Giannoulias Attends Fundraiser Hosted By Shady Chicago Insider, DiPiazza
Ali G does it again.
3:00 PM, May 7, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi "Ali G" Giannoulias was senior loan officer at his family bank, Broadway Bank, which authorized loans to convicted organized crime leaders like Michael “Jaws” Giorango (a pimp and bookmaker), Demitri Stavropoulos (an illegal gambling operator), and for convicted felon Tony Rezko, as chronicled here.
Broadway Bank, owned and operated by the Giannoulias family, was closed by the feds just two weeks ago, which led the spokesman of his political opponent Mark Kirk to give this statement to the New York Times: “While years of risky lending schemes, hot money investments and loans to organized crime led to today’s failure, it’s a sad day for Broadway Bank employees who may lose their jobs due to Mr. Giannoulias’s reckless business practices.”
But now even Ali G has outdone himself. Last night, the candidate held a political fundraiser which was co-hosted by Joseph DiPiazza. DiPiazza, like so many of Ali G’s other acquaintances, has been involved in shady land deals in Chicago.
DiPiazza works for his father’s real estate development firm, “Ferro-DiPiazza.” His father is Thomas DiPiazza.
· In 1998, DiPiazza’s firm bought a vacant “contaminated” property for $50,000. “Six years later,” according to the Chicago Tribune, “the city [of Chicago] paid them $1.2 million for the land.” Here’s more, from the Chicago Tribune (“For insider, park a gold mine”):
· In 2002, the DiPiazza firm again gained special privilege: After it bought land for $325,000, the firm was able to change the land’s zoning, and quickly resell the land (without developing it) for $2.7 million. Here’s the Chicago Tribune on the story ("A curious tale of two properties"):
· In 2007, DiPiazza was involved in yet another shady land deal, this regarding the Bridgeport Village. Here’s the Chicago Tribune ("Developer says insiders shut project"):
In Chicago, it’s great to be an “insider,” and surely Joseph DiPiazza hopes his connection with Ali G will pay off.
It’s hard to tell how well Ali G and DiPiazza know each other, but here’s video from last night’s event of the candidate for Barack Obama’s former Senate seat welcoming the co-hosts:
DiPiazza has given $2,250 to Ali G’s campaign, according to FEC disclosures.
DiPiazza announced the fundraised on his Twitter page, saying, “I'm hosting an event for #ILSEN Candidate Alexi @Giannoulias this THURS, 5-6-10 @DeLuxBar&Grill (669 N. Milwaukee) 6-8p DM me for FREE TIX.”
For non-insiders, tickets to the fundraiser were $40 in advance, $50 at the door. But, in the DiPiazza way, tickets were free for those in the know.
But the part of DiPiazza's Twitter account that might be most revealing is his photo collection. Which, for lack of a better description, contains lewd pornographic images, that show him weirdly obsessed with men’s genitalia (warning: extremely graphic and disturbing photos!).