.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:05 am:

    Let’s be clear who Alexi is;

    That crew had to explain a press release they dumped on Shia Kapos as a “scoop” without even recognizing the lunacy of the “election” confusion in their own prepared dump.

    Alexi was a statewide, was passed over by President-Elect Obama, lost a US Senate seat run… and the oppo on him plays now, maybe worse given the economic environment in a Dem primary especially.

    On the point of thinking this through and rolling it out, all it has done is remind me why Alexi is a “former”.


  27. - Anon E Moose - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:07 am:

    Not gonna happen


  28. - Club J - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:07 am:

    Where’s Tom DeVore fit in here. By this time he’ll be done with his frivolous lawsuits and need a new hobby and reason for more tattoos.


  29. - walker - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:12 am:

    Candy Dogood “”astroturf”"

    ++


  30. - John L - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:13 am:

    I for one would like to see an SoS candidate run on the platform of a new URL for the office. “Cyber” needs to be left in the 90s.


  31. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:16 am:

    Kim Lightford is a natural for the position and she will pummel Alexi in the run up to a primary.


  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:17 am:

    ===I think he would be very tough to beat in a primary===

    Especially if it’s a crowded primary.


  33. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    ===as seniors can’t trust someone who sees taxing retirement income as possible.===

    While I don’t think this is wrong, I expect to see a shift in the Overton Window on taxing at least some of the federally taxed retirement. At some point there will be someone who can figure out a good way to message that retirees in Illinois helped create all of Illinois financial problems, but aren’t willing to be part of the solution.

    This might make me optimistic, but I think the body politic of Illinois will be less naive about paying for Government in the future.


  34. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    Thanks, I needed that on a cold Tuesday morning.

    This sounds like a pitch for a low budget political Gong show.
    He’s everything you want in a candidate in these times. If you are running against him. Book him in southern Illinois for some appearances where he can call the locals redneck.That should end things quick.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    === And I get that there’s a loooong list of people who want to be the SoS….but who you got?===

    Guessing Jesse White’s endorsement might sway a person or three on the ranks.

    The primary might not be his problem, the oppo dump in a general during Biden’s midterm and Frerichs also on the ticket isn’t going to help Alexi.

    But… “one election at a time”


  36. - jim - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:21 am:

    Run, Jesse, run


  37. - OneMan - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:23 am:

    The whole bond thing with Bright Start cost me a few bucks. I am sure that will come up as well.


  38. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    ===Guessing Jesse White’s endorsement might sway a person or three on the ranks.===

    I agree.

    There are college juniors that have done more in the last decade for Democratic candidates and the Democratic Party than Alexi has.

    I’d rather vote for one of them.


  39. - BigLou - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    The rollout snafu totally makes sense, it’ the way he operates. When he ran for treasurer he went on about how he was THE decision maker at Broadway Bank but when he ran for senate and the bank was in trouble he changed his responsibilities being a glorified go-for whose job was only to make sure documents were signed and he blamed his brother for making all the decisions at the bank. When he was treasurer he took credit for brightstart when it was going well then blamed his predecessor once things went bad saying Rootherford invested in things he should not have but Alexi apparently never checked to see where the investments were and if they complied, which was his job as Treasurer. Also, didn’t he get a job at a big bank after he railed on big banks for the market melt-down?

    Can’t he just go away, seriously.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    === I expect to see a shift in the Overton Window on taxing at least some of the federally taxed retirement.===

    Then Mike Frerichs should run on the Frerichs Tax. It’ll be an issue, “embrace it”

    ===At some point there will be someone who can figure out a good way to message that retirees in Illinois helped create all of Illinois financial problems, but aren’t willing to be part of the solution.===

    That’s a tall order, and Mike Frerichs stands small to owning he thinks it’s worth discussing his idea of taxing retirement income.

    I mean, Frerichs couldn’t even have a presser to explain it, it’s so bad.

    The GOP is begging Frerichs won’t get primaried so they can run on the same thing that sank the Fair Tax, this time sinking the Frerichs Tax’s advocate.


  41. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:26 am:

    I wouldn’t joke about Pat Quinn - he might well run and win on name recognition alone (isn’t that how he got himself in position to become governor in the first place)? Every time an off-year Dem primary comes up, I think about the two Lyndon LaRouche followers who won simply by having WASP-y sounding names.


  42. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:37 am:

    Another downside — not sure how we would squeeze an extra six letters onto all the DLs and the signage. (Which should be banned like it is for the Governor with highway signs, by the way.)


  43. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    A nice guy, but no thank you.

