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Giannoulias hit for accepting campaign money from his brothers, others

Friday, Oct 22, 2021

* Sun-Times

Former Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias saw his political career derailed 11 years ago by the collapse of his family’s Broadway Bank, whose failure cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. more than $383 million.

Now, Giannoulias, who’s trying to get back into politics with a run for Illinois secretary of state, has taken campaign money from four top officials of the Chicago bank.

Among them are his two brothers, who ran the bank, which federal regulators shut down over losses that included more than $100 million in bad loans made to 17 failed commercial projects from New York to Los Angeles.

Giannoulias has accepted $24,000 in campaign contributions from the four former Broadway Bank officials, campaign finance records show.

He got $6,000 contributions Jan. 20 from each of his brothers — Demetris Giannoulias, who was president and chief executive officer of Broadway Bank when it failed, and George Giannoulias, who was chairman of the bank’s board of directors.

I dunno.

What do you think? Fair hit or not?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

61 Comments
  1. - Regular democrat - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    Fair hit that should have been avoided


  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    Not sure if it’s a fair hit or not, but getting tagged with Broadway Bank’s failure was inevitable.


  3. - Keyrock - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    Not entirely fair, but not below the belt. Any reminder of Broadway Bank is appropriate when Alexi is running for office.

    Alexis main qualifications always were his good looks, Broadway Bank, and playing basketball with Obama. He doesn’t want to talk about roadway Bank anymore, so others have to do it for him.


  4. - Curious citizen - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    Let me get this straight — Giannoulias’ family ran a bank that made bad loans and was shut down 11 years ago while many other banks were bailed out by the federal government.
    And now he’s accepted a total of 24 grand from former bank officers.
    I don’t see the scandal, especially since $24,ooo is such a small some in a statewide race.


  5. - Amalia - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    he’s getting in enough money that he could have avoided the topic head on by avoiding these donations. fair hit.


  6. - fs - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    Family or not, doing anything that encourages the Broadway Bank scandal to keep being mentioned is just stupid on his campaign’s part. The story itself absolutely fair game and we as a State can only hope it brings him down this year as it did in 2010. Nine figures in losses from bad loans, from a small bank who had questionable clientele, are enormous red flags. It’s a stone around his neck that the public shouldn’t forget. Especially when he’s running for an office like Secretary of State.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:07 am:

    More than fair, but thin gruel to the family part of it.

    “Would Alexi take money from anyone else who’s bank had these type of serious banking irregularities or issues?”

    It’s a kind of “gotcha” that way?

    “I only take money from people with these type of issues that are family” isn’t a great cover, but…


  8. - The Old Man - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:08 am:

    Fair hot, he should be smarter than this, but he AIN’T.
    Who else we got for SOS?


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:08 am:

    ===that made bad loans and was shut down 11 years ago===

    “Would that it were so simple”

    It’s not like the family saved the back from the “Jaws” of defeat… but that’s prolly another day


  10. - Jocko - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:10 am:

    His brother and two old friends gave six grand? Big whoop. I’m more concerned that Alexi is the dems version of Aaron Schock…using SOS as a placeholder while pursuing something else.


  11. - JoanP - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:12 am:

    I don’t have a problem with him taking donations from his brothers. What’s family for?

    And the connection to the bank failure was going to come up anyway.


  12. - uialum - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    Not “fair” for the family but fair for the other execs. No matter what, the 30 second ad won’t make the distinction and seems like an unforced error for only $24,000 since he isn’t hurting for money.


  13. - sal-says - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    Fair. [ooops]

    His bros can kick $ over

    Vs

    Bad loans, bad comm projs.

    Fdic, +300 mill came from somewhere.

    Shaky business family; IL can do better.


  14. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    ==I’m more concerned that Alexi is the dems version of Aaron Schock==

    Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that. I wonder if Alexi also loved watching “Downtown Abbey” like Aaron did.


  15. - DaBlues - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    There are A LOT of not great things to say about Alexi and the OR file on him is likely bigger than your average bear, but taking money from a family member is kinda of a dumb hit piece. Do better.


  16. - moving forward - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:16 am:

    I assume Alexi determined the first hit is worth $24,000. Now that its news, I would expect new and significant contributions from these individuals.


  17. - fs - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:17 am:

    == I wonder if Alexi also loved watching “Downtown Abbey” like Aaron did==

    My guess is that he’s more of a Soprano’s fan


  18. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    If it’s accurate it’s a fair hit.

