Illinois Democrats sure can pick ‘em

After Rod Blagojevich failed to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder, and after Senate Democrats scuttled an effort to fill the seat with a special election (a Republican might have won), Blagojevich appointed Democratic perjurer Roland Burris to the seat.

The long-delayed special election will finally be held this November, two years after Obama was elected president. Democrats nominated this guy:

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias sought to blunt a potentially damaging political issue today about questions regarding his involvement in his family’s struggling bank, which he said he expects will likely fail in the coming months.

But questions were still left unanswered following a more than 70-minute meeting with the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board. Among them were exactly what Giannoulias knew about convicted bookmaker Michael Giorango’s criminal past when he received loans from Broadway Bank, and how many of the bank’s troubled loans were made while Giannoulias was working there.

Giannoulias also sought to explain nearly $70 million the bank paid out in dividends to him and his family in recent years, saying $29 million of that was taken out of the bank to diversify the family’s investments.

Awesome! In this political climate, Democrats nominate a man tied to a failing family bank. The family made loans to criminals and took $70 million out of the bank after it started to fail.

Kirk and national Republicans have questioned why Giannoulias and his family accepted the nearly $70 million in dividend payouts in 2007 and 2008 – at the same time the economy was beginning to struggle. Giannoulias in November had said the payout was the result of helping settle his father’s estate. His father, Alexis Giannoulias, died in June 2006.

In his appearance today, Giannoulias added new details, saying that $40 million went to pay off income taxes for bank shareholders – which include him and his family members – and that $29 million was paid out so he and his family could better diversify their economic portfolios.

That’s no explanation at all. The income taxes needed to be paid one way or the other (or perhaps not), so $40 million might just as well have been spent on whatever corrupt Chicago Democrats ordinarily spend their money on. But the $29 million is even better. Of course they wanted to diversify their portfolios; their bank was failing!

Giannoulias says the questions about his failing family bank are unfair:

In light of the false, reckless attacks from Republicans and Mark Kirk against Alexi Giannoulias and his role at Broadway Bank, the Alexi for Illinois campaign announced that Alexi will be answering every question posed to him by the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune editorial boards today.

But he didn’t answer every question. Going back to the top:

But questions were still left unanswered following a more than 70-minute meeting with the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board. Among them were exactly what Giannoulias knew about convicted bookmaker Michael Giorango’s criminal past when he received loans from Broadway Bank, and how many of the bank’s troubled loans were made while Giannoulias was working there.

In fact, it looks like the questions Giannoulias didn’t/couldn’t answer are the most troubling ones.

(Via Big Government.)

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