    – MrJM


  44. - Powdered Whig - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    Everyone and their brother wants to be Secretary of State.


  45. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    ===Everyone and their brother wants===

    I don’t, but maybe I should ask my brothers. lol


  46. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:49 am:

    If Alexi gets past the primary, he’ll probably win. The Republican Party has gotten so goofy with Ives, Oberweis, Bailey, and heck, even throw in Arthur Jones for good measure. I’m trying to think of a sane, centrist Illinois Republican, and I’m coming up with nothing.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:54 am:

    - Steve Rogers -

    Welp, if any Keystone Kops can blow a chance in Biden’s midterm and flawed candidates, it’s the Raunerites who still litter the ILGOP. True.

    Can’t beat someone with no one, even if the someones are Alexi and Frerichs.


  48. - Miso - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 10:55 am:

    I’ve circulated for several Dems for SoS “just in case” JW were to surprise resign.

    Alexi can be beat by all of them.

    I’ll second MJM. Nice guy. No thank you.


  49. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 11:04 am:

    ==there are a lot of Democrats that would rather keep an African American on the statewide ticket. ==

    Is Kwame not seeking another term?


  50. - Fav Human - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 11:12 am:

    I think about the two Lyndon LaRouche followers who won simply by having WASP-y sounding names.

    It’s not 1986 anymore, even if we might see Top Gun again in the theaters. If any are left….


  51. - BeenThereDoneThat - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    Here’s a matchup: Dan Cronin v Alexi Gianouilias? I’d give the GOP at least a 45% shot or higher.


  52. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 11:22 am:

    ===Dan Cronin===

    Who?


  53. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 11:26 am:

    ===I don’t, but maybe I should ask my brothers. lol ===

    You say that now, but time will tell…bigger office, 2nd floor, operatives around the state… what’s not to like?


  54. - WH Mess - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 11:31 am:

    Brendan Reilly used to be a “mentioned” in these discussions. But that was when being close to his “Friend” was a plus, and before he endorsed a Republican against a woman of color for states attorney.

    Not sure I understand that Democratic primary strategy, but maybe the Trump-supporting FOP will turn out for him. /s/


  55. - 10th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 11:58 am:

    maybe being tired on the news talk shows and being in the minority in Congress, Adam Kinzinger runs for SOS?


  56. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 12:36 pm:

    Methinks his ultimate goal isn’t Sec. of State but instead the US Senate. Ponder this: Sen. Duckworth heads to the Biden Administration (why she would want to this is beyond me, but she is being vetted if one believes the media reports). That would give Pritzker the chance to appoint a successor. Enter Mr. Giannoulias.


  57. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 12:40 pm:

    “Adam Kinzinger runs for SOS?”

    I would rather him run for Gov. Not sure what his aspirations are politically though.


  58. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===give Pritzker the chance to appoint a successor. Enter Mr. Giannoulias===

    It is way, way, way too early in the day to be drinking that much.


  59. - Just Wondering - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 12:44 pm:

    Would Benigno be interested in running for SOS? He basically runs the office already. Might as well give him the official promotion.


  60. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===That would give Pritzker the chance to appoint a successor. Enter Mr. Giannoulias.===

    Your Magic 8-ball is broken or flawed.

    There *would be* an even longer line for that appointment then there is to replace Jesse White, and Alexi wouldn’t even warrant a courtesy look.


  61. - Anonish - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    I welcome the return of buff shined suits to our politics.


  62. - Nick - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Maybe Alexi is interested in the position. I follow him on twitter. Seems like a nice enough guy.

    But there are a ton of Illinois Democrats *currently* in office who are looking to move upwards, and would have far better profiles than him, and won’t step aside because of a former State Treasurer.


  63. - Responsa - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    I’m actually surprised to see he’s still in Illinois. Alexi always seemed more like a New York or California type of guy.


  64. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 1:08 pm:

    When was the last time there was an off-year election that Quinn didn’t run for a statewide office? 1982? (when he ran for Cook County Board of Tax Appeals). He’s got to keep the tradition going somehow, hence it wouldn’t surprise me if he at least tests the SOS waters in 2022.


  65. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==Was Pat Quinn not available?==

    Goodbye Tumblers, hello Squeezy?


  66. - What Do We Do Next - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 3:28 pm:

    Naw, not another white guy. Sure hope a diverse candidate steps-up to fill Jesse’s shoes.


  67. - Amalia - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 5:44 pm:

    @ just wondering, didn’t Benigno lose a local election?


  68. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 1, 20 @ 6:14 pm:

    Just a thought, Rich why dont you ask Jesse if what they say is true. Me thinks there is Tom foolery going on.


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