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First union endorsements in secretary of state race go to Giannoulias

Thursday, Jan 28, 2021

* I’ve been kinda snarky about Giannoulias’ bid so far, partly because it’s so darned early and he seemed to be trumpeting the picking of low-hanging fruit. He does have a long relationship with this particular union, so snagging the endorsement wasn’t a gigantic feat. But it’s the first labor nod of the year in what is shaping up to be a crowded race, so you gotta hand it to him

Former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias won the backing of two local chapters of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union in what’s likely to be a heated race to replace outgoing Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

Locals No. 881 and 1546 of the food workers union, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, threw their weight behind Giannoulias and vowed to play a “major role” in electing the former U.S. Senate candidate about 13 months before the March 2022 primary for secretary of state.

“Alexi is a longtime ally of working people and has a proven track record of getting the job done for middle-class families,” said Steve Powell, president of Local 881 and vice president of Illinois AFL-CIO. “During this critical time, Alexi brings an experienced and trusted voice that will strengthen the foundation of our movement. … Local 881 is poised to play a major role in the 2022 campaign and elect Alexi as Illinois’ next Secretary of State.”

Giannoulias has reported $397,700 in campaign contributions, including donations from Cinespace president Alex Pissios and Michael Sacks, an investor in the group that owns the Chicago Sun-Times.

* Those two locals are large and pretty influential and so is the International. They kicked in some cash, too…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - ;) - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    Gotta love organized labor endorsing a millionaire candidate who endorsed Republican Tom Cross for Treasurer while Cross was the preferred candidate of union-busting billionaire Bruce Rauner at the height of his right to work efforts. Talk about really ignoring the interests of your labor membership. I would totally have to question that union’s leadership.

  2. - essentially working - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:42 am:

    This guy is still around?

  3. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    Related: your post yesterday about petitions being 200 days away reminded me that legislators don’t know what district boundaries are yet, and due to the Census Data being so late this year, the majority parties won’t have the right to draw them in secret like planned. Surely the Dems will pass a special election bill delaying the primary until that can be done, wouldn’t you think?

  4. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:48 am:

    Tim Drea came out of #881, just sayin’

  5. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:49 am:

    I have a totally different question.

    Is Alexi serious about wanting to be Secretary or does he just see it as a stepping stone to the Governor’s office?

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    Alexi is jamming both Jesse White (and he’ll decide when he decides, period) and others looking to fill that crowded field if it is open.

    A banker with questionable things in banking, he could be a disaster for the Dems.

    I see Alexi and Frerichs as real weak links for the Dems, if both are on the ticket in the fall.

    Tip of the cap, gotta give him his due here… Will the Dems be able to derail Alexi?

  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:52 am:

    === Surely the Dems will pass a special election bill delaying the primary until that can be done, wouldn’t you think?===

    Explain what the constitution says.

  8. - Old Timer Dem - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:57 am:

    Alexi is a better point guard than a politician.

  9. - ;) - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 9:59 am:

    RNUG, maybe serious or maybe be not, but definitely sees it as a stepping stone, as well as a way to clear that $2.2M in prior campaign debt. Those workers should be really happy knowing their hard earned dues are being put to use to bankroll an out of touch millionaire and help him clear his debts away. Disappointing.

  10. - Fav Human - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    pass a special election bill delaying the primary

    A bill permanently moving the primary to a time of year more amenable to walking petitions would be welcomed by all, I think.

  11. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:02 am:

    I’ve met Alexi on several occasions and am friends with people who are close to his family. He strikes me as a nice guy, charming, funny. But his political maneuvering stinks of naked ambition to hold and not to serve.

  12. - SubRosa - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    This guy?! Do the Dems want a repeat of 2010?

  13. - PP - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    Boycott his restaurant - Kanela Breakfast Club

  14. - Pizza Man - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    Alexi, too fast, too late. Your license to run for SOS has expired. Make U-Turn and consider a position with Chase or Bank of America instead.

    Is this impressive haul to scare his Dem challengers? Of course. Will it work? No.

    Both Sos Jesse White and CC Clerk Yarbrough doubt they are worried, and I don’t think former Prez Obama will come to the rescue like with his unsuccessful Senate bid (to Mark Kirk)?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    ===would be welcomed by all, I think.===

    I dunno about that. March primary weather favors incumbents and the most organized, and those are the most likely in the legislature.

    Back to Alexi,

    What *exactly* does he offer to Dems on the ticket?

    If Alexi is running for his own glory and ego, he wouldn’t and won’t be the first or last, but… how can he say he’s a new face or bringing a spark to the 21st century politic.

    Has Alexi been gone longer than he ever served?

  16. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    Apparently some are taking his bid seriously.
    It’s not like he thinks he can simply waltz to a primary win.
    Really can’t blame the guy for showing early hustle.

  17. - Enough Said - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    The guy endorsed a Republican for state treasurer, married a rich girl and then acts all “I really care” …. straigh b.s.
    Enough Said.

  18. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:22 am:

    When he ran for Senate, my impression of Alexis is that he was all story and no substance. He focused more on himself and not about what he actually wanted to do in the office. As of now, it doesn’t seem like that changed.

    I measure a former politician by what he does when he leaves office. Alexis went right back into making money and hasn’t resurfaced until an opportunity for a comeback came up.

