UPDATE x2: They’re thick as thieves … “$$$: State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias was last spotted trying to set up a Saturday morning basketball game in Las Vegas so Barack Obama could loosen up on primary day [in Nevada].” — From Mike Sneed’s column at the Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 18, 2008
UPDATE: At the end of this story, I’ve added an update showing the connection between the indicted Tony Rezko, who goes on trial Feb. 25 before Patrick Fitzgerald and his U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago, and Alexi Giannoulias.
From the Chicago Tribune in its story, “Critics: Obama endorsements counter calls for clean government“: “In the 2006 Democratic primary, for example, 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.” [Giannoulias is now a bundler for Obama’s presidential campaign, aiming for $100,000.]
|That’s Barack Obama endorsing “granny grifter” Alexi Giannoulias, who got elected as Illinois’ state treasurer with the hands-on support of Barack Obama. Besides his mob ties, Giannoulias “was involved in an alleged mortgage fraud five years ago against an 83-year-old woman.”|
Curious now? Here’s SourceWatch.org — as independent a resource as you’ll find on the Internet — on Barack Obama’s ties to Alexi Giannoulias:
|Alexi Giannoulias—a “man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure” and “who became Illinois state treasurer” in 2006 after Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) “vouched for him”—”pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid,” Charles Hurt reported September 5, 2007, in the New York Post.
The September 5, 2007, Chicago fundraiser was omitted from Obama’s public schedule and the event was closed to the press,” Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“Before he promised to raise funds for Obama, Giannoulias bankrolled Michael ‘Jaws’ Giorango, a Chicagoan twice convicted of bookmaking and promoting prostitution.
“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. …
Below, “Obama the king maker“:
|“Did U.S. Senator Barack Obama clear the field in the Democratic state treasurer’s race?” lawyer and political analyst Russ Stewart wrote January 4, 2006.
“Until incumbent Republican Judy Baar Topinka announced for governor, the only Democrat willing to run for the post was obscure Knox County State’s Attorney Paul Mangieri, of Galesburg. He was slated by the Democrats, and he is on record as opposing abortion rights. … When Topinka decided to move up, a flock of ambitious Democrats eyed the job,… But none announced, and all deferred to Alexi Giannoulias, a 29-year-old Chicago investment banker who was an early supporter of Obama in his 2004 Senate race, whose father owns Broadway Bank, and whose family helped bankroll the Obama campaign. Giannoulias has said that he will campaign as a ‘progressive,’ and he has promised to put more than $1 million in family funds into the race,” Stewart wrote.
“The bottom line,” Stewart said: “Obama is the potential king maker. Expect Obama to publicly endorse Giannoulias, cut television ads for him, and go heavy for him on black radio stations. Of course, there’s a downside. If Obama endorses Giannoulias and he loses, that would indicate that Obama’s clout is not transferable,” Stewart wrote
In March 2006, Giannoulias said that “his ‘good friend and mentor, Barack Obama,’ inspired him to run.
In fact, Giannoulias’ “endorsers” were “essentially the base of the Obama coalition: white north side progressives and south side blacks.”
“My prediction: The stars are aligning for Giannoulias, another silver spooner. Every politician in the Chicago area, Daleyites and anti-Daleyites, eager to collect campaign funds from Greek Americans in the future, will back Giannoulias. Obama’s early endorsement will be critical. Giannoulias will blanket the Chicago airwaves with ads proclaiming himself to be a reformer and a nonpolitician, and mail pieces will target liberal and feminist voters, ripping Mangieri’s anti-abortion stance. Mangieri won’t get more than 40 percent of the vote in the primary,” Stewart wrote. …
NOTE: All of the Sourcewatch statements above contain relative link footnotes, which I stripped out. Go to the source article at Sourcewatch for all of the links within the piece.
Read all of “Obama Shilled For Granny Grifter.”
I realize that almost everyone is smitten with Barack Obama and that the media — with very few exceptions like Brian Ross, the Chicago newspapers, and Craig Crawford — are giving him a free pass.
But just remember that the Republicans know all of this, and much more than I’ve discovered. They’re surely way ahead of little ol’ me.
And the Republicans will bury him with this, and the rest of what they’ve unearthed, in a general election.
Look before you leap.
It may be wise to consider the one candidate whose been investigated, endlessly, by every Republican politician and media outlet, and who has not only survived but also knows how to deal with their attacks.
P.S. There’s more to come. I’m just getting started.
[UPDATE] Giannoulias is directly connected to the indicted Tony Rezko, who goes on trial on February 25th, following a several-year investigation by the F.B.I. with an indictment written by the U.S. Attorney’s office headed by Patrick Fitzgerald:
The BROADWAY BANK (owned by Giannoulis and his family) LOANED REZKO PROJECT $11 MILLION DOLLARS: “Rezko and his then-partner in Chicago-Hudson LLC, Daniel Muhra [sic], purchased the site in 2001. But preonstruction sales for the units, priced from about $300,000 to $600,000, floundered, and construction never proceeded. In early 2002 the partnership borrowed about $10.9 million from Chicago-based Broadway Bank to carry the land, according to the bankruptcy filing.” — From the Chicago Tribune on 5/23/06
The BROADWAY BANK (owned by Giannoulis and his family) HELPED TONY REZKO’S REZMAR CORP. FINANCE A 24-STORY CONDOMINIUM: “When Mahru was a partner with Rezko, their company — Rezmar Corp. — was helped by Thomas’ Carnegie Realty Partners to obtain financing to build a 24-story condominium complex at Chicago and Hudson, a project that ultimately did not get off the ground. The financial institution that backed that deal was Broadway Bank, which is owned by the family of state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Elected in the Democratic sweep last year, Giannoulias has had to answer criticism over loans his bank made to reputed crime figures. “Carnegie brought us to Broadway,” Mahru said, and introduced him to Giannoulias’ father. “We paid Carnegie a 1 percent commission on the loan, which is normal and customary.” A spokesman for Giannoulias referred questions to the bank, which could not be reached.” — From the Chicago Sun-Times, 5/5/07
And, of course we know that the Broadway Bank was the bank at which Obama opened his campaign fund account.