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.”
Kirk now attracts 46% support in Illinois' race for the U.S. Senate, up from 41% in early April. Support for Giannoulias is at 38%, virtually unchanged from the previous survey but down from March, when he earned 44% of the vote. Five percent (5%) currently support some other candidate, and 12% are undecided...
On Friday Alexi Giannoulias's family bank was seized by the feds. What does this mean for the Democratic Senate candidate in Illinois who worked at the bank fours years ago? Opportunity for a political ad, of course!
Today Mark Kirk's campaign for Senate in Illinois is launching an updated version of RealTruthAboutAlexi.com--a website that "will profile a few of the known criminals and organized crime leaders who received loans and lines of credit from [Kirk's Democratic opponent] Alexi Giannoulias when he served as Vice President and Chief Loan Officer of Broadway Bank."
The followers of Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias--let's call him the Ali G of Illinois--are going after Republican candidate Rep. Mark Kirk for ... his support of Israel, saying that the congressman only supports Israel because it is politically prudent of him to do so. (Here's video of Kirk talking about Obama and Israel.) Steven Sheffey, who is co-hosting a little "Meet and Greet" at a law firm in Chicago next week with Ali G, sent out a mass email reeking of mass desperation. Sheffey writes:
With 95% of precincts reporting, Congressman Mark Kirk has captured the Illinois Republican Senate nomination with 57% of the vote, his closest challenger Patrick Hughes garnered about 20% of the vote. "We all know that over the past year a quiet despair has descended on the State of Illinois. A governor arrested, a senator seat disgraced, corruption rampant, unemployment rising and families struggling.
Update, February 2, 10:30p.m.: Mark Kirk won the GOP nomination by more than 35 points.
Can Republicans wrest control of the Senate seat held by Barack Obama just over a year ago? Yes, they can, says GOP Senate candidate Mark Kirk. "If you’re the right kind of Republican who can put together a broad coalition of Republicans, independents, and some Democrats, you can repeat the Massachusetts miracle," Kirk told me during a phone interview late last week. "[Scott Brown's] victory electrified Republicans in Illinois."
Kirk's first challenge to keeping that coalition together is shoring up support from Republicans following tomorrow's GOP primary (which Kirk is expected to win by a healthy double-digit margin). Kirk's moderate and liberal votes in Congress have left some conservatives less than enthused about his Senate bid. According to Kirk's main GOP primary challenger, lawyer and political newcomer Patrick Hughes, "What got me into the race specifically was two things: one, Mark Kirk’s vote for cap and trade. … After he voted for cap and trade, I looked at his record [opposing] the [Iraq] surge and his incredible social liberalism."
Hughes rejects comparisons between Kirk and Scott Brown in Massachusetts. "I think that Scott Brown is a conservative," says Hughes, "far more on many fiscal and social and constitutional issues than Mark Kirk is." But is Brown really that much more conservative than Kirk?
Republican takeover of the Senate is no longer impossible in 2010. If Scott Brown wins in the special election Tuesday for the Senate in Massachusetts, it would mean Republicans would have to net 10 seats to take control. If he loses, 11 would be needed.