  19. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    Tax returns, tax returns, tax returns.

  20. - Regular democrat - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    The story about how his family drained all the cash from the bank before it closed and let the FDIC foot the billwont play well with voters. I know it’s been a while but the word “white privledge” wasnt on the radar screen then. His opponents going to have a field day.

  21. - Chiba Lotte Marines - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 10:40 am:

    I can see why private banking experience was helpful for Alexi to run for Treasurer at age 30 way back when, and why winning statewide would give him the idea he could run for US Senate, but what about being a private banker or former Treasurer makes him qualified to run a state office that is both a major bureaucratic operation AND also a massive retail service chain?

    This is not a visionary agency that needs young blood and innovation. It’s a critical utility that needs operational efficiency. Ideally, you’d find someone with Lean/Six Sigma training who didn’t just work factories, but also had extensive people management skill. In this progressive state, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have expert bureaucracy that makes living, working, starting a business, registering to vote, etc. all easy to do at scale. Pretty boys need not apply.

  22. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 11:17 am:

    **Alexi is jamming both Jesse White (and he’ll decide when he decides, period) and others looking to fill that crowded field if it is open.**

    Jesse can (and has before) always change his mind, but he’s said he isn’t running.

  23. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    ‘Lexi married…great news

  24. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    === Jesse can (and has before) always change his mind, but he’s said he isn’t running.===

    That’s all I mean/meant… September is minutes away. We’ll know, no reason to doubt, but…

  25. - Juvenal - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    Alexi limped across the finish line in 2006, a year when every Democrat not named Blagojevich cruised to easy wins.

    Alexi got his clock cleaned in 2010 by Kirk and never really got up off the canvass after getting knocked down in the third round.

    The Black community will be united to hold on to the SOS office, Alexi has far too much baggage to win a contested primary. His early out remind me of Blair Hull in 2004. He had a lot of buzz too.

    He was a 30 yo wunderkid, now what is he?

  26. - BigLou - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 11:37 am:


    Let’s not forget Alexi announced he was running for Governor against Rod before Rod got in trouble then went quiet because Quinn got “elevated”, and that’s when Alexi decided he was running for Senate. To me Alexi (and his enablers) are only serious about Alexi and what’s good for him/them.

  27. - Pizza Man - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:13 pm:

    Alexi: the Chicago Bulls called, they need a player over at the United Center.

  28. - Steve Polite - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:27 pm:

    On a slightly related note, every time I hear or see the AFL-CIO mentioned in a political context I think of the line from Miracle on 34th Street.

    “Now you got the CIO and the AF of L against you and they’re going to adore you for it and they’re going to say it with votes. “

  29. - McGuppin - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    No two ways about it, this is a good get for Giannoulias. You have to give him credit, he’s seems to be working this really hard. I know it’s early but I sure don’t hear/see much from the other potential candidates.

  30. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    **Alexi limped across the finish line in 2006, a year when every Democrat not named Blagojevich cruised to easy wins.**

    He won by 12.5%. That’s hardly limping across the finish line. He did underperform Madigan, White, and Hynes though - I’ll give you that.

    **Alexi got his clock cleaned in 2010 by Kirk and never really got up off the canvass after getting knocked down in the third round.**

    Huh? He lost by 1.6%. That’s getting your “clock cleaned?”

  31. - TKMH - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    Is Illinois’ candidate bench so shallow that unions need to elevate a bona fide has-been for SoS?

  32. - ;) - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:50 pm:

    Alexi is working this hard? Donations from his family. And virtual town halls. That is our definition of hard work in politics today? Oh lord.

  33. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:53 pm:

    Do not want.

    Please let someone else step up.

  34. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    But did you know that he played basketball with Barack Obama once?

  35. - Practical Politics - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    Alexi is starring in an Illinois production of “Back to the Future,” I guess.

  36. - Pizza Man - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    Fresh faces, fresh leadership…..Alexi does not fit the model. Has-been.

    Andy Manar: are ya listenin’???

  37. - Juvenal - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    @Saul -


    Madigan - 2.5M 72%
    White - 2.2M 63%
    Hynes - 2.2M 64%
    Alexi - 1.8M 54%
    Rod - 1.7M


    White - 2.6M
    Madigan - 2.4M
    Quinn - 1.7M
    Alexi - 1.7M 46%
    Kelly 1.7M
    Miller 1.5M

    Alexi trails Jesse by anywhere from 400,000 to 900,000 votes. Jesse’s left shoe could beat Alexi in a primary.

    Alexi was underwhelming, the opposition research is overwhelming, and the one thing he had going for him in 2006 is gone. He is not new any more.

  38. - fs - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    == But did you know that he played basketball with Barack Obama once?==

    And then he got dunked on/posterized by a shark.

    If this guy’s coming off the bench for 2022, it’s gonna be a long game for the Democratic Party.

  39. - Will Co - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 4:23 pm:

    The first thing I think of when I hear Giannoulias is how he messed up the Bright Start 529 Program and how the fund lost $150 million because of risky investments. He will never live that down. A lot of Illinois families lost a lot of hard earned college savings because of him.

  40. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 7:57 pm:

    =The first thing I think of when I hear Giannoulias is how he messed up the Bright Start 529 Program and how the fund lost $150 million because of risky investments.=

    Plus Broadway Bank.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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