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Amazing News: Alexi Giannoulias Plans to Run for Obama’s Former Senate Seat

Alexi Giannoulias and Barack Obama

Alexi Giannoulias and Barack Obama

Holy Toledo! Former mob-connected investment banker and Obama basketball buddy and current Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is going to challenge recently appointed Senator Roland Burris for Senate in 2010, according to Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, 32, opens his exploratory bid for Senator today hoping his close association with President Obama, generational appeal, record and early start locks him in as a front-runner in what today is a very undefined field.

Giannoulias, I am told, is running no matter the election scenario or the other contenders. Last week, William Daley, the former Commerce Secretary and mayoral brother, floated his name in order to head off Giannoulias securing early endorsements. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is also mulling a run, with her chances of getting in more likely in a special election.

Former Obama fundraiser Jordan Kaplan is in charge of raising the necessary funds for Giannoulias’ campaign, estimated at 5 million for the primary and 15 million for the general election.

Speaking to the DNC in August, 2008, Giannoulias referred to Obama as his “friend and mentor.” Obama was instrumental in getting Giannoulias elected as State Treasurer.

In the 2006 Democratic primary…Obama endorsed first-time candidate Alexi Giannoulias for state treasurer despite reports about loans Giannoulias’ family-owned Broadway Bank made to crime figures. Records show Giannoulias and his family had given more than $10,000 to Obama’s campaign, which banked at Broadway.

In response to the criticism over this and his endorsement of Dorothy Tillman, who had been accused of getting jobs for her relatives under former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington,

Obama rejected the notion that such endorsements conflict with his promotion of ethics reform in government.

“I have been very proud of my track record as a state legislator and as a U.S. senator in terms of maintaining highly ethical behavior throughout my public life,” he said in a recent interview. “Dorothy Tillman and Alexi Giannoulias were strong supporters of mine. There were no allegations that they had done anything illegal. And it was not a conflict for me to show my support for them.”

Giannoulias hosted a fund-raiser for Obama’s presidential bid in September, 2007–an event that was closed to the media and was not listed on Obama’s schedule.

A man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure will host a Windy City fund-raiser tonight for Sen. Barack Obama.

Alexi Giannoulias, who became Illinois state treasurer last year after Obama vouched for him, has pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid.

Obama kept his Senate campaign funds in Giannoulias’ Broadway Bank in 2004, but did not use the bank for his Presidential campaign funds. Another friend of Barack Obama’s, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, was also a Giannoulias customer, and used the Broadway Bank to float $450,000 in bad checks while gambling in Las Vegas.

The senior Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin is apparently backing Giannoulis, arguing that Burris is “unelectable.” So it looks like the deal is done.

75 Responses

  1. How many more Obama cronies will be moving to DC?

    • did you see that Kirk has tax problems now? another Obama appointee owes like 10k in back taxes? think he’s been appointed some trade envoy

    • hmmm, if he’s elected (and he will be) in 2010, he could replace Biden in 2012 and be president in 2016! that Chicago fast-track is amazing.

      • Kiki,

        I never thought of that! It wouldn’t be “historic,” though, because Spiro Agnew was the first Greek VP. He was corrupt too.

        • he could be the first corrupt Greek VP to totally get away with it! that’s historic.

          we’ll know if he calls Pumas nattering nabobs of negativity.

      • Yup. We have a new Wunderkind in the making. Another knave will be running in the Dem party for president.

    • the good news is there’s a great woman also running for the seat !!!! maybe we can focus on her!!!

        • Women’s Issues
          Sara has worked diligently to improve women’s health during her service as State Representative. She was the chief sponsor of a bill that requires coverage for breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment for low-income women. She was also the lead sponsor of the Gender Violence Act, which would allow victims of gender-based domestic violence to sue their attackers in civil court.

