Illinois Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias is about to take a hard hit from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as the powerful business lobby goes on the air with a commercial slamming the Democrat’s “record of failure” and linking him to the state’s 10.5 percent unemployment rate. “Does anyone think Alexi Giannoulias can create jobs?” the commercial begins. “Look at his record of economic failure: Giannoulias was an executive at Broadway Bank, which was driven into the ground and taken over by the feds. As Illinois state Treasurer, Giannoulias lost $85 million in college savings for parents, causing more pain.” The new ad hits the airwaves a day before President Barack Obama makes a long-awaited trip to Chicago to raise money for Giannoulias.
* If Giannoulias had any campaign cash, he might be able to share this report from Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch…
The financial industry spent $251 million as it sought to tamp down the financial-reform bill that was recently signed into law. Brokerages and banks, which were kept afloat through a bailout valued at more than $1 trillion, spent a whopping $84 million alone. Insurers, which were also battling health-care reform, spent $85.9 million through July 26, according to the Center for Responsive politics. See the latest data at Opensecrets.org. […]
So who were the pigs at the trough? Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) received $2.14 million. Rep. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) received $826,149, and House Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) accepted $742,445 from the securities industry alone.
“Pigs at the trough” is a great line. Trouble is, Kirk is sandwiched in between two Democrats. Then again, Kirk voted against the financial reform bill, while those two Dems voted for it. From NBC5’s blogger…
Obviously, Kirk is a much cheaper vote than Schumer. Schumer wouldn’t do Wall Street’s bidding for $2 million. Kirk needed less than half that.
Kirk should take that “pigs at the trough” statement as a compliment. No candidate ever lost an election because he had too much money. Schumer is an enormously successful politician who won his last election with 70 percent of the vote, and is given a 100 percent chance of winning again this year by fivethirtyeight.com. Kirk could have worse company.
* Meanwhile, Rod Blagojevich’s biggest radio cheerleaders Don & Roma are shocked - SHOCKED - that Giannoulias’ family bank loaned some money to a company affiliated with Tony Rezko. Listen…
Look, it’s a legit issue. I get it. But these two people have literally fawned all over Blagojevich for more than two years. It’s one of the most embarrassing transformations I’ve ever seen. I’m so disgusted with their behavior that I refuse to appear on that station. Giannoulias wasn’t mentioned in Rezko’s original indictment, but Blagojevich was. Their duplicity is simply mind-boggling.
*** UPDATE *** Ex wives are not always the most reliable sources, and should probably be left alone. But Kimberly Vertolli appeared at Mark Kirk’s campaign kickoff last year and said he’d make a fine US Senator. And now Chicago Magazine has published part of an interview with Kirk’s ex that is pretty darned explosive…
Her marriage to Rep. Mark Kirk (R-10th Dist.) may have ended amicably in June 2009, and the two may remain friends today, but Kimberly Vertolli said that she will not “advocate” for her ex in his Senate run because she fears he is too influenced by a “Svengali figure” in his life—a former staffer named Dorothy “Dodie” McCracken. […]
[Carol Felsenthal]: Is there any kind of insinuation that there’s any kind of romance going on between them?
[Kimberly Vertolli]: I will not characterize their relationship. […]
CF: Was it political differences that contributed to you and Mark divorcing?
KV: I think that if Dodie McCracken had not continued to be in our lives, we probably would still be married.
And then there’s this…
CF: What about the rumors that Mark Kirk is gay?
KV: That’s been going on since he first ran. It’s highly unusual for a man to have been married to a woman for eight years and not produced children. And it’s unusual for a man to have not been married until he’s 40 years old. [Kirk was 41]. So people get suspicious. It’s human nature. When we don’t understand something, we want to attach an explanation to it. It’s not an accurate explanation that Mark is gay, but nevertheless, that’s how some people choose to reconcile it.
Vertolli told Chicago Mag that she won’t be voting for Kirk because of his vote against a bill to eliminate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” - a vote that she blamed on Ms. McCracken.
* Obama could raise big money in Chicago: At the Palmer House, the president will help his protege Giannoulias, talking to a crowd that paid up to $2,400 a ticket at an event a Democratic Party source estimates will bring in about $1 million.
* 6:49 pm - Judge John Grady’s order is exactly what we expected. The special US Senate election will take place Nov. 2nd. No primary will be held. Winners of the February primary and those who otherwise qualify for the ballot will appear on the special election ballot. Read Judge Grady’s permanent injunction order by clicking here.