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August 26, 2008

This Is Not the Shady Mobbed-Up Machine Politican I Thought I Knew

Wow. It gets better and better.

Last night, Illinois’ State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias addressed the DNC, talking about his “friend and mentor”, Barack Obama, and calling for “a new type of leadership.” Giannoulias said that Obama has great integrity, yet the association between the two men raises questions along the lines of (and related to) convicted felon Tony Rezko.

...

Giannoulias, who was called Obama’s “protégé” in a Chicago-based publication, has also served as the National Chairman of Greeks for Obama Committee.

...

According to a Chicago Tribune article from 2006, Giannoulias “has faced questions about [his] bank’s multi-million dollar loans to Michael Gioranago, a convicted bookmaker and prostitution ring promoter.” Barack Obama was quoted in the article as saying that he “is concerned by revelations that the bank owned by Illinois Democratic treasurer nominee Alexi Giannoulias' family gave loans to a Chicago crime figure and said the candidate owes him and the public a full accounting.”

And while Giannoulias claimed that the loans to Gioranago were made “before he became a full-time bank employee”, “newly discovered public records show Broadway Bank made $11.8 million in additional mortgage loans to Giorango just last year. Giannoulias said he oversaw the servicing of those loans.”

Giannoulias also appears to have lied about the bank's financing of a casino boat marina.

...

Obama endorsed Giannoulias for State Treasurer when the latter was just 29 years old, but the NY Post reported that “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.” Obama remained a big supporter and is credited with having been an important factor in Giannoulias’s victory.

Giannoulias also has a history of donating to Republicans -- but if a Republican has endorsed this shady character, we're still waiting to hear of it. And as the article points out, money in Chicago politics is often based on not ideology but corrupt favors -- so what exactly did casue Giannoulias to stop donating to Republicans and become such a huge donor to and fundraiser for Obama? And why did Obama (apparently alone) endorse this sketchy operator for State Treasurer?


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posted by Ace at 03:12 PM

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