          Sara believes strongly in a woman’s right to choose, and fights vigorously in Springfield to protect that right. Recently, she sponsored and passed HB211, “The Contraceptive Equity Act”, which requires insurance companies to cover women’s contraception. She was also the chief sponsor of House Bill 6577, “The Unintended Pregnancy Prevention Act”, which would allow pharmacists to distribute emergency contraception (EC) to women without a prescription. EC is one of the “best kept secrets” in preventing unintended pregnancies. It is currently available in many other countries over the counter and had been determined to be safe and effective by many national and international reproductive health experts. These same experts assert that we can cut the number of abortions in half if EC is available at a pharmacy.

  2. Giannoulis traveled to Greece with Durbin. He seems to fancy himself something of a kingmaker, huh?
    Durbin and Reid stroked Obama through with the Secret Service early on when he didn’t need it to accidentally on purpose play up the race thing.

    • It’s still hard to believe how blatant these people are about their corruption.

      • it’s more unbelievable how every one in the media ignores it and the voter has no clue

        • I know. Obama was tried to hide his friendship with Giannoulias during the campaign, but now it’s all out in the open. When will Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn get jobs?

          • its probably in that stimulus plan, they and Rev Wright and Pfleger are part of the infrastructure that needs rebuilding

          • Bill and Bernadine will most likely get jobs in Homeland Security. Its the backtrack way.
            Put a tax cheat in charge of the IRS.
            Put bombers in charge of Homeland Security



      • When I lived in Chicago (which, granted, was almost 20 years ago), it was a pretty open thing. The Trib sometimes reported on it, and the local free paper often did, but nothing really happened. Honestly, if Blago hadn’t gotten caught up in Obie’s historical historicity since the beginning of time messiahdom, he might have skated on past.

        I think there was so much of it, people just kind of get numb and there’s not much of an outcry. Plus, what can you do? It’s not as if there are any corruption-free alternatives. Not that I’m advocating doing nothing, of course.

        Chicagoans DO get really worked up about snow removal, though.

  3. I think Giannoulias is still under investigation for vouching for Rezko’s bad checks.

  4. G.Dammit! Another Greek I have to be embarrassed of — I swear the ones connected to the Obama mess are NOT typical!!

  5. The really pathetic thing is that Nancy Pelosi will be stuck increasingly with Obama-accolytes who care not a whit for what she thinks; she’s going under the bus just because she’ll end up with an Obama-DNC stocked Congress, and they will pull her power right out from under her. A huge mistake on her part not to support Clinton. Huge.

    • Heidi, we never think the meat truck is coming for us. That somehow we will avoid the very fate we watched others succumb to . I’m amazed Nancy is still there.

      A huge mistake on her part not to support Clinton. Huge.

      true of soooo many.

    • No one deserves to be thrown under the bus more than Axis Sally Pelosi. What she has done as speaker is a disgrace and a disservice to the country.



  6. Angie,

    You’re not responsible!!

  7. Bill is on HBO honoring Bill Jean King

  8. Obamaland, where corruption is king! Who needs those stinking voters when you have Obama. Ethics, what’s ethics? Maybe a country in Europe?

  9. From the article BB links to but worth noting: “Giannoulias is so tainted by reputed mob links that several top Illinois Dems, including the state’s speaker of the House and party chairman, refused to endorse him even after he won the Democratic nomination with Obama’s help.

    “Giannoulias was the bank’s vice president and chief loan officer for most of the more than $15 million in loans,” Hurt wrote.

    So Obama’s rule of thumb is that so long as somebody has no legal allegations against him he’s got no problem vouching for him; reputation matters not at all.

    • this isn’t the Giannoulias I knew

      • Ah, Dak, for the first time in ages you have made me chuckle rather than get the chills (it isn’t your fault, it is the economy’s and the pols/financiers running it).

        • i’m finding out first hand why they call it the dismal science. i’m just happy people don’t walk out of rooms when i enter these days. I’m like the bad tidings fairy these days.