    The question really is whether or not this kind of hit moves voters or sways opinions. Alexi Giannoulias isn’t exactly a guy I would be trying to get through a U.S. Senate appointment hearing based off of his back ground.

    He’s a wealthy guy. Where’d that wealth come from?

    He didn’t need these contributions from family members and where’d those family members get the money from? His whole response to those bank issues in the first place was that he had no idea and that he was not involved. Well he knows now, right?

    This isn’t as bad as him forgetting he endorsed a Republican for a statewide office, but these kinds of slips are unnecessary and suggest that the campaign is not making prudent choices.


  19. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    It’s an unforced error. He was going to get hit on Broadway irrespective, as he should. But considering those donations are a tiny fraction of what he’s raised, someone should’ve flagged it and said no, thanks.


  20. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    ==Any reminder of Broadway Bank is appropriate when Alexi is running for office.==

    Don’t forget mismanagement of Bright Start too.


  21. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    Fair. Further proof that money don’t buy smarts.

    ILGOP, if you can’t beat this goof, fold the tents.


  22. - Keyrock - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    Alexi remains one of the best arguments for the importance of a two-party system.

    I agree with Flyin’ Elvis that we need a real candidate from the GOP, in case Alexi wins the primary.


  23. - Independent - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    No problem with the brothers. Alexi should have returned the contributions of the other two. Is this unforced error worth all of 12 grand?


  24. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    I think it’s superficial, but almost all hits are basically fair in campaigns.


  25. - Lake Effect - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    Siblings are fair game? Ok. I take it spouses are too then….


  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    This all can be true;

    Alexi is shifty.

    Family help is very common

    Folks attached to failed banks are usually radioactive

    Broadway Bank is part of who Alexi is

    It is what it is, not changing folks minds today.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:40 am:

    === I take it spouses are too then….===

    Hillary Clinton on Line 2…


  28. - Sammy Samosa - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    O.W. makes it Coen brothers Friday


  29. - Original Rambler - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    Just the start of the Broadway Bank cascade…if the other candidates have the cash to keep it in the news.


  30. - Amalia - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    come on Dems, you have other good candidates for this office. you don’t need this baggage.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Coen brothers Friday===

    Alexi’s brothers bring out the spirit of the thing


  32. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    Rich, how’s about that follow-up on #legday at the gym.

    Need to know if Alexi is sticking to that ever-appealing platform of gym etiquette.


  33. - Victor - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:00 am:

    @Amalia: come on Dems, you have other good candidates for this office. you don’t need this baggage.

    I agree. This will be one of the times I will vote against a candidate, rather than for one; if he is the Dem nominee.

    Alexi still has not justified why he was the VP of that failed bank. If he was there as a nepotistic hire; that reflects badly on him and his ‘qualifications’. If he was NOT a nepotistic hire, it is worse.


  34. - All's Fair in Love, War & Politics... - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    Family donating to family. It’s been done since the beginning of time. Unfair/Fair. Keep it moving.


  35. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:11 am:

    Broadway Bank’s failure is significant and disqualifying

    The larger Superior Bank failure is not for obvious reasons

    If Illinois Democrats didn’t have double standards they would have no standards


  36. - Al - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:11 am:

    His last name is so hard to pronounce, he needs every dollar.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:14 am:

    === His last name is so hard to pronounce, he needs every dollar.===

    Narrator: Alexi has already won statewide.

    - Lucky Pierre -

    Then beating Alexi should be a slam dunk.

    Is there anyone lining up to beat him… that can win?


  38. - Springfieldish - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    All that early union support is beginning to wane thin. He’s not a golden boy, never was. He’s also not much of a Democrat and also, never was.


  39. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:22 am:

    Are the folks attached to the Superior Bank failure also politically radioactive or are there different rules for Progressive billionaires?


  40. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:23 am:

    ===Are the folks attached to the Superior Bank failure===

    None of them are in office or running for office here, or anywhere, as far as I know.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:24 am:

    === are there different rules for Progressive billionaires?===

    Rauner lost by 15+ points.

    Pritzker won his primary to humiliate Rauner.

    Go ask Diana and Bruce why they didn’t attack Pritzker as Pritzker and his family bailed out The Ounce.

    Geez, Louise…


  42. - Amber Ale - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:25 am:

    Fair hit, but the Broadway Bank exposure is there no matter what so might as well take the money. Short of a donation from Jaws Giorango, not much would increase the heat here. One off stories like this won’t move the needle and don’t materially change the ads that will be run.