          • As the old saying goes, “I don’t make the (economic) news, I just report it”. And you do it in a way that makes it understandable and allows us to know what we’re actually in for. That’s good fairy work.

          • Dakinikat
            Hey lady you are one of the smartest people in the room.
            Your advice and reporting are always welcome and help many people here.



    • Obama has no problem at all with sleaze when it serves his purposes. Meanwhile, the MSM remain on Obama Worship Watch and the nation sleeps. Unbelievable.

      • Sleep? Bah — if only it was that they might wake up. I heard moron after moron tell me how the Wright thing was “only guilt by association” — they saw what Obama was & voted for him anyway out of sheer stupidity. I doubt they’ll get any smarter no matter what that a$$hat does.

  10. It’s good to be the king:



    The hoop-happy President’s team, the Bulls, took on the Washington Wizards in the nation’s capital — and getting Obama to his courtside seat delayed the tip-off!

    He’s the leader of the free world — if he wants to watch his favorite team, have a cold one, and greet his fellow Americans, “Extra” thinks he’s earned it!

    Earned it???? he never earned anything he’s gotten in his life. But that won’t stop him from abusing his position to take advantage of the perks, no matter how it inconveniences the “little people”.

  11. I visit NQ every now and then. There is a post up about Theo. Roosevelt, “Words to Stir a Nation.” I learned that in 1880 his Harvard college thesis was about women’s rights. Long post but lots of info.


    • That whole post was just great. We could use a Teddy Roosevelt now!

      • Yes! We could use someone with integrity! I’m so discouraged! Thanks, all, for continuing to be here.

  12. Cannonfire is missing from the blogroll. Bummer.

  13. Sorry I did not answer “Heidi-li” earlier about Bill.
    He was on HBO @ an event honoring Billie Jean King & Women of Tennis. It was followed by a match.
    He was amazing as usual. There was also a “sadness” in his voice when he thanked her for her help to Hillary in her attempt to “Break the hardest glass ceiling.
    Also did anyone see the “Spot-on-Comment” by Juan Williams on Bill O’s show??
    He said that “liberals” can be really mean “if” you don’t EXACTLY agree with them.
    Ha…PUMA’s KNOW THAT!!!

  14. O/T (sorry BB), but there’s no place to put this at the moment and it’s too good to pass up. Just read a Greenwald column on Salon, the precis of which follows:

    Is Obama embracing the lawless, omnipotent executive? To prevent a ruling on whether Bush’s
    NSA program was illegal, the Obama DOJ is on the verge of defying a court order, and justifying its defiance with Cheney/Addington theories of executive power.

    This is how GG responded to one of the Obot reader comments which really tripped his wire:

    It’s been obvious for some time that there is a small [small???] Obama following who are so blindly reverent and worshipful that it gives new meaning the term “creepy.”

    Still, even with that recognition, this [the reader’s] claim is still amazing.

    If Obama got caught raping 5-year-old girls in a park, these people would be here explaining that he only did it in order to heighten awareness over pedophilia and to set good judicial precedents against future pedophiles.

    If he went into court and advocated the right of Presidents to order torture or keep people locked up for life with no trial, they’d insist that he’s only doing it for our own Good.

    Why don’t you stop and think about what you’re saying for a minute — you’re accusing Obama of lying to courts and to the public about what he really thinks and his motives for doing it. You’re accusing him of engaging in one grand deceit on the nation. And you’re actually saying as though
    it’s a good thing — that he is so Just and Good that he must lie to us about what he’s doing because he knows best and we should always trust that even when it seems like he’s advocating bad things, he always has a secret plan to make it all good for us.

    The Lord works in mysterious ways. We don’t always know what He’s doing or why, but what we do know is that it’s Good.

    That’s exactly what you’re saying. Do you not see how disturbed that is?

    Now, now long have PUMAs been declaiming the very same thing? And being called everything under the sun for it.

    • Thanks for that post.

    • This is from Ace of Spades. Typically funny and goes along with this pretty well.

      I see the spin coming down the road in six months:

      Obama’s taught us all what’s really important in life, and it’s not grubby money. Obama be praised for teaching us again about the simple pleasures in life.

      Just like Jesus, only cooler and with a better 3-point shot.

      Much Better: A commenter wrote:

      Obama “saved or created” 6730 +/- Dow points.

      • The futures are up so far for tomorrow. Maybe he will “save or create” more on Tuesday.

      • Maybe I should spend some time at Ace of S, ralph. In the interest of those last shreds of sanity. I made the mistake of checking out the last O-popularity polls on RCP tonight. The Dow goes down and down, O keeps bob, bob, bobbin’ along in the 60s. It’s all nutz.

    • He is out-doing Bush with his White House Czars. No Senate approval and no Congresisonal oversight. It will interesting to see if he uses the all inclusive Exec. privilege when these “Czars” are asked to testify befor a Congressional committee.

      • Meanwhile, the District of Columbia heads toward Congressional representation on the strength of a vote. The Constitution is soooo yesterday.

    • Wow! Somebody, quick, get Glenn his Kool Aid fix!

  15. Check out what the Brits are getting ready for.

    Also, read the comment about Sir Fred, the former boss of RBS:


    • Yes, blend that with the occasional talent for over drinking and hooliganism and you have a dangerous cocktail. If there’s one country that may have been financially more overextended than the US, it’s the UK. Tough times. On a side note, in the UK the BBC continues to pay for itself mainly from a tax on television sets. And in case you might cheat, there are roving TV detector vans.

    • LOL-Fredster.

      (I think that the Labour Party is worried-too many spontaneous working class men’s demonstrations.)(As opposed to “Union” led ones)

      Sir Fred Goodwin, former boss of RBS, has refused to hand back his £693,000-a-year-pension ….

      Mind you the Daily Express is a scare-mongering paper!!

  16. Whoee! Just call me thread-killer Fred! 😆

    • From your link:

      One of the most notorious anarchist websites, Class War, asks: “How to keep warm ­during the credit crunch? Burn a banker.”


  17. RBO, expert on Chi-town politics, posted quite a bit of useful info on this subject yesterday:

    Why won’t the “Chicago Way” stay in Chicago? Giannoulias likely to run for Obama’s former Senate seat

  18. OT-

    I will be watching Oil closely this week as wellas Natural Gas which should be peaking at this time of year and is falling along with other petroleum commodities (Home heating oil and diesel fuel.)

    Refineries are starting their retooling to switch to “summer grade” gas so the gasoline market may be tight until the retooling is done. the recent climb in gasoline prices is only slightly attributed to this…again it is mostly attributed to speculation.

    Can anyone say gasoline speculation bubble? at least when this one bursts it will me lower gas prices in time for summer. I doubt that as many Americans will hit the road this summer. Summer driving will again drop because Hey 8-10% of us will not have a job to pay for a vacation.

    This is depressing…just plain depressing!

    wait on topic will there be signs all over Illinois saying…

    “Vote for the CROOK!”

    or maybe this:

    The Crook-Obama Approved!

  19. I heard on Fox last night that O’s #s had slipped down to 57%. Can anyone confirm that? I understand that his support among Republicans has really dropped. I think that is called the honeymoon sweet is falling off the box office ticker tape.

  20. BIrds of a feather flock together. If the newspapers here in Chicago would do their job, Alexi would be history, but since he is Obama’s buddy, they probably will let the lies slide. Just what we need here in Illinois, another crook for our senator. They want to spend a huge amount of our money on a “special election” just to install another crook into office. First we have Obama who DID nothing while Senator, then Alexi who is tied to Tony Rezko. Burris is the least of the crooks here and they want to push him out. What a country!

  21. They look like such a couple of dweebs.

  22. Notice how Obama has a habit of befriending banking families? Pritzker & Giannoulias. Huh, wonder why?

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