  43. - Unionman - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    Its $6000 from a sibling. Did the Sun-Times also look to see which other elected officials have received $6000+ contributions from direct relatives. I would venture to say its probably most.
    Expose him about Broadway but not the contributions from his family.


  44. - OneMan - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    Fair hit, yeah it’s family but the Bank is a thing that is going to come up and keep coming up.

    Tbh

    ==Don’t forget mismanagement of Bright Start too.==

    Is more of an disqualification to me than the bank. Even after the settlement, the losses turned out to have cost me at least half a semester of tuition between my two kids.


  45. - Juvenal - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    I think this is an issue that Democratic primary voters are very sensitive to.

    Trump has really primed the pump.

    The business failed, but the family at the top that was responsible landed on their feet it seems. Some might say “Made out like bandits.”

    The details of the story are muddy, but the big picture is a pretty clean 15 second ad, and if Alexi is the nominee it’s probable there will be dark money group out there driving this message home in the general.


  46. - MisterJayEm - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:21 pm:

    Fair hit, but nothing that will move the needle one way or the other, imho.

    – MrJM


  47. - SAP - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    ==I don’t see the scandal, especially since $24,ooo is such a small some in a statewide race.==

    $383,000,000 is a big sum.


  48. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    Seems fair. Broadway bank is part of Alexi’s history. Ultimately it will be up to the voters to decide how much of that history matters.


  49. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===Broadway Bank is part of who Alexi is

    It is what it is, not changing folks minds today. ===

    You’re not wrong, OW, but Alexi’s campaign doesn’t need to be giving press a reason to cover it.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    === but Alexi’s campaign doesn’t need to be giving press a reason to cover it.===

    Between his time as Treasurer and running statewide multiple times, it’s baked in, agreed, silly to keep as a freshly as this… I’m of the same belief too, it’s not moving needles or changing games, but it is who Alexi is.


  51. - sal-says - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:18 pm:

    I’ll add that alexi demonstrates a significant level of stupidity, even after all this time. IL government can do better.

    And, apparently, his bros came out of the bank failure just fine.


  52. - theCardinal - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:40 pm:

    He was is going to take punches from the Broadway bank debacle one way or another. May as well get them out of the way early. ?Taking money from the two heads of the bank (brothers or not) bad plan for a guy w $3 mill in the campaign fund.


  53. - Red Ranger - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:04 pm:

    Totally fair, and good hit by the Valencia team. I dont understand what the case is for Alexi. The Broadway bank issue will be the big issue once this race heats up. I doubt his former basketball buddy will be looking to help him out and hes no longer the good looking spring chicken of the IL Dem party. I can’t answer the question why I am voting for Alexi.


  54. - fs - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    == He was is going to take punches from the Broadway bank debacle one way or another. May as well get them out of the way early. ?==

    You think the issue will go away? That’s adorable.


  55. - Jibba - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===If Illinois Democrats didn’t have double standards===

    How many people do you see here touting him as the next coming? I see none. Mostly people wishing for better. Guess that makes Dems regular folks like you.


  56. - Shytown - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    From a purely political lens, the GOP will lean into this over and over again. And now he hands them over yet another gem to work with. It will be a distraction throughout the campaign. Won’t exactly inspire Dems to come out and vote.


  57. - SAP - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 3:17 pm:

    I can see the though process of trying to get it out of the way early and making it a stale issue by the time people start casting votes. I don’t think it will work, but I see the “Can’t hurt, could help” strategy.


  58. - Juvenal - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 3:53 pm:

    If I were Alexi’s opponents, I wouldnt count on voters remembering much from 8 years ago.

    He has name recognition, “mob banker”, and that’s about it.

    How many people can name his top three accomplishments as state treasurer or his three biggest mistakes?


  59. - Chicago Blue - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    Why are people supporting this guy? I just don’t get it.


  60. - Nanis - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 4:17 pm:

    Eye roll. I mean - we already knew about this..it was going to come out anyway. Any substantive hits? This is old news - 11-year-old news. Is this the opposition’s strategy?

    Anna should spend her time raising money to pay for that “diverse” (1 black unpaid staffer) staff of women instead of wasting her time and effort on stuff we already knew and that would already be highlighted. yawn


  61. - Annonin' - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 4:49 pm:

    Current SOS does not take $$$ from car dealers. Lexi loads up…opps


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